Every day we ask questions and seek answers. We may not always like the answers but we ask anyway. There are times when the asking is unnecessary. In other words, you know the answer and yet you go ahead and ask the question anyway. Is this to confirm the knowledge you believe you already hold in your hand or head? Or is it to manipulate the situation further to your own advantage? I have been a victim of the latter on numerous occasions, we all have.
I used to work with and for a very smart salesman who served as a mentor to me in my early recruiting days. He was an incredibly talented businessman. I am glad to have had the opportunity to learn, first hand
, from a master of persuasion. He never went to college or worked for a major search firm. He honed his craft in his early days as an Inside Sales Rep. He was told by a superior that he would never be an Outside Sales Rep - that he lacked the skills.
This was exactly the right thing to say to him. He worked diligently and tirelessly to prove his superior wrong, which is exactly what he did. He became the #1 Rep for the company and soon was calling his own shots. He had a knack for knowing his customers and taking care of their needs first and foremost
. He became a strong customer and
He was recruited by a Recruiter-- (happens to the best of us, huh?)
to join a boutique search firm as, basically, a partner. He found much success there and applied his better-than-average customer relations skills to his new career as a Recruiter. He later branched out on his own when he realized he had more to give clients and customers then could be given in his current capacity.
I learned several lessons from this man, most importantly: how to be enthusiastic about the opportunity or product you are representing and how to take care of your customers or
vendors. He told me several times that he never asked a question to which he didn't already know the answer. I have heard others say this, as well. Is this a trait of a good Recruiter?
I have tried to practice this technique but it just isn't my style...oh, I use it in my daily life-- "Did you leave that towel on the floor?" "Is that your bike in the driveway?" "Can you see the hole in my stockings?" and so on... but I simply am unable to apply it to recruiting or customer service. I love talking with people, I love hearing them tell their stories. I want to hear them
say they are interested, I want them
to tell me they love their current job (after all, those are the best candidates) and I want to savor the moments when undiscovered territory is crossed
. I guess I am a modern-day Magellan, just trying to take contacts to relationships. For some, a schmooze is just another schmooze. For others, it is not such a great divide.