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December 18, 2003
Overcoming the Objection of "But It's the Holidays"
by Scott Love,

"But it's the holidays. I don't have to push myself anymore. I can officially coast because of the season."

HA! If you've said that to yourself, then you just became your best competitor's hero. The holidays are a time to reflect on spiritual issues, spend time with family and friends, and enjoy the company of your loved ones. It's also the best time of the year to close as many deals as you can.

Understand that people make decisions to hire employees and make career moves all throughout the year. If one person said to you "I'll wait until after the end of the year", then don't assume that everyone thinks that way. Sure, some will say they want to wait until January to make any major life decisions, so you need to learn how to (1) empathize with their objection, and (2) overcome it. This is how to do it.

Respond to them this way: "John, I understand. Perhaps it might make sense to talk about this after the first of the year. But let me ask you this: Did you know that this is actually the best time of the year to (fill in the blank, hire employees, explore other opportunities, consider making a move, etc.)?"

When candidates ask why that is, give them a few of these rebuttals:

  1. Because you now have the time to carefully reflect on why you want to leave your employer.
  2. Because you have the time to get away from the office to meet with my client without being obvious.
  3. Because my client is in holiday mode and it would be really good for you to get to know everyone over there in a social environment.
  4. Because the beginning of the year brings with it new changes, and it's always better to start somewhere on January 1st.
  5. Because many companies offer bonuses and compensation tied to tenure associated with being there for a full calendar year (check with your client on this one first, though. If they have that policy, use it as leverage to incite candidates to interview sooner).
  6. Because now you can get your family more involved together in this important decision.
  7. Because it's the best thing for your current employer if you decide over the holidays. It'll be easier for them to find your replacement in early January because of the anticipated upswing in the market.

When clients say they want to put off hiring until after the first of the year, tell them this:

  1. Because this is the best time for candidates to take time off to interview.
  2. Because now you can spend quality time with a candidate to make sure he or she really is what you are looking for.
  3. Because your office is in holiday mode and we can get the candidate involved socially in your company. The transition is all about building relationships, and if we can build as many relationships in your department with the candidate, then he or she will feel more comfortable with choosing to work for you.
  4. Because it's a lot easier to find someone now than after the first of the year. Everyone is anticipating an upswing in the market so people might be less open to exploring other things after the first.
  5. Because I can actually get through to the top achievers. There's less work on their plate, less people staffing the phones, and I'll be more successful in reaching them.
  6. Because January first symbolizes new beginnings and I think we should leverage that reality to your advantage.
  7. Because you'll probably get distracted by some other crisis after the first of the year, and I need your time to help me get a star on board for you.
Remember, it's all about perspective. More than anything, our profession is a sales profession. If someone gives you a rebuttal, you have the right and the responsibility to turn them around as long as you believe that what you are selling is in their best interests. Use these rebuttals to help you close just a few more deals before the end of the year. And at the end of the year, when you are quietly celebrating this season with your loved ones, you will feel satisfied and content that at a time when others use the season as a convenient excuse for substandard performance, you gave it your all, pushed hard to the end, and gave it your very best effort.


  About the Author
Scott Love, of The Academy of Recruiting Mastery
Scott Love improves the profit margins of search firms and staffing agencies all over the world by working as a trainer and management consultant. He is the author of two books and has a weekly business column "Business Incite" in a Gannett newspaper. You may contact Scott at scott@recruitingmastery.com or visit http://www.recruitingmastery.com.

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