“You’re still so new to this industry. You haven’t seen enough to understand!”
“Your experience in other industries won’t count for much here.”
“I just don’t believe in you!”
Don’t sound too great to hear, do they? I have heard these and more since moving to Melbourne from the UK. As Vinnie Jones would say, “it’s been emotional!”
Now, I am a highly motivated person who has, granted, had his fair share of disastrous moments but, overall, I am driven by success. Since my first day in Melbourne working for an IT recruitment company, I was searching for a gap in the recruitment industry to do something different. However, finding it resulted in getting a lot of grief – refer to the above backlash – from others, but I also received a tonne of support from those I did not realise I earned it from.
In the highly fast-paced, target-driven IT recruitment industry, only the top percentage of consultants can, in my opinion, really achieve success. This means that it is extremely easy to get trapped in the let-us-do-the-same-as-everyone-else mindset, because what they are doing is working and they have proof of huge profitability in some instances…so it’s safer to follow them, yeah? Logical even. WRONG!
I looked at two things: Who are the customers that are currently not using us, and why? And what new experience can I offer them to change that? I was never a big fan of the ‘I just want to do business with you’ approach. I want to work with you only when I know that I can help you and you can help me, too. It’s a two-way process, unfolding over a longer time period. And along the way, I will look for opportunities to provide valuable insights and offer my subject-matter expertise to enrich your business.
You may read this and think, “long-term relationships are great, but what about ”now? What about my current targets?” Of course, do not give up on or ignore your targets – I never did. When I was a recruitment consultant, I performed the necessary to maintain my worth to the company I worked for, but I gave more. This involved identifying, in granular detail, what my competitor was doing and what they were not, and I came to realise that, even if it means turning down business or letting something go for the good of the relationship, it was worth it in the long run. It was not until recently and after I started my own company, Reach Recruitment, that I came to realise how important and beneficial having this mindset is.
The support and recognition both my peers and customers gave me since I started out on my own has been incredible. One previous customer called me to say: “Congratulations on starting your own business, I hope we can work together in the future.” I asked him why. He simply said: “Because you care about our long-term relationship, and have never pushed me into doing things your way. I think there is real value in what you’re doing.”
For me, that recognition from someone whom I had not yet landed business with tells me the value of relationship building. It says that, even the shortest of conversations may not bring immediate success, but can lead to future opportunities – and, perhaps, at a time when it will be just right for the both of us.