I was always known for my gift of gab, which has gotten me in AND out of trouble my entire life. So, when I landed a job in the recruiting industry right out of college, I was able to put this gift to work and found my calling. Over 20 years later, I am now what they call a veteran in this business. A business I call The Relationship Business.
TRUST, more than just filling reqs
Some consider my style a bit unorthodox, but it is also my differentiator. I was taught the recruiting fundamentals: the way to earn business is by learning about your clients’ department and their specific staffing requirements. And I do that, but I don’t stop there. I find it equally as important, if not more so, to spend time getting to know the person, and not just their “needs”. Learning about someone on a more personal level builds trust, and trust is the most crucial part of developing long-term relationships.
CONNECT beyond the vendor-customer relationship
I enjoy learning as much as I can about every person that crosses my path. I don’t do this because it will pay off for me somewhere down the line, it is a genuine interest. I am what they call a people person! I want to know what makes you tick; what your interests are; are you married; do you have kids; where are you from; what are you doing this weekend? People can tell there is not an ulterior motive for me asking, and these types of questions aren’t too forward to ask in initial conversations. You will be surprised – people are quite happy to answer. Talking about something other than just business is refreshing. And as the relationship builds, the trust builds, the more you learn about someone, the more that person becomes a friend.
BUILD rapport naturally and quickly
I have a new Client Support Manager that I am working with, and we have now spoken three times. The most recent call lasted an hour and a half. Not only that, but she also commented how when I left a message for her she just HAD to return my call because she enjoyed talking with me. Now, anyone in sales knows it is a WIN when your “prospect” feels as though they need to return your call. Maybe it is because I do not view them as prospects and because I simply have fun doing what I do – connecting with people. And in my world, my clients are both the companies relying on me to provide quality staffing and the candidates trusting me to help them find their next career opportunity.
PEOPLE do business with people they like
Don’t be afraid to have colorful conversations. And if someone asks you what this conversation has to do with work, answer like I do, “Because we’re friends and we can talk about crazy stuff like that.” In the long run, these friends will turn out to be great clients and advocates for what you do! So, my advice is don’t shy away from building a relationship business. Don’t make every call about “fill rates, ROIs, workflows, KPI’s, discounted fees, and recruitment needs. Have fun, and in turn, your clients will have fun. Plus, they’ll keep coming back for more because they like YOU and not just what you’re selling them.