Ed Hunter: Alternative BD Methods

There’s a lot of chatter online that the infamous cold call is dead.

Now, first and foremost, I’d like to dispel that myth. The cold call isn’t dead. You’re just not very good at them. If you can cold call well, this article may not be for you. A successful cold call makes everyone’s life better.

Unless it’s someone calling you to tell you your dog’s just been hit by a snow plow. That would be considered a bad cold call.

But before this article descends into serious advice, let’s move on. Here are some Business Development activities to perform, if like many, you’re unable to do the basics of recruitment. Let me know how you get on.

1. BD Ninja Stars

So, you’re calling yourself a Recruitment Ninja on LinkedIn and you don’t even have your own Ninja Stars? Pretty pitiful. Oh… what’s that? You do have Ninja Stars? You keep them in the same cupboard as your Samurai sword and your perfect condition Warhammer figurines? Fair enough.

Not using them for BD though are you? I mean, if you’re going to have Ninja Stars and not throw them playfully at the walls of your top target clients are you even really a Recruitment Ninja?

No. You’re not. You’re just someone who doesn’t have friends within ‘this realm’.

2. Put alluring photos of yourself up in phone boxes

What do you know?

Well for starters you know that being alluring catches the eye.You also know that you’re alluring. See where I’m going here… All you need to do is fill in the blanks. Which ironically is the message you’re trying to purvey to your target client. Not sexually. Obviously.

You can use phone boxes for this. Or you can use any other regularly populated place. Your local Blockbusters. Tandy. Teletext.

3. Do a billboard

Advertising online’s great, as long as your client goes on to that specific website, at the precise time your ad is running.

It’s hardly cost effective though is it?

But… you do know that people read billboards. In fact, I’d be willing to bet you’re bored of looking at the same advertisements on the tube, in your car, on the commute or in fact any time you’ve ever seen a billboard. So, why not spice them up to your advantage?

A 30ft picture of you, ’roundhousing’ the competition, in a Ninja suit oughta do it?

‘The Recruitment Ninja Strikes Again’

4. Spray paint local squirrels with your logo

There’s currently an epidemic of grey squirrels plaguing the UK. Therefore by doing this you’re helping three parties…

1) Red Squirrels

2) The local fauna

3) Wildlife painters

Also, if your logo’s red this is another way to tackle the crisis. I don’t know why the red ones are better than the grey ones. Just suggesting they could be seems a bit like racial profiling. But if you can manage to spray paint them all one colour there’ll be less squirrel turf wars and we can all get on with our lives.

5. Make a blimp

People don’t really sell blimps any more. Something about the lack of safety’s made them fairly obsolete in the market place next to drones and hot air balloons.

Is this a shame? Sort of. Or… is it an advantage?

Tie yourself to a home made blimp and float outside a 37th floor window and people will start to notice you.

If billings are short right now (and I guess they would be if you’re considering this) then you can hack this trick with just a few party balloons and a tank of helium. Add that personal touch by conveying a fun message on the balloons.

“It’s a boy” is an old favourite and will add a certain ‘je ne sais quois’ when the authorities get involved and you make the local paper. Just remember to have a sharp-shooting spotter standing by if you over egg the amount of helium necessary for that small gap in between floor 37 and the outer atmosphere.

6. Get a job at your client and work them from the inside

Going under cover is always a good idea. Think of the MI.

If you’re able to convince your target company you’ve given up the lofty dream of reaching double figures on contract and have settled on the Janitor’s position you’ll be cashing cheques quicker than you can say “careful that floor’s still wet!”

Even better news? You’ll be able to re-use your favourite shiny suit in the interview and convince the interviewer you’re not too senior for the role.

7. Hide inside the elevator shaft after hours

This one needs a little planning. Firstly, you need access to a lift mechanic’s overalls. Simply put these on over your suit. Gain access to the lift shaft and hide in the top, making sure to take a picnic for a midnight snack. I’d suggest something like cured meats or bread. You don’t want anything that will turn easily if this turns into a two day strategy.

Then, it’s the waiting game.

You’ll know when the client gets in by looking through your peeping hole. All you need to do is spring out at the opportune moment and perform that must practiced elevator pitch.

You know, the one you perfected for your Grad interview all those years ago. Then, just sit back and watch the money come rolling in.

8. Perform a Barbershop Routine

Get three friends, or hire them if you don’t have three and put together a birthday Barbershop Quartet routine. I say birthday, because obviously, no one lets a barbershop quartet in the building on fake principles. Idiot.

But, watch that once salty Gatekeeper’s face soften when you stroll in, decked out in red and white stripes and burst into song. Just remember you’re probably going to have to rhyme your business name with something positive.

“We’ll give you much longer rebates”

“For candidates we hate”

“Just… Don’t. Ask. Us. For. Our RAAAaaaAAAaaaAAAaaaAAATES”


9. Wait in their dimly lit car park dressed as a clown

Nothing says “I want to fill your open positions” like a classic ‘clown in a car park’ prank.

If you really want to get their attention, I’d suggest holding a bat with a variety of red sauce dripping from it. Using a Waitrose Cranberry sauce here will reaffirm the fact you’re already really successful.

The best part of this BD technique is, you don’t even have to be in shape. In fact, it’s preferable if you’re not.

Just walking slowly towards your HOT target client with a tilted head will increase the drama. Therefore increasing the percentage you can charge when you dazzle them with that Drupal Developer’s CV.

You’re welcome everybody.

You’re welcome.