Updated: Apr 7
Reaching out to new clients can be intimidating, especially when the person you want to speak to is a senior executive. What mindset should you possess in order to have the courage to contact key decision-makers?
My special guest, Natasha Makhijani has been extremely successful at opening doors at C-level. She’s won major accounts such as British Airways, DHL, Royal Mail, Engie, Mitie, and many others. What makes this accomplishment even more impressive is that she started her recruitment company working by herself from the spare bedroom of her parent’s house. In this interview, she shares her strategies and best practices for new business development.
Of course, winning a piece of work is one thing – but being able to consistently over-deliver against the client’s requirements and developing those accounts is quite another matter. Especially when the client asks for the near impossible — in one case Natasha and her team filled 150 roles for a client, completing executive searches within 2-3 weeks and lower level roles within 2-3 days.
Natasha also shared proven strategies for building relationships with your clients and how it relates to long term thinking. Her approach to building relationships has led to some of her clients becoming friends and mentors.
Natasha is the CEO of Oliver Sanderson Group PLC and Co-Founder of Snapp CV Group PLC, a mobile job app and video platform. Oliver Sanderson is a dynamic brand in Executive Search & Selection who look after Perm and Interim assignments to FTSE 100 & 250 clients. They offer retained, exclusive and contingent end to end recruitment in a variety of disciplines and serving major UK & Global sectors.
Episode Outline and Highlights
[1:23] Natasha shares her main strategy to open doors for opportunities.
[7:10] How long term thinking is inter-related to building relationships with clients.
[33:44] Best practices to apply when reaching out to C-level executives.
[36:50] Growing too quickly too soon – Natasha talks about her learnings.
[41:50] How Snapp CV applies innovation and artificial intelligence.
[49:45] Natasha discusses the biggest challenge in her career
The Key that Opens Doors to New Opportunities
When Natasha started her recruitment business nine years ago, she was a one-person business who was able to break into major blue-chip companies, being given C-level roles to fill. How was she able to get such opportunities? For her, the main key is being genuine when building relationships. When building her network, she doesn’t “go in with the premise that she wants the business.” This is how she puts it: “My biggest strength has always been opening a door…I call it networking and building relationships and just being genuine… So my biggest strength is opening a door connecting with CEOs, connecting with chief people officers, connecting with group chairman, and basically, meeting them, building relationships.”
She added, “I don’t go in with the premise that I want business from you. And that’s not the way I build relationships. I think the key to success is that you have your short term gains, your medium-term and your long term gains. And for me, that is about mapping out the people that I wanted to connect with.”
Natasha’s Biggest Career Challenge
When asked to share about the biggest challenge she had to face in her career, her response is: “Going from being a recruiter to managing a business and becoming a CEO.” For her, the transition is not easy as you’ve got to always be thinking five steps ahead. She also emphasized the value of continuous learning. Despite the challenges, was it worth it? As she says, “No longer am I the soft recruiter that I was who just delivers. I’m a businesswoman, I’m an entrepreneur, I’m someone who knows how to achieve. I know how to take a business from zero to hero. And that’s the difference in running your own business.”
Natasha Makhijani Bio and Contact Info
Natasha is the CEO of Oliver Sanderson Group PLC and Co-Founder of Snapp CV Group PLC, a mobile job app and video platform. Natasha began her professional career with Hays Logistics on their graduate scheme. She set up the Victoria office with her manager, and within two years, the Victoria office and the staff of eight were the top-performing offices in the country. She was offered the opportunity to work with Michael Page and Robert Walters. She started with Michael Page Human Resources, and she became their top biller within HR during her first year. She helped set up their St Albans office and then moved to London to set up permanent recruitment for the Public Sector. Later, Natasha was promoted to Managing Consultant and contributed to the growth of the Public sector office. She considers herself lucky to have had a revelation to an entrepreneurial community from an early age, and she believes this helped her to shape into somebody who is vibrant and enthusiastic and with a keen interest and passion for business.
Oliver Sanderson is a dynamic brand in Executive Search & Selection who look after Perm and Interim assignments to FTSE 100 & 250 clients. They offer retained, exclusive and contingent end to end recruitment in a variety of disciplines and serving major UK & Global sectors. They also provide cutting edge service solutions to customers, ensuring the needs are met in tune with the changing marketplace.
Natasha on LinkedIn
Oliver Sanderson Group PLC website link
Oliver Sanderson Group PLC on LinkedIn
Oliver Sanderson Group PLC on Instagram
Oliver Sanderson Group PLC on Twitter @OliverSanders9
Oliver Sanderson Group PLC on Facebook
Snapp CV website link
Natasha is launching a brand new version of SNAPP CV & SNAPP RESUME both here in the UK and the USA, in addition to their video interviewing platform: SNAPP INVIEW. She is happy to offer 5% off any of our pricing plans active from the 5th of July 2020 until the 5th of August, enter code RRP5 at checkout. App is available from Android and Apple stores.