Right off of the top, please do not take the title of this page as a slight against either salespeople or recruiters; as you are both very much alike. Both professions deal with commodities, salespeople deal from a “Brick and Mortar” model of goods and services, where recruiters deal in “Who in my stable is the best fit for this opportunity right now?” Both parties try to provide value and personal reputation when a potential client comes to call.
It is extremely important to me, as I enter into this brand-spanking new opportunity that I remember all the teachings I received as a salesperson, and what it was that made me successful in that industry, and apply it in my new role in the world of recruiting.
Getting back to reputation. Each one of us has that in common. Good, Bad or Indifferent, our reputation is the one thing that sets us apart from all the others in the industry. When a successful transaction has taken place, we go home knowing that the job has been done to the absolute best of our abilities, and when we call back the client to ensure complete satisfaction; if all has gone well then we will be the first people that they call when something else is required. Over time, a steady flow of clientele comes your way, not because of the company name on the door, but because they enjoyed dealing with you, and your ability to ask all the right questions in the search for that perfect fit.
On the flip-side; as I saw too many times in the past, certain persons like to go for the “quick sale”, not paying attention at all to what the customer is saying they need, but rather “What is in the inventory right now that we need to clear out. ” This leads to “buyers remorse”, better known as that stinging bad taste of uncertainty; were they truly treated properly, or more times than not, the invisible strike to the reputation, which will cause the corporate client to think twice the next time someone with your services are needed. It only takes an extra few seconds of listening to the client, which will be the difference between a really good fit; or a really big faux-pas.
Recruiters, from what I have tried to see, work much the same way. The product is people looking for better positions than those they currently hold, with a company that they feel will appreciate better what they bring to the table. Each of you receive fresh inventory almost daily, which you hope to match with the list of clients that you have spent years compiling. Why do these companies deal with you–Because You Deliver!! They enjoy dealing with you because on some level, you know all the questions to ask at any particular time, before you go to your Blackberry or Smartphone, and choose the perfect candidate for the opening. You provide a valuable service for the client, because in your hands, positions that could take some time to fill, are filled in days; and you have just taken one more task off of the clients ledger, so they may resume filling their time with other jobs that require more of their personal time and attention. Its a win-win situation because both parties get what they want, and you leave knowing that the corporate client will call on you the next time they require personnel, because you listened to their needs and found that ideal candidate. The most successful will be the ones to use all the creativity they have in their control, to find the perfect diamond in the coalmine, since they can look beyond the obvious and find the hidden skills and talent that their prospect possesses.
You have also accomplished a second thing and quite possibly found the perfect company that your candidate couldn’t find through normal channels. You provide the link between “what could be” and ” what will be”.
Neither career is rocket-science, but they both have alot to do with timing, goods on hand/candidates, and opportunity. Seize each and every opportunity presented to you, and place forward your best first impression, who knows–you may have just hit a home run.
Something to think about…….