Before I launched ultimatejobboard.com I spent nearly a decade in recruiting, most of which was running my own contingency firm. In my years recruiting I've been to a number of sales and training seminars and classes. I've learned a lot but no question one concept from one trainer stood out and defined not only my recruiting philosophy, but business philosophy in general...the concept is; who is really the client?
The story goes like this...Mr. Trainer's business was expanding and he wanted a line of credit from a local bank. He felt if his books were audited by a Big 4 accounting firm he would have a better chance of success. So he invited all the firms to make a presentation. 3 of the 4 presentations were typical..."the who, what and why you should pick us" approach. I often refer to this approach as the "puppy dog" approach...begging for the business. The 4th and final presentation was a bit different, and Mr. Trainer didn't know what hit him.
Having been wooed, wined and dined by the other 3 firms Mr. Trainer should expect no less from the 4th, right? WRONG!
The partner of the 4th firm walked in, introduced himself and abruptly said, "Thank you for meeting with us Mr. Trainer. Before we start I would just like you to know that we'll ask and require a lot from you. We are very selective as to who we chose to do business with and turn away more business than not. It appears you have needs and we are interested in what you have to present."
Well, Mr. Trainer was speechless, to say the least. What happened to "we have the best people", "we work the hardest"...and no powerpoint presentation? What Mr. Trainer didn't realize at that instant was he was about to do the pitching and selling.
Sure enough, as the meeting went on Mr. Trainer did most of the talking and the partner of the 4th firm sat there in his $1,000 suit, listening and nodding. At the end of the meeting the partner thanked Mr. Trainer for his time and told him they would be in touch after taking the time to consider his presentation. As Mr. Trainer tells it, waiting for the call from the partner was tantamount to waiting for the jury to return with a verdict. Suffice it to say, the 4th firm got the business...and guess who was the most expensive?
Question: Who really is the client?