Strategic Business Development: Prioritizing Impactful Presentations

  By Michael Gionta  |    Thursday February 29, 2024

Category: Columns, Expert Advice, Recruiting


QUESTION: When you are marketing and leaving a lot of messages, how do you get three hours of phone time? Also, what are a good number of presentations to make a day?


Okay. I do not care about phone time. I have not, for 20-something years. Full disclosure. I have not run a firm since 2011, but we have clients. I do not even coach people on measuring phone time anymore. I would with maybe a new recruiter, but somebody, Bob, that’s been around, I do not care about phone time. I care about results.

One of the flaws in Connect Time was when you and I were brought up in the 1990s on this business, it was a decent tool. It was never a great tool. I remember people calling me from MRI offices, management recruiters’ offices, that were split partners. I did not realize. I was an owner. They would call me from different offices to see if I had somebody, and we would end up in some conversation about the Red Sox and the Yankees, and we would be on the phone for half an hour with each other and upwards of five minutes was business. I can’t tell you how many recruiters go; oh, that put me over four hours—a 25-minute conversation of BS.

I had an individual in my office that billed, with his team, about $1 million a year, averaging 75 to 90 minutes of connect time a day. He got retainers. He was a sharpshooter. I am not recommending that low either.

But I am saying I do not care about connect time. I care about presentations. If you were having trouble getting business, I would have a goal of, at least maybe initially, 4 to 8 marketing presentations a day to create some momentum, and I would back that down to 3 or 4 once I got a couple of good searches. Stay in the mode of marketing every day. No matter what was on my desk or how many searches I had, especially after going through a couple of recessions, I learned this lesson the hard way.

Growing up in the Northeast, on really cold days, they tell you to leave the water on a drip overnight so the pipes don’t freeze. When you are overwhelmed with openings, if you commit to one marketing presentation a day so that faucet never goes off.

I am not recommending 15 presentations a day. I would do that with new recruiters. I am suggesting, let’s say, that an individual has a $300,000 billing, and their average fee is $25,000. They need a placement a month. They will need 3 to 5 marketing presentations a day if they are all contingency and do not have a lot of repeat business. So, 3 to 5 marketing presentations a day and then however many candidates to talk to.

I just know $300,000 globally in our space is about 2 to 2 and ½ interviews a week, depending on the individual, which is probably another 40 conversations. You probably need 60 combined conversations, and that is conservative. Many people need 40 to 50, but it is hard for me to make recommendations without individual metrics in front of me.

Having said that, if a tenured recruiter did 20 marketing presentations and had 40 recruit conversations per week or 12 per day, they would probably be at $300,000 to $400,000 a year biller in today’s economy.


In Sum

Focus on Results, Not Phone Time: While phone time was considered a decent metric in the past, we now prioritize outcomes over the amount of time spent on the phone.

Connect Time vs. Presentations: Instead of tracking connect time, concentrate on making marketing presentations. If you’re looking to boost business development, aim for 4 to 8 marketing presentations a day initially, then reducing it to 3 or 4 once you secure some searches. This approach helps create and maintain momentum.

Consistency in Marketing: Make consistent marketing efforts, even when you’re overwhelmed with job openings. By committing to at least one marketing presentation a day, you ensure a continuous flow of potential opportunities.

Adapt to Individual Metrics: The number of marketing presentations and conversations required may vary depending on individual metrics, such as billing goals, average fees, and repeat business. Recruiters should adjust their daily targets accordingly.

Achieving Billing Targets: In today’s economy, a tenured recruiter who conducts around 20 marketing presentations and has about 40 recruitment conversations per week could achieve a billing range of $300,000 to $400,000 per year.

Hopefully that helps.

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