(Audio version here)

Last week, I criticized a young, corporate recruiter for slandering salesmen on his blog. Well, he got in touch with me because he didn't like hearing me say his philosophy is well suited to cult members and cream puffs but not strong women and real men.

And you know what that means? That even after listening this little punk still didn't get it. So I'm going to have to teach him another lesson, today. And, I'm going to start by telling him -- and you -- about a conversation I had with Maureen Sharib at the end of last week's show. Maureen, as you might know, is the Queen Bee of Telephone Sourcing and she was telling me how a sourcer will call a stranger inside a company to ask for information.

Sometimes the person you're talking to won't know the exact information you're asking for but you know she does have some information that can help you so you have to coach her then and there on how to give you what you need. For instance, you might ask for the Director of Strategic Sourcing and she says, "Oh we don't have one of those". So you say, "Well, do you have a Director of Procurement?" And she says, "Gee, I don't know."

My point is that this person might be busy so she might get impatient and Maureen was telling me that she can hear the impatience in that other person's voice. But here's what I want to point out. She's not afraid of it. It doesn't scare her. She's not thinking, "I'm afraid because this person is getting mad at me." She's not thinking, "If she gets angry the sky is going to fall down." She's not thinking, "If she gets mad and hangs up before I get what I need this search is going to be shot to hell and everyone's going to be mad at me and I won't be able to earn a living and I'm going to lose my house and that's going to be a total disaster."

No, Maureen doesn't think those things. And you know why? Because Maureen has the heart of a salesman. She doesn't feel any fear. And that's what separates her from everybody else. She isn't afraid of other people. And that's what I was trying to say last week when I was defending salesmen against the slander of that lily-livered, corporate man.

A salesman is someone who goes out among strangers and tries to get them to do what he wants. And if you're going to do that, you can't be afraid of other people's thoughts and feelings. You have to see them as facts, not threats. They're neutral facts you have to work with, not something you have to run from.

And you know, recruiters and sourcers, last week Maureen and I we were also talking about a famous song called, "Viva Las Vegas". It's a terrific song with fantastic lyrics, and I want you to listen to this verse.

"There's blackjack, poker and a roulette wheel
"A fortune won and lost on every deal.
"All you need's a strong heart and nerves of steel.

Maureen Sharib has nerves of steel. Real salesmen have nerves of steel. They're ready to ask people for things those people don't want to give -- and they don't care. If you don't like them that's just too bad. They see a negative reaction as an opportunity to turn you around. And that's more personal power than most of us can ever imagine having.

Me, personally, I'm a Clark Kent. These guys, they're supermen. They're unstoppable. And, that, Mr Corporate Recruiter, is the kind of person I want to be and if you understand what I'm saying, you should want it too.

In Defence of Salesmen, Part 1

Recruiting Animal Blog
Recruiting Animal Show

Views: 147

Comment by Jerry Albright on July 31, 2008 at 2:03pm
I am highly successful by finding people who want what I have to offer. I don't convince companies to pay my fee. I never convince people to take jobs that are not good fits for them.

For me it is just MUCH easier to find companies and candidates who want what I offer. The key part of that being "want what I offer" as compared to "making them want what I offer".

Though I will admit - I do not mind explaining myself in a few different ways if need be.

Regarding www.verbalsummary.com it is something that is literally brand new. So I've got to explain that I'm not just asking if I can provide the same service every other firm is. It takes a little "enlightenment" for them to get the picture.

Let's talk about something else now. Got the latest Bruce Springstein stuff? No? YOU WILL GO GET IT IMMEDIATELY>>>>THAT IS WHAT I WANT YOU TO DO!
Comment by Recruiting Animal on July 31, 2008 at 2:07pm
Tell me why I should. No don't.
Comment by Recruiting Animal on July 31, 2008 at 2:10pm
Jerry is saying that he doesn't like to have to teach people about his offerings even if they are terrific. It's unpleasant and too much trouble. Better to go out and find a customer who doesn't need so much education. I agree but some high energy combative people do like the fight.
Comment by Jerry Albright on July 31, 2008 at 2:17pm
I think you like to fight Animal. You gonna be at Recruitfest!? How about we lace up the gloves? Is that the kind of battle you're after? Tough guy?
Comment by Recruiting Animal on July 31, 2008 at 2:23pm
No, I don't like to fight. I like to argue. As you said, better look for clients you don't have to press into the ring.
Comment by Jerry Albright on July 31, 2008 at 2:39pm
Let me get this back on track. In no way am I saying I am not a salesman. Hell yes I am!

All I was doing in my initial reply to Animal was saying that sales isn't "making people do what I want". You simply can't do that. Period.

You have to find out what THEY WANT then provide that.
Comment by Jerry Albright on July 31, 2008 at 2:41pm
Let me tell you about the placement I just wrapped up. (Hope this doesn't jinx it - I'm very superstitious)

A client called me Monday morning. She needs a contractor to rewrite some datamart stuff. I asked (axed) her what her budget was. She told me. I said OK. Not "no way - I'll need much more than that". In a sense - she told me what SHE WANTED.

I then sent the word out on Verbal Summary (www.verbalsummary.com) to people with those skills. A candidate called me and let me know he was interested. I asked (axed) him what his rate was. He told me what HE WANTED. I said OK. Not "No way dude! This job pays only XX/hr.)

I sent the Verbal Summary (www.verbalsummary.com) of my candidate to the client. She sent an email back yesterday stating "He is excellent. Can he come in tomorrow at 11:30?"

They met earlier today at 11:30.

Just got the call an hour or so ago. THEY BOTH WANT EACH OTHER!


Wrapped up.

Start date of August 18th.

No battles. No negotiations. Just good, clean "people helping people" stuff.

Long story short - placement. Never once did I have to twist an arm or go round and round about what I wanted vs. what they wanted. It just doesnt happen in my world.

Comment by Recruiting Animal on July 31, 2008 at 3:01pm
Jerruh, that was good. Real good. But lemme axe you dis: did you call the client or was that client callin' you - meanin' was this new business development or really just a follow up on an established sale? You know what I'm sayin'?

And if your candidate had said he wanted $50 / hour which was reasonable in that market and she was offering $30 per hour would you try to educate her and tell her why she should hire your guy at $50 if she really needs his kind of skills.

If you say, "No, Animal. I only do what everybody else wants!" then I believe that what you've been saying is true. You're just a friendly old teddy bear who hangs around on a street corner waiting for people to love him. But I don't think that's the way things are.

Listen, I'm already in agreeance with you that not everyone is comfortable offering a terrific deal to people who don't get it right off the bat. But when you are offering something different and worthwhile you have to convince people to (A) listen to your story then (B) you have to tell them the story and (C) convince them that it is true. And again, I agree that it's much easier to just do B. But that's not sales. Sales is presentation and persuasion.
Comment by Jerry Albright on July 31, 2008 at 3:16pm
Once you have identified with your client - here we go again - what THEY want (and in my example she wanted a datamart contractor) my job is to then help her get that. Once she and I are pursuing the SAME THING I am quite comfortable in letting her know what it will take to get it. If she would have said her rate was XX and I knew it was XX+20 - I would have simply said "I'll give it a shot Mary, but my sense is the rates will be XX+20".

I would not simply go find someone at XX+20 and force her to take that person.

If she would have had to stick with XX then we would still be looking......and looking.....and after time and more feedback it is up to HER to decide if SHE WANTS XX+20 or not.

None of these choices are mine.
Comment by Recruiting Animal on July 31, 2008 at 3:21pm
See, Jerry, the first step is not identifying with your client. It's getting your client to identify with you.


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