7 years ago
January 10, 2017

How to Turn Down Sales Recruiters: 5 Ways to Say No & Profit

Saying “no” to a recruiter is perfectly okay, you just need to say it in the right way to ensure you can leverage this relationship in the future if need be.

Rhys Metler

If you are in sales, getting a call from a sales recruiter is something you have likely experienced. If you are happy with your current team and hiring is not a priority right now, you may be inclined to ignore that email or phone call without giving it much of a second thought – this could be a mistake.

While working with a sales recruiter now may not be on your radar, it could be something you may want to leverage in the future. Things change, and they change quickly in the sales industry. You never know when you could use the services of a recruiter in the future. Before you dismiss their inquiry, know that there is a right way and a wrong way to turn down sales recruiters.

The last thing you want to do is burn a bridge – you never know when you will need to hire, and a recruiter can simplify the process for you. Saying “no” to a recruiter is perfectly okay, you just need to say it in the right way to ensure you can leverage this relationship in the future if need be.

Here are 5 ways to turn down a sales recruiter without burning a bridge:

1. Be upfront and honest

No one likes their time to be wasted. If you are not interested, tell them, but make sure to mention that you may be interested in using their services in the future. This will keep the door open and establish a relationship with the recruiter – one that you can use when you are ready to hire sales people.

2. Have a conversation – hear them out

You don’t really know what a recruiter may have to offer unless you hear them out. Having an open conversation about what they can offer you and what they find appealing about your company could lead to new opportunities for both parties.

3. Offer a referral

If you know of others who could use a sales recruiter, passing along this information will be welcomed by the recruiter. It’s also a good first step to establish rapport and a relationship moving forward.

4. Make it clear that it’s “no” today – not forever

The future is unpredictable. If you like what you hear from the recruiter and are open to working with them down the road, make sure that they understand that “no” is not forever – it’s just “no” right now.

5. Get their contact information and thank them

This is networking 101. Make sure you get the recruiter’s contact information and thank them for inquiring. Leaving things on a positive note will make them more receptive to your call when you are ready to recruit. And don’t forget to connect on LinkedIn!

Turning down a sales recruiter the right way today keeps the door open tomorrow. However, use your conversations with recruiters to build a relationship – one you can leverage when you need to in the future.


SalesForce Search is a sales recruiting company which specializes in the recruitment and placement of sales professionals. We recruit sales people in every sector of the economy including, software, manufacturing, financial services and medical devices. Find the right sales person for your organization, start your search here.

Rhys Metler

Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 15+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day and tropical vacations.