Like many of us, I stumbled into recruiting (I was a golf professional teaching some of these “headhunters”). Two years later I was sitting at a desk, staring at a phone, terrified I had made the biggest mistake of my life. I worked for a large, successful company with a few of “those guys” in the environment. You know the ones I’m talking about – the Bobby Big Wheels and the Johnny Shooters who knew it all.
Bobby and Johnny would walk around the office doing the wink and the gun…talking about how “money” they were and what great “control” they had over their candidates and clients and how they just “hard closed” a candidate. New to the business of recruiting – but NOT to the business of people – I truly wondered why and how “these guys” could control a human being. I was pretty sure – scratch that - 100% certain that nobody could control me.
In the Canadian golf industry – it’s tough to make a living let alone a lot of money. However, the people we taught and serviced – did. Over the years I was able to pick the brains of business professionals who were more than happy to share a nugget or two of business and life advice.
I learned a lesson about negotiating and business relationships early in my golf career from a successful businessperson. It was simple – relationships and negotiations are two way streets. There has to be something in it for both parties. If it’s one sided – the deal falls apart. It’s that simple.
Peter Leffkowitz uses the phrase “leading the witness”. It goes something like this: “You’re okay with that 2 hour commute right? You’re okay with a smaller company right? You’re okay with less money, right?” This is obviously not a 2 way dialogue or two way street. This is a one way dictation.
The next time you are calling a candidate, discussing an opportunity, inviting them in for a meeting - expect them to be asking themselves “what’s in it for me” at every step of the process.
First contact – “What’s in it for me to call this recruiter back”?
Office Invite – “What’s in it for me to meet with this person face to face”?
Job Presentation – “What’s in it for me to move forward with this job”?
Job Offer – “What’s in it for me to take this job”?
Your job is to have answers at each step to help lead the candidate to a destination that benefits THEM. Once you have this mentality – selling becomes easier, business relationships become more productive, you will waste less time, have fewer turndowns and a heck of a lot less frustration in this business.