3 Essential Changes You Must Make to your Sales Messaging Strategy in 2022 and Beyond


Henna Pryor: Welcome as you are coming in. We'll introduce ourselves properly in a moment, but I would just love it if you would throw into the chat, just where are you in the country or in the world and how many years in staffing? Just give me a sense of who's here using the chat. If you could. We'll give it just one more minute to get everyone else.

Henna Pryor: Jersey I'm in the Philly metro area Matthew, the Netherlands. Awesome. We were supposed to go to Amsterdam this past August, but. I had to cancel and that's a lot of Jersey in the house. All right, India. Awesome. We took our kids there right before COVID. That was nice. Squeezed it in right before the world got difficult.

Henna Pryor: Awesome. Got some Chicago, got some Detroit, Cape town. Awesome Mexico. I was just there in November. Fantastic. Awesome. Awesome. All right. It looks like we've got a couple more people coming in, but I do want to respect everyone's time and we've got a full schedule. So let's go ahead and kick this off, but keep sharing in the chat, you know, where you're calling in from and how long you've been in the business.

Henna Pryor: I'd love to get a sense. So let me go ahead and share my screen and then we will get into some introductions. I see some Kforce in the house. Hi Alisha, all right, so let's get going here. I am going to share. And we take my eye off the chat for just a second, but welcome to this session. I'm so excited to have everyone here.

Henna Pryor: This session is 3 essential changes you must make to your messaging strategy in your staffing business. I'd actually love to know before we get started. If you have seen one of my sessions ever before, whether it was last year at World Staffing Summit, or you've seen me in some other capacity drop a yes into the chat.

Henna Pryor: I'm just curious. How many are familiar with some of this topic that I'm so crazy and passionate about. So drop a yes. If this is not the first time you've seen me talk about this subject in general. And I'll come back to that, but I'm going to give you a sense of what we're going to learn today.

Henna Pryor: This is if you have seen me before you learned a few things or have some similarity, but this is an entirely new session. If you have not seen last year's session from the World Staffing Summit, it is available for recording. It's one of my favorite ones and I would highly encourage you to go touch that and watch that recording.

Henna Pryor: But here's what we're going to learn about today. We are going to learn the 2022 balance between cold calling and messaging, which is not the same as the 2012 or the 2002, as you can probably imagine, we're going to learn three essential, but easy changes to make today to your messaging strategy and then what type of results to expect and how to execute them.

Henna Pryor: And I'm so excited today that it's not just me talking to you guys. I actually am honored to have a special guest from a previous student who has done just that and seen these results firsthand. Also just a heads up. If you're with me through the end of this, I know you've got a lot of sessions you're going through, but I can see that you're committed to making this better.

Henna Pryor: If you've never grabbed it, I'm going to give you instructions on how to grab my free bonus guide, which is how to write a follow-up email that gets a reply. And it's a fan favorite. It's got one of my favorite strategies in there that pretty much works every time. So stay on until the end of the session.

Henna Pryor: And I will share how to grab that. Now, before we dive in, I have to say this one thing, quick housekeeping items. Turn your phone upside down. Just do it for me right now. Put it upside down. Because part of what we're talking about today is attention. Attention is a currency in 2022 and beyond. It is hard to get and keep people's attention.

Henna Pryor: So if you can't get it and keep it, how can we expect to do it for your clients and candidates? Okay. Part of this is a mental exercise. This is what we're competing against. So go ahead, turn your phone over. Minimize your email, minimize your LinkedIn. You will learn something today and let's quickly take a second.

Henna Pryor: Before we dive into do some introductions. For those who do not know me are not familiar. I am Henna Pryor. I spent 14 years in staffing with a company that is near and dear to my heart called K force. I was mostly finance and accounting, but I was there through the worst of the 2008, 2010 recession.

Henna Pryor: So I will tell you that I have worked on everything. I've worked in Tech to Marketing. I worked on ops. I did a lot of contracts as well. We did a merged model towards my later years, and I'm honored to say that I was a firm top producer for the entirety of my career, which on its own is unremarkable.

Henna Pryor: There's plenty of people who are top producers, but what continuously put a spotlight on me over the years was the fact that after my children were born, my oldest was born in 2010. Second one was 2012. My numbers rather than going down because I was working less actually, went up. So I stopped my day at 3:30 every day.

Henna Pryor: My best year at Kforce, they built over a million dollars that year. And I took six weeks of international vacation with my family that year. I don't have a live-in nanny. We don't have to live with our grandparents. My husband works full time and I can say without a doubt, the thing that made that impact was my messaging for every 20 emails I sent, I would get 15 responses where my coworkers, teammates, friends would say, God, it's so hard to even get 2.

Henna Pryor: Right. So that is what we're going to talk about today. I mentioned Kforce. So I'm honored to introduce my guest. She is Basia Schwartz. Basia I'll let you introduce yourself a little bit. Tell us who you are. 

Basia Schwartz: Thanks hannah. 

Basia Schwartz: Hi everyone. I'm Basia Schwartz. I work at Kforce . I've been at Kforce for the last few years.

Basia Schwartz: I'm now a Market Manager in our Boston market. And luckily I had the chance to work at K force for Henna's last year here. And everyone knew her name. Everyone, you know, Henna was fantastic. She did a really great job and we were lucky enough to have her come back and do her training. So when I heard that it was Henna doing the training, I just listened to everything.

Basia Schwartz: She said, I was essentially a sponge. I took in everything. Cause I knew she did very well and I wanted to do the same. So I listened to everything and I've implemented these strategies that we're going to talk about today. And I've seen a huge change in my business. In fact, I think it actually tripled from the year prior to when Henna spoke with us last year and I'm just excited to share it with everyone else.

Henna Pryor: Awesome. Can we just put a little spotlight on that? Did she say tripled? Tripled? Okay. So this is important stuff, guys. Let's jump into some strategy. I know you want the good stuff, so let's do this. So why are we here? Why are you spending an hour of your day with me today? You have choices of things you could be doing.

Henna Pryor: You can be answering your email. You can be on LinkedIn sourcing. Why are you here? I'm assuming you signed up for this session of the World Staffing Summit, because you want to make some money and grow your business, right? I'm assuming you are already sending emails and direct messages and texts. I'm assuming that it's part of your job.

Henna Pryor: And if you are doing that, then I'm hoping that you've also started to recognize that times are changing and really have changed permanently that people do not pick up the phone as much as they used to. First of all, again, I always have to acknowledge if you agree with me on this, thank you. Because there are still percentages of people, pockets of people who are anchoring back to the past and saying, Nope, we're not playing the email game.

Henna Pryor: We're smiling and dialing all day every day. Listen, smiling and dialing has its place. I'm not the anti phone girl, contrary to what some people think. But you are behind the ball. If you don't think that your digital communication, your emails, your messaging, your copy matter immensely. It's 2022. And it's time to accept this.

Henna Pryor: So let's talk about some new numbers. Okay. The latest data says over 90% of people screen their phone calls and don't pick up an unknown phone number anymore over 90%. Okay. I don't, if you're not programmed in here, I don't pick this up. And here's the newest data. Baylor university actually recently did a huge study where experienced sales professionals across various industries made thousands of calls and they measured the data.

Henna Pryor: Okay. And these aren't newbies, these are experienced high-performing sales professionals, the results aren't going to surprise you very much. 55% of the calls went unanswered, which actually thought that was more, that one on answer or less than one on answer to what I expected. 55% one on it unanswered 17% were non-working numbers.

Henna Pryor: Right. And then 27% were just not interested or they refused additional information. They didn't want to talk further than that. And the study reveals that for every 330 calls made, one appointment was set. That percentage stinks. Okay. But despite everything against it, all the data against it, it does work sometimes, right?

Henna Pryor: I'm not an anti phone person. It does work. Sometimes. I know some people who have great success with it. I know some people who swear by it, it sticks around because it definitely works. Sometimes we see why managers want us to keep doing this. The human voice does really matter in this process, but the phone and this cold calling in particular is now part of a multi-channel strategy.

Henna Pryor: I'm not asking you to replace, but it is part of a multi-channel strategy. So you can dig in your heels that smiling and dialing is the way exclusively. And yes, getting people on the phone and meeting them is important, but your team is not ahead of the game. In fact, you are behind the ball. If you don't believe that your sales messaging matters immensely, most people now use digital communication, email messaging, texting as their preferred method of communication.

Henna Pryor: That's a fact, Hey, and like it or not, people will instantly judge you and whether or not they want to work with you based in large part, by the words that you use. So email and direct messaging think LinkedIn, et cetera, is by and large. The number one form of communication in business in 2022 phone and meetings visits, they're 100% useful.

Henna Pryor: Once the conversation gets started and you are getting to know each other, Hey, it has its place. I'm very firm in that it has its place. But again, it's part of a multi-strategy approach. Emailing and messaging is inherently a more convenient way to contact people, but it's by no means. Perfect. So let's first talk about the one big con that we need to overcome with sales messaging and emailing the one big con competition, right?

Henna Pryor: The person you are trying to reach has hundreds of emails in their inbox and you're right. Many of them probably won't even be opened since it only takes a couple of seconds for someone to delete your message. And those are the lucky emails. Right. Think of all the emails that are blocked by spam filters or sent directly to the junk folder.

Henna Pryor: So if you hoped for a higher success rate for your emails and are not getting it, you're out of luck, unless you have a system and a process to understand who your target prospect is and to write the right message for them or for that group of people, the way most people in staffing email or write.

Henna Pryor: They haven't even lower success rate than cold calls. Hey, it's like one to 3% for people who write the old way. So this is why you occasionally get those quarterly articles. That email is dead, right? Email is dead. Email is not dead. You check your email every day. I check my email every day. Email is not dead, but here's the rub that email is dead.

Henna Pryor: Email is dead, only poorly written emails are dead. So let's talk about the pros to sales messaging. The pros is, first of all, you can connect with anyone with the right research techniques and the right message. You can connect with anyone and they can read your message whenever they're ready to receive your message.

Henna Pryor: Email is very simple to learn. Anyone can send an email, even my 74 year old dad. Who's terrible at email can learn to send an email, however, to get people to actually open and respond to your email that requires training and an effective strategy. So sales messaging pro number two. Another advantage is that you can connect and convert at scale.

Henna Pryor: Another advantage is that when your team, anyone recruiting sales, when they learn how to effectively cold email, you actually don't even need the same level of people skills. Or if you've had a bad day, a chipper attitude than a phone. With cold emailing. You don't always need to have those turned on to a level 10.

Henna Pryor: Hey, this is actually the beauty of it with the right techniques and the right applications. You can connect and convert at scale as well. People are increasingly using automation. They're trying to stay in front of people. So when you write it correctly, you can automate certain elements, thus increasing your response rate and your cold email volume together.

Henna Pryor: You can leverage the scale. And then the last pro is that you can make your prospects happy. Hey, much happier than the experience that they're getting right now. And you can be less miserable yourself while you do it. The most important person in our world is our prospect, right? Client or candidate, cold emailing is convenient and easy for them.

Henna Pryor: Again, they can read and respond to your email in between meetings or before their morning commute or after their kids go to sleep. However, just because it's easy for them to respond, it doesn't mean that they will. Right. We know that and we can't make the common mistake of just thinking we need to just send out more.

Henna Pryor: We need to just send out more emails. No, that's called bothering people and badgering people more is not the answer. It's not a pure numbers game. There is a process. So the good news is that sales messaging or sales copywriting learning this is the key to unlocking all of these amazing outcomes. So what is it before I give you how we do it?

Henna Pryor: What is copywriting in staffing in particular? So just so we're all speaking the same language. Ultimately sales copywriting is anything intended to persuade the right reader, viewer or listener to take a specific action. In other words, after they read your message, you want someone to do something.

Henna Pryor: This isn't just informational. This isn't just our newsletter. That's going out to everyone after they read your message. You want someone to do something. So for the way we talk in staffing copy is writing messaging or words, all the same thing. Okay. So again, copy copywriting. What does it look like in staffing?

Henna Pryor: Any of this stuff? Hey, any of this stuff, any words that you use in recruiting and BD, we're talking subject lines, email messages, drip campaigns, cold messages on LinkedIn, sales presentations, candidate, write ups, job advertisements that you post any words that you post on social media. So any of the words that you use on your computer day in and day out, anything that has to do with your business and your career, these are sales copywriting, the words that you use to get people's attention, the words that you use to get people to know, like, and trust you, the words that you use to influence and sell.

Henna Pryor: I know there are parts of you probably resisting this right now, going, oh gosh, Hannah, I'm not a copywriter. I didn't sign up in staffing to be a copywriter. Well, I have a question. Do you do any part of your selling behind the keyboard? I wrote in the chat? Yes or no. Do you do any part of your selling behind a keyboard?

Henna Pryor: Then let me give you a new title. You are a copywriter, you are a copywriter. If you do any part of it, you are a copywriter and in an attention deficit attention starved world, your sales messaging, most of the time, is the only thing that determines whether or not people pay attention to you. Ouch a little, but it's the truth.

Henna Pryor: It's the only thing that determines whether somebody wants to respond to you to open this, to click this, to pay attention to this attention is a currency in 2022, and you need to earn it. Okay. Lazy messaging does not work anymore. And I'm going to put my stake in the ground. If you've never heard me say this good sales messaging is no longer nice to have in staffing.

Henna Pryor: It used to be. I started in staffing in 2005. It used to be, it was secondary to the process, but nowadays 2022 onward, it is not a nice to have is a non-negotiable because honestly the recruiting and sales process rarely starts without it. It doesn't start without it any longer. Writing powerful sales messages is truly the most important skill that you'll develop.

Henna Pryor: And it is a skill. It's not something that you have to be born with or have natural to you. Sales writing is a skill. And even if you think whoosh Henna doesn't know how bad I am at this, you can write better sales messaging with the proper training. So I'm going to let you off the hook. As we start to go through the lessons today, just know that you don't need to be a good writer to write strong, effective sales messages.

Henna Pryor: My degree was in finance. I didn't graduate with English or Journalism. I invested in myself, I taught myself how to do this. I've now taught thousands of other people how to do it. You just need to learn some foundational techniques and a few key practices and you'll be leaps and bounds ahead of where you are right now.

Henna Pryor: Okay. So let's jump in. We're going to talk about each strategy in a block, the three strategies, and then Basia and I are going to talk about how this looks in application. So the three essential changes you must make to your messaging strategy. You might be thinking that to get someone to open your cold email, it's all about the job that you have or the candidate that you have on offer.

Henna Pryor: Or maybe it's some magic email script that you can copy. I hate to break it to you. That's not the case. Okay. A cold email message needs three elements to get a response. And so these are the three elements we're going to break them down one by one, a great cold email message that actually gets responses has the right context, the right linguist and the right message. 

Henna Pryor: So in today's discussion, we're going to talk about some specific, actionable ways to hit all three of these buckets. There's multiple ways to hit all three of these buckets. What we're going to start with some actionable ways today. So first let's quickly talk about context. When we talk about context, the right context, what this essentially means is what's happening in your prospect's world right now, what's happening in their world right now.

Henna Pryor: Not what's happening in my world. What's happening in their world right now. I could spend the entire hour on this one. Okay. But I'm going to give you an example just to make it really real, most staffing emails start with something like this, right? Hi Maya. I hope all is well. My name is John Smith and I work for XYZ staffing firm. I have been here for five years and I specialize in finance and administrative contract placement. My firm is different because. Blah, blah, blah. Right? So here's the problem. This is all about the recruiter or the staffing person, John Smith, and has nothing of interest to hook the reader. Maya, we're trying to hook her.

Henna Pryor: Remember attention is a currency. So she's a candidate. We're trying to hook her to make a job change. If she's a client, we're trying to hook her attention to partner with us on a potential hire. We are trying to make a connection with Maya quickly, because again, we don't have attention to spare. We've got a couple of seconds so that she keeps reading what we have to say and gets back to us, right?

Henna Pryor: The beginning of this message is not only generic, but it's entirely about John Smith and not about the reader. You can see this so you can tell them about you later, but we can't start messages this way. We can't. Okay. So essential messaging strategy, essential change you need to make. Number one is. Is to please switch the spotlight.

Henna Pryor: So let me tell you how this works and then Basia and I will give you a couple of examples, but here's how this works in your messaging at any given moment in time, the spotlight can only be shining in one place. Okay? We don't work in a two spotlight type of industry. It can either be on you or it can be on your prospect.

Henna Pryor: So if the spotlight is on you, the focus is on your background, your firms, you know, how many years you've been in the business, your experience, your credentials, your goals, Hey, it's always on you. However, the moment you move that light over and you shine it on your prospect, what happens then? What happens is that the focus of your words and your energy shifts to your prospect, meaning the people that you serve, their problems, their aspirations, their dreams, their goals, what are they going through?

Henna Pryor: Right in staffing, most of us get this wrong. Most of us get this wrong. We put so much attention on ourselves to appear. Like we know it all and we have all the information and where are the experts? We want people to look at us as credible and professional, and we don't put nearly enough of that attention on our candidates and clients, not nearly enough.

Henna Pryor: And here's the truth, your prospects, especially in this era that we live in right now, once it feels seen, heard, and acknowledged, okay. They want to feel seen, heard, and acknowledged. And it's our job as staffing professionals to make that happen. It's our job. They want to feel emotionally invested and emotionally connected to what we're saying, which is really good for us because emotion drives sales.

Henna Pryor: So let me show you a quick after. Okay. That was before. So here's a better after, Hey Maya, has the expansion thrown into your routine. I have several impressive financial analysts that can jump in and help you reclaim your time and jumpstart the return of a more manageable schedule. Hey, if you've been with me before, you've seen me talk about this.

Henna Pryor: We can feel the difference viscerally right here. When the attention is on the recruiter, John Smith, it's all about him. It's the John Smith show. We can see that we can feel that, but when we shift the attention on to Maya at the beginning, it hits really differently. We're speaking directly to our client's emotion, has the expansion thrown your routine off, and she's thinking to herself of God. Yes, I'm tired. This has been crazy. This is nuts. I can't handle this anymore. You're speaking directly to your prospect's emotion and everyone buys on emotion first and they justify with logic second. So hopefully you can see how powerful this is.

Henna Pryor: This one little shift will help you write better, more prospect centric messages. So let's open this up for a little bit of discussion here. So, I know I didn't have the slides didn't show on that one. Right. But yeah, just checking. Okay. No worries. You don't need them. But just wanted to talk that through and I actually am going to put them up momentarily, but Basia how have you seen this show up for you in practice?

Basia Schwartz: Yeah. Before K force, I was working as a swim instructor, so I had no background in finance and accounting, and I had no background in sales. I work on our finance and accounting team, and I thought in my messaging and getting prospects to want to work with me, I had to prove myself to them. I had to prove why they should want to work with me.

Basia Schwartz: And how did I do that? I did that through explaining who I am. You should work with me because I work at K force. It's a big company and explaining it that way. And no one wanted to work with me. They didn't care. They didn't care who I was. I didn't care about my background. Keep worse, great really big name company, but they didn't care about that.

Basia Schwartz: They cared about what, why them, why would they want, or why would the company want to speak with this person and their background? And when I started implementing your strategies, one example is I always say, you know, your progressive experience within this industry, if it's the same industry as what my client is looking for, or your specific background examples, that's what my client wants.

Basia Schwartz: And that's why we should work together because they're looking for you and your background is what is going to get them excited. Not my background.

Henna Pryor: Exactly. And that's just it, you know, we forget sometimes, and we don't forget, we know this intuitively, but we are in service of our clients and candidates and they need to feel that they need to feel that we are there to serve them.

Henna Pryor: And when we, you know, again, with our best intentions, start by talking about ourselves, Immediately that feeling of service disappears into a puff of smoke. This single change, this starting with the spotlight on the other person is what I can describe in marketing. They'll call it the hook, right?

Henna Pryor: How do you hook people? How do you get their attention quickly? And keep it. They're going to start to notice this. Now, when you look at your own email box, when you look at websites, when you are hooked by something, I guarantee they're not talking about their stuff, it's something about you. Do you deal with this?

Henna Pryor: Are you feeling this too? Is this something that is part of your experience when we get hooked by something, any good marketing hook is talking about the other person and in staffing, for some reason we've been really behind on including that as part of the discussion. So I love that and Basia does it extremely well in her clients and candidates feel that, right?

Henna Pryor: Like they feel that difference in your messaging. Awesome. And guys, I apologize. I've not used Airmeet in the past, so apparently the slides didn't didn't share, but hopefully caught my, you didn't need them. I think we could talk about it too. So let's try this one more time and I'm gonna make sure they actually go this time. 

Henna Pryor: Basia, give me a yes there. I see it. Now. There it is. Okay. We didn't, we didn't need it before, so no worries. So let's talk about essential strategy number two, and that is the right linguistics. Actually I'm gonna stop sharing for a second. Who knows what this acronym stands for? Anybody familiar with this acronym?

Henna Pryor: K I S S, throw me out. Yes, you need to. I'll make sure we get a copy of the presentation. What does K I S S stand for? Yeah. As we know, a couple of people who have it, keep it simple. Stupid. Yeah. It's kind of, kind of, not very nice, but yeah, so yeah the general is KISS. Keep it simple. So how does this apply in our sales messaging?

Henna Pryor: Okay. We have one thing that we do all the time and staffing. A lot of us are guilty of that. A lot of us, and I don't know why we started doing it, but please stop using big fancy words. Please stop using big fancy words in your messaging to the repeat offenders in this space. Please hear me on this one.

Henna Pryor: Okay. There's a reason we do this by the way. There's a reason we do this. We do at first for that previous reason that I mentioned in the last kind of section is we do it because we think it helps us sound smart, professional, credible, and somehow, generally better than our competitors. You know, if we come across this way, we're going to see more capable and more qualified than our competitors.

Henna Pryor: Someone incorrectly taught us that using big words and fancy jargon would benefit us. Okay. In high school and college, this was encouraged, right? 100% It was encouraged. We got an A on our essays when we used big fancy. And if you use those words correctly, and if you use them in context, our teachers were like, yes, gold star provides.

Henna Pryor: Yeah, right. If we use them correctly in academia, but listen to me here, it does not work in the rest of the world. Worked in school, but not in the rest of the world. Why? Because using unnecessarily big words doesn't actually make you sound smarter. It makes you sound a little bit pretentious and confusing.

Henna Pryor: Underline to people who newsflash are skimming and scanning your messages. They are skimming and scanning your messages. And when you load it up with big words, it's like a million speed bumps in the middle of your message, your eyes can't get through it. And it comes with risks. So if you use unnecessarily pretentious language, when there's more common words available to you, they actually risk losing the reader for a few different reasons.

Henna Pryor: First. The reader gets this feeling. They feel very aware that you think you're smarter than them. Okay. Which is different from knowing the industry. Well, they think you're smarter than them. The reader feels automatically a bit inferior and alienated, therefore not super keen to keep reading. And here's the big one.

Henna Pryor: It's too much darn work to Wade through your pretentious words, to get to the point. What are you trying to say? Okay. The goal of your sales messages is to form a connection with the person, reading it and to do that quickly. When you lose your reader, by making it hard to get through, you failed at doing that.

Henna Pryor: There is no chance for connection. So let's talk about the fixes and this is my favorite. I know it's a favorite of mine and it's a favorite of Basia too. It's to use short words. Hey, use short words. Let me just show you one reason that this is helpful. This is just one example of this. Resume enhancement techniques that we utilize to elevate visibility.

Henna Pryor: What does this even mean? Right. What am I trying to say? We use strategies that make your resume better and stand out from the crowd. That is what we are trying to say. That is what we are trying to say. So I know Basia in particular loves this particular fix. So let's talk about this one about Basia, tell me about your experience with simplifying your language and specifically using shorter words.

Basia Schwartz: Yeah. I mean, I think it all goes down to people like working with people, not robots, and even what you were talking about with the phone. If I get a phone call from a spam call or someone that I message. And that's not what you want in your messaging, because if people look at your email or your message, and they say, oh, this looks robotic.

Basia Schwartz: It looks like the same that they could send to anyone. It's, they're not going to want to respond to that. They're just going to delete it and move on. But if you do something that attaches it to that person, or, you know, makes it a little bit more fun for them and they want to speak with you, then you get a much better return.

Basia Schwartz: And I do that. I mean, even in just my subject lines I'll throw something fun in there just to get them to want to speak with me. That's different from what they're typically seeing. 

Henna Pryor: Yeah. It really boils down to, you know, using shorter and simpler words. As you know, Basia is just one of many strategies to make the experience more human.

Henna Pryor: Right. But I think the key thing about using shorter words in particular is remember, I think we write these emails and we are so intentional and we're so hopeful that someone's going to read it. They're going to read every word. People don't read that. People don't we are busy. We are moving fast. We are not reading every word.

Henna Pryor: So when you write a message, you need to think about how I can make this simple, right. I know I saw Tom mentioned in the comments that in school, we got used to patting things, you know, adding more words for word count. We talk about in the full recruiters, copy clinic training, we talk about, you know, getting rid of expanded words and using contractions instead, Tom, I'm hip to you.

Henna Pryor: I used to expand words, just increase my word count because do not give me two words and don't was one, right? So we absolutely get used to that. And so we have to think about what we are trying to accomplish? We are not trying to accomplish an a, on a test. We are trying to accomplish getting the attention of people who are distracted by their computer buzzing over here, your phone dinging over here, their dog barking over here.

Henna Pryor: If they're working from home, because Amazon just got here, right? This is what we're against. And so we need to think about simplification and the research supports this isn't. What Henna thinks, you know, the research supports that when you simplify your language and use human conversation language, that it actually increases the rate of response because you don't put that unnecessary distance between yourself and the reader.

Henna Pryor: And that's what happens when you try to complicate it. It creates distance. Okay. 

Basia Schwartz: Oh, sorry. I also realized that it's not my job to be a finance or accounting professional. That's I don't need to know all the details, all the specific words and terminology. I don't need to know that I need to know about the company.

Basia Schwartz: I need to know about the market and how I can help them in terms of taking their experience and their career to the next level. And they don't need me to know finance and accounting and do it every day in order to do that. And once I took those words out of my messaging and I started being more personable and just talking to them about.

Basia Schwartz: What could be there for them, they immediately., 

Henna Pryor: Right? Absolutely. I think that's really critical. I think it's important to make the distinction. If some people are thinking, well, what if I'm trying to display my technical knowledge of a position? If the position, you know, uses software or something inherently, that is a big, fancy name, this isn't about that.

Henna Pryor: That's not what we're talking about. You can certainly express your knowledge of the position it's about when we're really just trying to genuinely communicate. How do we simplify that language? I do see again, there are some good questions coming up in the chat. So I am going to hopefully have a few minutes at the end.

Henna Pryor: I'll go through and make sure we go through them. But the general rule of thumb on simplification is simplification self. We've gotten it a little bit wrong in staffing where we think over-complicating somehow lends to our credibility, but the research, this is not, you know, research written in sand. This is research written in concrete.

Henna Pryor: Simplify. If you want to build a connection faster and get to your point faster, as Basia said, they would like for you to have some high level knowledge of the position, but I don't know many people that have made a meaningful job change on account of you using the word optimize, you know, in context, no, they want to know, does this person understand that I want to make more money, that I don't want to work such long hours, that I'd like to reduce my commute, that I want advancement potential, that I want an opportunity for a pay rate that's commensurate with this project, right?

Henna Pryor: That's what people want to know that you understand as a staffing professional, the rest of it, save it for a rainy day. Honestly, save it for not even a rainy day. Don't save it for anything. Just put it away. All right. So let's keep going so we can make sure we have time for Q/A at the end. So I'm going to share one more time.

Henna Pryor: We're going to talk about this last kind of bucket of the right message. So what do I mean when I say the right message too often in staffing, we focus on our messages. Extremely heavily on the content that we want to share. We love to go all in on the content I mentioned in essential change. Number one, we need to think more about the context, right?

Henna Pryor: What are people going through? How can I speak to that? Now I want to start to talk a little bit more about the content. What are some of the things that we need to be talking about? We tend to focus really heavily on the features of things in our writing. So it could be a great job that we have that has, you know, features of this great 401k and, you know, eight to five schedule and, you know, gym on site or an, a job advertisement.

Henna Pryor: We go on this laundry list of features, or even when we're talking about a candidate, the features of the candidate would be, you know, three years of experience working with XYZ software. We do this to death and we completely overlook the benefits. And when I say benefits, I'm talking specific to. So what, why should I care if I am a client or candidate?

Henna Pryor: The only question that is going through my mind all day, every day is what's in it for me, what's in it for me. So what, why should I care? Right. So let me just quickly go through this difference between features and benefits. So we're all on the same page. A feature is what something is, right? The factual details of your service or whatever it is you're offering.

Henna Pryor: It could be the pay rate. It could be the hours. It could be the location. That's the feature, right? A benefit is what something does for you. Benefits are the end results that whatever you're offering helps your candidate or client experience or get it answers that question. So what, why should I care? So features are more factual and informational benefits are more emotional, no surprise to anyone people buy the benefits.

Henna Pryor: Okay. People buy the benefit. So let's look at an example. Let's say you work in light industrial and the feature is you've got a first shift role Monday through Friday schedule. Okay. That's the feature. And you know, some of us, we look at that and we're like, well, isn't that obvious? That's great. That's, you know, a really good schedule.

Henna Pryor: How do we make it real for people? What are the benefits? So what, why should I care? The benefit might be something like, so you can work with a schedule that's so predictable that you can finally start working out again and take your kid to karate class. Right? It can be anything. So you can just start getting home in time for dinner every night.

Henna Pryor: So what, why do I care? What does that mean to me? What's in it for me in the recruiter's copy clinic, we go through a whole section, a whole lesson about how to come up with great benefits to accompany every single feature, but in any kind of sales, especially staffing. The fact is that people buy on emotion first and then justify it with logic.

Henna Pryor: So we have to make that emotional connection. This is an essential change. We need to talk about this change to our messaging. We have to emphasize emotionally loaded benefits. I'm not saying don't mention the features. I'm saying that it's important for your prospect to understand the end result of why this would help them in order to drive the meaning home for them.

Henna Pryor: So, you know, just want to make this a bit real because some people say, all right, if I'm putting, you know, 40 hour work week into my features list, isn't that implied don't people realize, oh, that just means they have a great work-life balance. People are moving fast. Hey, attention is the currency. You can't assume that they're going to complete that.

Henna Pryor: Oh, 40 hour work week means wait means I could actually start having my evening back and oh, my wife would be so happy to have me at home. Again, doing all that thinking they're onto the next thing already. So when we include the benefits, it's so important to make some benefits clear, what is it, what is the emotional investment?

Henna Pryor: And so those things usually look like, you know, can they avoid effort? Can they increase their standing and status? Maybe, you know, it'll help them move towards the promotion or advancement. Maybe it'll make them more money. Maybe it'll help them have more time. Again, there are certain things that every human being is motivated by emotionally.

Henna Pryor: And there are certain categories of people that are even more motivated by certain things, but by adding emotionally loaded benefits, it drastically transforms your writing and it makes it much more. So Basia, I'd love to hear from you about it. I know this is something I've seen in your emails, you do this very well, that includes benefits.

Henna Pryor: So A) I would love to know how do you find the process of coming up with them and B) What results have you seen from doing it? 

Basia Schwartz: Yeah, I'll even say in my messages, I'm not going to bore you with boring 401k information, because I've just, everyone can acknowledge its standard. These days that a company is going to have a 401k, they're going to have dental.

Basia Schwartz: They're going to have health care that's standard. So you don't really need to sell that because everyone's going to have it. What they do need is to know what the culture is like in a company, know, what will I be able to cross-functionally partner with other teams in the organization? What do I get from this that I'm not currently having?

Basia Schwartz: And you can start. When you're in the business for a long time, you start to understand those little pockets of challenges that candidate space, and you can target your messages towards that challenge. So an example is like busy season in public accounting, they're working 80 plus hour weeks. So having work-life balance so that they can be home and they can enjoy their kids karate class or whatever it may be is a huge benefit for them.

Basia Schwartz: That's not the standard benefit of your 401k or you'll get paid a good bonus at the end of the year. 

Henna Pryor: Yeah, I think it's so funny because we've gotten in this habit, it's almost become a robotic process where we say, oh, this company has, you know, health benefits, 401k match. Or even if it's a contract role, you know, it's, this company has this kind of hours, this kind of whatever.

Henna Pryor: If it's standard, that's wasted real estate on the page. If it's standard. Hey, let's assume that it's implied. We just need to pick a few things that are unique to the company. And so oftentimes people say, well, how do you find out these emotionally loaded benefits? Right? Like how do you even know if I'm trying to sell a job to a candidate, be in a perm role or a contract role?

Henna Pryor: How do I know what those things are? Well, that begins with the intake conversation with the hiring manager, with HR. So I don't want you to just ask them, oh, so in this role, like what are their hours? What are their benefits? No, those questions are going to get you feature based answers. The questions need to be, you know, 

Henna Pryor: Ms. Client, what do you think is most special about this particular team, right? Or how would you describe a typical day? Things like that. 

Basia Schwartz: And I asked, why did you take this position? Or why have you stayed there for so long if they've been there for three plus years, right? If they just recently built out a team, you know, why are other individuals on the team saying that they took this position.

Henna Pryor: Yeah. And it's funny. I think some of us do take these types of questions in, but then we don't transfer it to the message. Right. Laurie, I will create time for your question in a second because I actually might have you elaborate in the chat, but I wanted to share just one one other, the thing that really sold me on how important benefits are.

Henna Pryor: I remember I got a recruiting email, you know, I was in public accounting in the beginning of my career. I got an email that was trying to pitch me a job. And I remember a recruiter sent it to me and it had the laundry list of features. One of which was on-site childcare. Right. And at this time, by the way, I didn't have children yet, but my husband and I were thinking about having a family and starting to think about what's that going to look like?

Henna Pryor: Are we going to do daycare? Are we gonna, you know, have my mom help? Right. So this was all very fresh off the top of my mind. So it was on the list of features, daycare, onsite daycare. I didn't pay attention to that email. I ignored it. I skimmed past it. Then I got another email from another staffing firm about the same opportunity, but in their message, they wrote on-site childcare.

Henna Pryor: So you know that your kids are happy, safe, and just an elevator ride away.

Henna Pryor: Right. Or another version of that was, you know, onsite childcare. So you're not going to be sliding into daycare late at the last second ever again. Right. So for anybody on this call, who is a parent that hits right, that hits a different place in the body that doesn't hit my head, that hits right here.

Henna Pryor: And would you believe I took that conversation Yes, I did, you know whether or not I took that job. I didn't, but I took that conversation because that person spoke to my emotion. That's something very different from onsite childcare on a list of features, making it real for people. Right. We have to make it real for people.

Henna Pryor: So Basia, I want to make sure that we leave enough time for Q/A . So I would just love to kind of, before I close with my bed, what do you feel like has been the biggest change in the experience that your candidates and clients have felt? So from their side, what do you think has been the biggest change?

Basia Schwartz: I think it's honestly the person to person interaction. You know, I'm not trying to just do an exchange. I'm really trying to get to know them and understand their needs both from a client's perspective. Okay. They're hiring someone. What does the team look like right now? What's the culture like? So I can make sure that when I provide you with that person they're going to fit and they're going to stay and you want them to say, they'll be happy there.

Basia Schwartz: And then from the talent perspective, the candidate. What are you not getting right now? And how can we help you overcome that? Where can we put you? That is going to be a better situation for you both now and in the long run. And I think when you take away that transaction piece and you try and really become more personable with them, you understand their needs.

Basia Schwartz: They want to work with you. They want to refer other people to you because they feel like you're doing what they want, not what you want for them. 

Henna Pryor: Yeah. I think that's really important because I think a lot of people and I say this, if I could give everyone a loving, loving shoulder shake right now, we would love to think that we're not transactional.

Henna Pryor: And I genuinely believe that on the phone and in person, many of us aren't. I think we really do it well. I think we really hold our clients and candidates in deep care. When we have a live two-way conversation, the problem is that gap right in our messaging, it still feels transactional. It still feels very transactional because we think holding our client or candidate in care sounds like, you know, for a candidate, you have a really great background.

Henna Pryor: No, that is not holding them in care. That is a generic statement that they are very clear. You use it with everyone or to say to a client, you must be really busy right now, again, that is not holding them in care. That is a generic statement that would apply to everyone. But if you were a client who worked in a highly regulated industry that just had a new regulation, get smacked down and said, Mr. Client, I can only imagine you must be underwater with that new regulation that just got rolled out last month. You know, other people in the same shoes are telling me that this has added 30% more hours to their week. Are you dealing with that too? Now we're in business right now. It doesn't feel transactional.

Henna Pryor: Now it feels like someone cared enough to understand the context. That this particular person or group of people, I'm not suggesting we do it one at a time, but they took enough care to understand the context that person was in and say something a bit more intentional than you must be really busy right now.

Henna Pryor: Right? We're all really busy right now. That is not the spotlight method. That is not your perspective. That is a lazy blanket that we're all throwing over everything. And then wondering, where is everybody? How come I'm not getting any responses. Right. So I'd also love to know from you. So that's the experience that other people are feeling.

Henna Pryor: What has been the biggest change for you and the way you show up every day to your messaging? 

Basia Schwartz: It's so much more fun. I saw in the chat, there was a question about specific subject lines. There's this one that I used, I wanted to build out my finance pipeline and I wanted to level with them. I wanted to find something that would attract me.

Basia Schwartz: Individuals in the finance world want to talk with me. So I'm looking up little jokes, like finance jokes, and the subject was where do you find a drink in Excel? And then the body of the email was on the formula bar or in the formula bar, which is just so silly. It's yeah. It's like a dad joke. It's not something that I would say everyday when I'm talking with friends, but when I'm trying to attract talent, both from both perspectives, client and candidate, They want to see that.

Basia Schwartz: And it makes it much more fun for me, because then when they respond to me, they include their personality. And then I get to know them just from that first message. If they found it funny, if they found it witty, if they took it seriously, I would get to know who they are. So I can have a better conversation with them when we do get on the phone for the first time.

Henna Pryor: Yeah, absolutely. And I, you, I think it's also worth mentioning, and I know you've experienced this too, that when you're not overthinking it and when you're not using unnecessarily large words, and when you're actually speaking to the person as a whole person, it's easier to write. It's so much easier to write.

Henna Pryor: It kind of flows out of you and you're not editing it and you're not changing it and you're not adjusting it because you're worried about the way it's going to sound. You just get to get it out and it actually helps you write more of them more. I wanted to quickly touch on something that I quickly thought in the chat seems to keep reordering itself.

Henna Pryor: So I'm sorry, I'm not familiar with this platform, but somebody said, how do you personalize a blast? And I saw a response saying you can't. So I disagree. So Neola would love to disagree with you. You absolutely can personalize an email blast. So let me make a distinction here. There is a difference between personalization segmentation and what I'm going to call false personalization.

Henna Pryor: So let me tell you what the third one is first. And I get so much of it. I get emails every so often, so I, you know, my other day job is an executive coach. And so my LinkedIn profile says Henna Pryor, you executive coach. So I get emails on LinkedIn constantly that say, Hey, Hannah, it must be great to be an executive coach in Philadelphia, PA. How do you like working for a priority group?

Henna Pryor: First of all my last name priority is prior, you know, second of all immediately I'm like, oh great. They use their automation software and pull in, you know, Hey, first name. How do you like working in this city state? It's so obvious it's false personalization. And people can feel that it feels gross.

Henna Pryor: And I delete them immediately as does everyone else. Hey, it's not a good, effective way to personalize now. True personalization of course, is if you actually have something that you can speak to, whether it's you went to a shared college or you have a warm lead from a person, if you can truly personalize again, that's always a 10 out of 10, but that's usually a one at a time type of effort.

Henna Pryor: The third bucket is segmentation, which doesn't mean that you need to speak to one person at a time, but it means that you have better context and understanding about what is specific. People are going through a specific segment and you can speak to that. And only that. So I gave the example earlier about someone in a highly regulated industry.

Henna Pryor: Let's say it's somebody in financial services and they work in sec reporting. And sec, the sec rules are very specific. So you can say, you know, I know the SEC just rolled out that new regulation and my last conversation, it sounds like this is adding not only work to your table, but that of your analyst, because now they have to do XYZ, right?

Henna Pryor: It's specific, it's segmented, but theoretically you can send that same message to every single person that is in that type of role at various companies. So it is a blast, but it doesn't feel like a blast because you're speaking directly to that person's unique experience. So there is in the whole, in the full training, we go through an entire process about how you essentially reach out at volume, but make it feel to the person receiving it.

Henna Pryor: That it's just for them. Right. It's an art and a science, it's just for them. Taylor asked, do you think OOO messaging is important to your brand? Any thoughts on how to spice it up and make that fun and memorable? I think that is a great opportunity to spice up your personal brand. All of my out of office messages are a bit playful because why not?

Henna Pryor: Right? Why not? If they're going to get this message, show them that you are a whole person. So one of my favorites is I say something like you must be, or I've locked my phone in a safe. So the only way you're going to get me is if you're a magician or a bank robber, you know, something like that, people love it.

Henna Pryor: They respond and they're like, that's great. Have a great day. I'll talk to you when you get back. Right? Why not? There's an important study that came out last year. If anyone's familiar. There's a course at Stanford university Ivy league out in California by Naomi bag donuts and Jennifer Aaker and they Humor in business. And this is what I mean by humor in business. I don't mean cracking jokes, but it's about cultivating joy, right? Being lighter in your messages. And they say that the reason that we need to do this is because it instantly takes down walls. It instantly takes down walls. Just a little bit of well articulated playfulness or a little bit of self-deprecation or a little bit of humor.

Henna Pryor: We'll give somebody a reason to go, oh, good. They're not going to just come in and start hammering me with a sales pitch. There's a real human behind the screen. Now, let's talk about it. So this is not about again, cracking jokes. If that's not your style, don't do it, but it is about bringing more lightness and more humanity back to your messages.

Henna Pryor: So I just want to quickly, I'm sorry, go ahead. Basia 

Basia Schwartz: No, that's okay. Just going to add to that, recently I've been making my out of office messages. More personable and not just I'm out until such and such date. If you need someone to reach out to this person and every single person who's gotten it, it has responded saying that they love that, but they want to connect and hear how my ski trip went or how my holidays were or that vacation that I mentioned in it.

Basia Schwartz: And it adds, it allows me to become more personable with my clients as well. So it's not as transactional. That's another conversation that we can have. It has nothing to do with business, but it's still building that relationship and maybe they also ski or they went to the same place that I just went to.

Basia Schwartz: And now we're able to communicate on that as well. 

Henna Pryor: Absolutely. Yeah. Laurie asked a question that I did want to quickly hit. She said, we've got, you know, we shared some talent and a lot of examples about talent. Can you provide examples for a buyer? How do you water down a huge company initiative down to a buyer specific loaded benefit?

Henna Pryor: Laurie, I love that question. And so I think what's embedded inside of that question is everyone buys things for different reasons, right? So I recently bought a handbag. Did I need a new handbag? I sure did not. So I did not buy it because I needed one or my other one was broken. There was something about it that it represented to me.

Henna Pryor: Maybe it was, you know, feeling like I needed to treat myself. Maybe it was, it's not an expensive handbag, but maybe it was status. Maybe it was something else. Right. So every huge company initiative has benefits. Right. And I imagine, you know what those are. So I wouldn't worry about narrowing it down to one buyer specific, loaded benefit.

Henna Pryor: But I would think about what are your top three, right? This doesn't always have to be one, but what are the top three reasons that a buyer would benefit from this? So if it is something that will streamline or automate a process for them, again, that's the technical thing that's happening? The streamlining, the automation, but what is it doing for them?

Henna Pryor: What's the emotionally loaded benefit? It's saving them time. It's helping them work. Maybe what? 10, 20% less. Back to the things they love to do, like hanging out with their family or if they're, you know, working a desk and it's taking them 10 to 20% longer to manually, I don't know what your specific initiative is, but if they're manually entering something, gosh, so you can go back to doing what you love doing best, which is talking to people, right?

Henna Pryor: So you're not wasting time doing this painful manual entry. Everything has a benefit, right? Everything has a benefit. We just have to be a little bit creative and dig thoughtfully about what those things are. And I see there's a lot of great questions in the chat, and I apologize that we don't have more time, but I just wanted to make sure that I finished up with this just so you guys know what to grab next and all of those that you can grab, that follow-up guide.

Henna Pryor: I just wanted to let you know that there are three options, you know, with what to do next. Here, there are a couple, you know, please keep doing what you're doing. At least apply these three strategies. These three strategies alone will make a huge difference. But generally speaking, praying and praying at high volume is not the move anymore.

Henna Pryor: It's not going to help. There are people who do this for a living. I don't know why I don't do this for a living to be honest, because they charge a whole boatload of money, but you kind of hire people. But if this is something you have the pockets for, I recommend it. But it's unsustainable for most option number three.

Henna Pryor: And I genuinely mean this, whether it's me or whether it's someone else is to please learn the easy steps to write powerful sales messages, which is a skill that pays you and your team members for life. Here's why I love this option versus even hiring a professional copywriter because our business moves fast, lightning fast, and you can write high converting sales messages on a moment's notice.

Henna Pryor: If you know how, you can also increase your response rates and your engagement exponentially to multiply revenue. It's not hard to do. You just need to learn how. So I am giving a special code for the hybrid version of the program. You know, again, I've been doing this for almost 20 years now, and I'm really proud of what this program has become.

Henna Pryor: I only launched it a year and change ago, and this is now my second World Staffing Summit. I was asked to speak at staffing world naps. So clearly this thing has legs. So if you want to seek out a previous student, ask them what they thought, but I do have a 10% off code through Friday. You can use the code WSS World Staffing Summit.

Henna Pryor: I also do offer it as a live team training. If you are a part of a team and want to do it all together as an interactive experience, I would love for you to fix this training gap. People deserve to have a better messaging experience and you deserve to have a better messaging experience at a minimum.

Henna Pryor: If we don't get to meet each other again, please go ahead and go to recruiterscopyclinic.com/guide and that will help you grab the followup email guide. That gets a reply again, it's a fan favorite people refer to it all the time. I still use the strategies from it all the time. Please feel free to link up with myself and Basia on LinkedIn.

Henna Pryor: Reach out with any questions or feedback. I'm a believer in landing the plane on time. So thank you for spending this time with me today. If you have additional follow-up questions, reach out Basia thank you for being such a rockstar co guest. 

Basia Schwartz: Thanks, Henna. 

Henna Pryor: And everyone. Enjoy the rest of the summit.

Henna Pryor: Please reach out with any questions at all. Have a great day. Take care. Bye.


No items found.


Henna Pryor

Basia Schwartz




Watch Session now