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Building Rapport With Clients

By: Maggie Lonsdale BA (hons) - Updated: 29 Aug 2015 | comments*Discuss
Clients Rapport Recruitment Business

Building a good rapport with your clients is one of the most important aspects in creating a successful recruitment business.

There is no ‘one solution for all’ though because all clients are different and your business needs to find its own level. Just because a certain type of client development worked when you worked at a major recruitment company does not mean that you need to continue the same way with your own recruitment agency.

The beauty of starting your own recruitment business is that you can do things your way. You may decide to take a great customer to the rugby for the day and blow all your client entertainment budget, or you may simply spend more time talking to clients on the phone and barely spend a bean.

The best way to make this process as effective as possible is to keep a detailed database of your clients, not just what CVs they’ve seen and who they’ve interviewed, but where they’ve been on holiday, anything they tell you about their family or what football team they support. As long as you don’t sound contrived, you can use this information to your advantage as it will show that you listen to them. Here are a few ideas for building good rapport with your clients, with some more expensive than others.

Client Meetings

Nothing beats a face to face meeting with a client. You can spend as long as you like on the phone with them (and that’s certainly important too) but actually putting a face to a name is a key part of building a relationship.

A good rule of thumb is that you need a reason to meet. Don’t just call a client and say you want to meet them or you will sound desperate and it won’t represent a good use of their time. Good reasons include seeing their office environment so you can better pitch CVs to them, discussing their upcoming projects or sharing with them the details of someone you think would be particularly suited to their business. Failing that, a good fall back is to say that you’re going to be in the area and can you pop in for five minutes to say hello.

Phone Rapport

We’ve already said that phone conversations are important, but you need to maintain a ‘quality’ in your telephone communication with clients. Mirror their pace and tone and it will put them at their ease and make them feel as though you are singing from the same hymn sheet.

As above, don’t just call without a reason. Think of a reason before you call and then you won’t get flustered. If the client says they’re not able to talk, ask if you can call back later or see when is a good time. Remember that recruitment is all about listening to people’s needs, so building rapport is often about illustrating that skill in other areas.


The days of huge expense accounts in recruitment seem to be behind us, but the odd day out is still appreciated. If you have a client that you particularly want to develop your relationship with, you could consider some sort of activity day or half day, or an incentive that’s relevant to their hobbies.

Don’t push it too far though or you’ll come across in the wrong manner, but tickets to a sporting event, the theatre or other ‘red letter days’ are welcome. If in doubt, a simple client lunch is less over the top though, just be careful to pick a suitable restaurant that promotes the right company image you’re aiming to portray.

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I need help startung up a recruitment agency.
FAB - 29-Aug-15 @ 7:40 PM
@vic - we can only give advice to follow via the article and all the others in the series which you will find at the bottom of the page such as Using New Media to Build Your Business - link here .
StartARecruitmentBusiness - 15-Dec-14 @ 9:59 AM
I am starting a recruitment agency and need help setting up my recruitment agency and really finding it difficult getting clients. please help
vic - 12-Dec-14 @ 2:21 PM
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