5 Top Business Development Tips for Recruiters

5 Top Business Development Tips for Recruiters

This blog is perfect for recruiters that spend their days trying to avoid any business development. We’re joking… kind of. If you’re wanting to improve your sales techniques, have better conversations and ultimately book more business, you’re in the right place.

Some recruiters are natural salespeople, and some aren’t, but this doesn’t mean that you can’t be successful. We’ve spoken to some of our highest billers and compiled a list of their top 5 tips on how to get better at business development in recruitment. Their job titles include Client Relationship Manager, Business Development Manager and Head of Sales. Read their tips below:

1. Talk less, listen more

Instead of trying to sell a solution, ask about the problem. Gain a real understanding of the business, the issues they may be having, their challenges and goals, and use this to adapt your pitch. Prospects are much more likely to buy from you once they realise what you’re selling will add value to them, so avoid jumping straight in and take some time to understand your client’s needs.

2. Have a real plan of action

Plan every sales call around the intelligence that you have gathered from other resources, such as candidates, references and market intelligence. Use this information to create a plan for your calls – what do you know? Why are you calling? What do you want to achieve? Approaching your business development this way will help you to be more efficient and more successful.

3. Build relationships, not just accounts

Do not underestimate the importance of relationship building, it’s fundamental for your business development efforts. Keep in mind that calls aren’t always going to convert into an immediate sale but making yourself memorable is likely to increase your chances further down the line. Some of our most successful business developers keep in touch with their clients, they ask how their kids are and remember their birthdays. Combining this with valuable recruitment advice and expertise will go a long way.

4. Learn from the best

This may seem obvious, but it’s surprising how many recruiters admit that they don’t ask their colleagues for advice. Whether you’re new to a recruitment agency, or been there for years, identify the recruiters that make business development look easy, and learn from them.
When listening in on a sales call, look out for how they open and close their calls, the questions they ask, and how they do it. If they’re achieving great success from their technique, it’s likely you could be too.

5. What’s the worst that could happen?

Put things into perspective and remember that mistakes are the most vital part of learning. If your last sales conversation didn’t go great, work out what went wrong and move on to the next one. Sometimes business development can feel like a sea of rejection, especially in the beginning, but there’s no reason to be nervous about picking up the phone and making a BD call. The more conversations you have, the better you will get, and the better you will feel.


These tips have come straight from some of our most successful recruiters and managers, each of which have a proven track record in business development. Using this advice will help you to feel more confident with cold calling your clients and candidates and ultimately have a more successful career in recruitment.

Recruitment jobs

Looking for a new job in recruitment? A career at ATA Recruitment guarantees a fun, fast-paced and target-driven environment, with a generous basic salary and uncapped commission. As well as the perks of the job, Even the most seasoned recruiters will benefit from our outstanding training programme, which includes more help with business development and other tools for success in your recruitment career.

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