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Top 5 Reasons Recruiters Don’t Close the Deal

by | May 17, 2016 | Top Echelon Blog

In a previous post for the Top Echelon Recruiter Training Blog, I asked (and answered) the question, “What is the ‘Total Account Executive’ in Recruiting?” In this blog post, I’m going to address account executives again, specifically why they fail to close the deal and what they can do about it.

Let’s not waste time. Below are the top five reasons why account executives don’t close the deal in recruiting:

1. They don’t feel entitled to close, because they haven’t made a commitment to the business and so never got the information necessary to close at the beginning of the relationship.

2. They sometimes agree with the employer’s excuses to delay rather than the recruiter’s need to get a decision. Unfortunately, “time kills all deals.” The more delay, the more likely this situation will not come together for us.

3. They fear losing something—usually caused when they don’t have a full hot sheet. We all need five full situations or 10 splits on our hot sheets in order to guarantee our success.

4. They have a hard time hearing “No.”  We need to teach our recruiters that this is not rejection, but a refusal to do business.  It’s not personal; it’s just the way business is conducted.

5. People, by their very nature, are wishers and hopers.  We sometimes think that if we wish and hope hard enough, our deal will come together.  And sometimes that happens, but this is not a sound business strategy.

I believe that selling and using closes is merely telling the truth in an attractive manner. Now, before I start discussing these “sales packaging” techniques, I need to reaffirm that “sales” is NOT a dirty word. In my mind, it is merely more attractively packaging our candidates and job orders.

I am not advocating trying to talk people into doing something that they truly don’t want to do, or that is not in their self-interest. It is merely packaging. It is an attempt to bring the advantage to our side. Think of it this way: When I am giving you a gift, I can toss it to you unwrapped and say, “Here’s your gift” or I can carefully wrap it in pretty paper and put a big bow on it and gently present it to you.

Which gift do you think has the greater value? It is the one that I wrapped. Think of closes in this way. They are gift-wrapped. And we are salespeople, and salespeople use closes.

“Always Be Closing” the deal

When I teach closes, I want you to know where they come from and how to use them in your business. Learn how to use them on every phone call and in every sentence for every contact in your recruiting software. That’s why the great sales trainers teach the ABCs: Always Be Closing.

Closes are used to structure your conversations. Like a guide, you should know where you want to go. You just need to take your prospects with you. Closes are the tools you use to amplify your chances of success. And you use many and diverse closes every day. You don’t want to be caught short-handed. One of Abraham Maslow’s greatest quotes is, “When the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.”

Different closes are used for different situations. You need to know them all. Only when you learn a close by name, will that close become part of your repertoire. Then you need to role-play them; you need to rehearse them. They all work but only if you use them. As we say in recruiting, “I can’t guarantee you many things, but I can guarantee you one thing: That everyone you don’t call, you won’t make a placement with.”

Remember that closes don’t always work. They are in your toolbox to amplify your chances of success—a way to up the odds in your favor.

As in baseball, the difference between a marginal .250 hitter and a league-leading .350 hitter is only one more hit at every ten times a bat. Great home run hitters also strike out the most. Great base stealers also get thrown out the most.

Knowing and properly applying  the closes can help you to lead your league in production.

Training Video: Uncover Hidden Candidates 

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Bob Marshall of TBMG International, founder of The Marshall Plan, has an extensive background in the recruiting industry as a recruiter, manager, vice president, president, consultant, and trainer. In 2016, Marshall is celebrating his 36th year in the recruiting business. He can be reached at or at 770.898.5550. Marshall’s website is

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