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How to Have Great Client Relationships from the First Meeting

If you’ve just started as a staffing professional, the inner workings of clients relationships may seem foreign to you. And if you’re new to medical sales recruiting, it can be a bit daunting!

You can be the best recruiter of all time when it comes to identifying and attracting top talent but if you don’t fully understand how the client prefers to connect with you or what they want out of the staffing process, their and your success is limited. 

A recent survey from Boardex confirms that 88% of professional services respondents agree that relationship capital management is critical. And 85% even indicated that their relationship capital had been a source of competitive advantage for them and their agency. 

To impress the likes of big Pharma, biospace, and the medical sales tech companies  (and your new boss), you must ask yourself what you need to know to make the client’s experience excellent from day 1. While you may not be able to satisfy their every whim, having a complete picture of their goals helps you dig in quickly and develop a plan of action to meet those needs and hire their next top medical sales rep. 

To guarantee you start on the right foot, use this checklist of the eight pieces of information you must know before you end the first meeting with a new client: 

The client’s communication preferences:

Best way to meet

Moving forward, what would be the best way for us to meet? Do you prefer phone calls, video conferences, or in-person meetings? 

Arguably the most impactful factor of solid client relationships is giving them the control to operate in a way that most conveniences them. Just the simple step of asking their preferred method of communication instead of demanding video conferences helps the client feel more comfortable with you. 

The best method for asynchronous communications

Would you prefer that I reach out via Slack, email, our recruiting management system, or a different method of digital communication? 

In this conversation, establish expectations for the types of communication you’ll be reaching out with. For example, do they prefer you go through different channels for general status updates and reports, timely requests, and requests for information that aren’t timely? 

Recommended reading: https://www.medreps.com/medical-sales-careers/healthcare-sales-recruiters-connect-with-passive-talent 

The client’s expectations for reports

I can send you a weekly recap on the status of all positions or give a progress report role by role. Which do you prefer? 

If your client can access the report through your recruiting management system, be sure to explain that they can view it directly at their convenience without waiting for you to send it over. 

What matters most is that you’re providing the options you’re able to execute with clear explanations of what each entails. 

Key Players

Who is the final decision-maker? Who are the critical people involved in this process that need access to reports and updates? 

To build effective client relationships, you need to know who the leaders at the company are. Accidentally cutting out a significant player from all your communication could rapidly create frustration. And at the same time, you don’t want to fill too many already full inboxes or delay a decision thinking someone else needs to respond.

The client’s staffing needs:

Branding information

What brand guidelines have you already established? 

Knowing the company’s colors and logos is helpful, but the top information you need relates to the brand voice. You’re representing the company in every ad, message, and job listing you write. So it’s crucial that what you present to candidates corresponds to the company’s image. 

Client’s definition of a great hire

Do you have a recent hire who’s impressed you? Can you send me their candidate materials?

You need to get at what excites the key players. It’s their industry and company, so their insights will give you a better understanding of who fits into their medical sales needs than hours of research on ‘on paper’ candidates not unique to them. 

Recommended reading: https://www.medreps.com/medical-sales-careers/sales-skills-requirements-resources 

What step in the staffing process they like to step in

Do you prefer to see a certain number of candidates per role? All candidates who meet the requirements? The top three who are the best fit? 

Here’s a sample of how we present candidate information. Is there anything additional you’d like to see in the initial report?

While some clients may be very hands-on in the staffing process, others may want to save as much time as possible and only look at the best candidates. This conversation point is excellent for showing the client what they’ll get from you and helping you know what to provide. 

Future goals

Do you already have established hiring goals and growth projections? Is there anything I can start planning now to help you achieve them? 

Impress clients by looking at the long-term. This conversation shows that you’re ready to get down to work, that you take their needs seriously, and that they’re not just a bullet on your to-do list to cross off. In addition, it establishes that you’re willing to invest in your client relationships.

Overall, remember to be specific when you give options and ask about preferences. A simple “what do you want” doesn’t instill confidence in your expertise. By diving into the details, you’re showing them you know what you need to set yourself up for success and how to set up clear expectations for both parties.