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Opening a Staffing Firm? 5 Alternatives to Cold Calls That Really WORK

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If you’re starting up a new staffing firm, you have myriad operational issues to address. From selecting a location to purchasing equipment to hiring a team of account managers, there’s so much to get done.

And once you do get your office setup and staffed, you face another daunting challenge: 

How will you get job orders? 

Sure, your account managers can cold call, but who wants to do that? Frankly, most salespeople hate cold calling (I know I do) – and prospects hate receiving them.

While sales calls will always remain an essential part of selling (we’re not suggesting you eliminate them entirely), here are a few alternatives to radically improve and simplify the process as you setup your sales operations:

1) Don’t ask to see the decision-maker

Sound counterintuitive? Receptionists and other front office personnel are gatekeepers. If you try to (metaphorically) push your way past them the first time you meet them, you’ll likely be met with resistance. So work with the system! On drop by calls, leave a copy of an intriguing article about issues that are critical to your ideal clients. In the materials you drop off, don’t pitch your staffing services; offer ideas of real value. Then follow-up with a call, email and LinkedIn invite to discuss the ideas with the appropriate person.

2) Lunch and learn

Target a specific office park (or local group of businesses) with an invitation to a “Lunch and Learn” seminar on relevant business best practices, exclusively for companies in that area.

3) Try free offers

 Find companies that are working with your competitors and structure a limited offer for working with your staffing firm. For example, you could offer a few hours of free temp help on their next order when an employer places the initial one. Explain that you’re willing to extend the free offer to demonstrate your agency’s abilities. Just make sure you create an offer that sets the stage for doing more business together in the future (and doesn’t send your company to the poor house!).

4) Conduct market research

 Develop a market research survey to learn about the trends and issues important to your clients and prospects. Call people to ask them to participate in the survey, and then offer to send a copy of the results at no charge as a “thank you” for participating. In the process, you’ll also learn a ton about your customers’ mindsets – which will help you do a better job meeting their needs.

5) Be an “un-salesman”

Send a letter to targeted prospects telling them that you’d love to work with their firm, but you will not interrupt their day with unsolicited calls. Tell them you want to introduce yourself with an “un-sales” process. Follow up with a series of letters or interesting drop-offs that focus on the kinds of business problems you can solve, the glowing testimonials you have from other clients, or the unique capabilities of your service team. Ideally, make each piece memorable by including a clever promotional item or attention-grabbing graphics.

Admittedly, a couple of these ideas are a little out of the ordinary, but that’s kind of the point! If you want to stand out from the competition, be viewed as more than a commodity, and steer clear of cold calls,  you have to be willing to do things differently.


Want high-quality inbound leads – without cold calling?

Give Haley Marketing a call. Our digital and inbound marketing specialists will design a solution that builds your brand, kickstarts your sales operations and keeps the leads flowing.

About the Author: Brad Smith is the Director of SEO and Social Media with Haley Marketing Group, a Bullhorn Marketplace partner, and a leading provider of websites, blog writing, social media and other marketing services to the staffing industry.