Peter Mills, Country Manager, McCall Asia reflects on the importance of impressing your client.
Last month saw Singapore come to a standstill for the prestigious Formula 1 Grand Prix. The showpiece event of the sporting calendar in Singapore truly is a fantastic sight to be seen whether you are watching it on the television or living the atmosphere anywhere in the city on race weekend. Corporate sponsorship is everywhere and it seems like nearly every company large and small from every industry has something arranged for clients and staff to enjoy.
As all recruiters know the lasting client relationships you build throughout your career are what makes this job more enjoyable and easier in the long run. The statistics back this up as normally you will achieve 80 per cent of your business from your top 20 per cent of clients (Pareto’s Law works in recruitment!). Building and maintaining strong client relationships are paramount to what we do and more emphasis is being put on looking after these relationships.
Entertaining clients has always been an important outlay for most recruitment companies as they see the opportunity to further strengthen the company and the personal relationships with their contacts and in turn getting a jump start on the competition. In Singapore at the Grand Prix there are a number of corporate options to choose from including paddock tickets, corporate boxes, stand tickets or walkabout tickets giving every level of business an opportunity to entertain but within their own budget. Being a major event it also has the added bonus of excellent before and after entertainment which on most occasions is tailored to suit all ages and tastes. More and more major sporting events are catering to not just the traditional big businesses but any business however small allowing more and more options for every level of business. The Singapore Grand Prix is always an excellent time and occasion for local recruiters to wine and dine and entertain clients – but with more and more competition coming daily the question is: is it enough?
Time to impress
In the market generally there is typically less client entertainment now than there was – the expectation isn’t there like it was in the 90s and in the recession the funding lessened anyway. Traditionally many companies will host golf days for their clients as it is a slower paced sport where there is plenty of time to discuss business including drinks at the 19th hole.
Many top golf clubs require membership now so this can sometimes be a very nice exclusive event where participation is high. Whether it is golf or wining and dining at a posh restaurant cementing relationships with your clients can only be good for your business.
Strong personal contacts are always essential in recruitment and any sales related jobs. Unfortunately for many companies the entertainment budget is normally the first sacrifice when times get hard and revenues are down. So what value can be put on client relationships and what is the best way to cement and grow them?
Surely it’s all in the delivery and most importantly: the results. We can all have good rapports and relationships but the proof is in the pudding – if you deliver and good give service then isn’t that the most that can be expected? This is how business spirals, positive feedback gaining recommendations and referrals. No one is going to give business because of being ‘nice’ and friendly anymore, but they will refer to colleagues and associates if they get what they expect in a timely and professional manner.
Spending time with your network and having the ability to wine and dine and entertain can give you an edge with any client but when it comes down to it nothing beats delivering a quality service and in recruitment that means great candidates too.