Client Qualification Process

The qualification of a client starts long before the IT staffing sales representative actually sits down with the client. It starts with the very first phone call. There is a small window of time on any sales call to introduce yourself, pitch the services of your IT recruiting firm and secure a meeting. Often times sales representatives forget to start the qualification process. By simply asking the official title of the IT manger and what role he or she will play in the hiring process, the IT staffing account manager can then tailor their meeting and qualification process to that person. For example, a director may review and approve the consultant budget.  However, they will likely leave hiring responsibilities to those IT managers and team leads who report into them. Therefore, the structure of your meeting and the way you qualify the director will likely be different from meetings with their line managers and/or team leads.

After the IT staffing sales representative has set that all important first meeting, the homework begins. It is impossible to successfully qualify a client if you do not know what role he or she plays– or what their company even does. Today’s sales reps have it easy due to numerous outlets to source information from such as LinkedIn, Hoovers, Vault, company websites and internal databases. The key is to utilize all of this information. Some important information to gather before you meet with any client:

• Company Industry
• Competitors
• Total company employees
• Number of company locations
• Location of Company Headquarters
• Subsidiaries
• Divisions
• Any current open positions
• Technologies

It is important to remember that the information you gather before the meeting must also be verified during the meeting, as the information online is not always accurate. After gathering all of this information the IT staffing sales representatives should start to envision the structure of the client meeting and prepare to meet the client in person.

To accurately qualify a client, an account manager in the IT recruiting industry must start precise, then gradually broaden their questions. For example, start by asking questions around the individual you are meeting with:

• Verify their title (if you have not already done so over the phone)
• Their role and responsibilities
• Number of direct reports
• Size of team (IT Consultants v FTE)
• Technology stack
• What role they play in the hiring process
• How many consultants they have hired over the past year and whether they utilized IT recruiting firms for assistance
• What IT recruiting agencies they have relationships with
• Proposed budget and/or project pipeline
• Current or future IT staffing needs

If done correctly, these questions can be the starting point for the IT staffing sales representative.  They can then broaden their questions in an effort to learn more about the overall information technology department and other IT managers. For example, when the client is detailing the company’s technology stack, the sales rep can ask who oversees each and can then start to build an organization chart. When the account manager asks about the hiring process, they can also ask who approves budget, who selects the IT recruiting companies and what other IT managers are involved in interviews.

It takes more than one meeting to thoroughly qualify a client; it’s an ongoing process since most hiring needs and responsibilities are constantly changing. Therefore it is important to understand what the most pressing qualifying questions are and which ones can wait until follow up meetings. The key is to make these meetings feel conversational, so each technical staffing sales representative must find their own personal style in which they gather information.

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AVID (Applications, Voice, Internet, Data) Technical Resources is a leading Information Technology recruiting company. Specializing in placing contract and permanent personnel in both Infrastructure Support and Applications Development positions, AVID has a national presence supporting clients ranging from small businesses to Fortune 100 companies. Headquartered in Boston, MA, AVID has achieved tremendous growth since the firm's inception in 2003. This has triggered numerous national awards and recognition, such as being named to Inc. 500 Magazine's list of 5,000 Fastest Growing Privately-held Companies in the US in 2010, 2011 and 2013. Additionally, the firm boasts of having more than 100 five-star reviews on Google from clients and candidates who rave about their experience and interaction with the firm's recruiters.