I have over 17 years in the IT Consulting industry. I’ve been a recruiter for nine years and a salesperson for eight, and during that time I’ve seen a lot of people fail and move out of our industry forever. The people that don’t make it continually have problems with not getting placements, or the sales that they think they should. They work hard, (harder than most), make tons of calls, and still they fail. They fail because they don’t use the best resource on the planet for sales and recruiting, and the one they already possess. They simply don’t trust themselves to be themselves. What do I mean by this?
Well, these people come into this business with a preconceived notion of how one must act in sales and recruiting roles. They have watched Glengarry Glen Ross and know exactly how terrible these sales roles can be as well as how much you have to compromise yourself if you are to land a sale or recruit.
They know that recruiters are ruthless liars who will tell you about the free company cafeteria with 5 star food, huge signing bonuses, and huge stock option packages. All the while knowing that none of these things exist!
Now to the good one. Sales people are shiftless, slick types who will trample their own mothers for a sale. They are loud, selfish, and don’t know the meaning of the words moral, ethical or honest. They can act any rotten way they want to get the sale, and at the end of the day it’s OK because, “it’s nothing personal, it’s just business.”
Nothing could be further from the truth. The people that transition into successful sales and recruiting managers in our business are the people with sound ethics, beliefs and morals. They treat people as they want to be treated, and they do what they say they are going to do. They start every client conversation with, “How are you today? How was your weekend? What’s new with you and your family?” And they are not merely asking, but truly interested in the other person beyond the task of work. They find ways to humanize themselves to the client by having meetings out of the office and talking about their families and friends. They differentiate themselves by simply being themselves. The easy answer is that people are not the sum of their jobs and never will be.
It seems so simple, but when you put yourself out there it can be pretty scary. Rejection is not something anyone likes, and when it happens, it hurts. (Not much to me anymore, but a little.) But if you do put yourself out there and work your tail off, then you make friends that will influence you, your company and your career for the rest of your working days and beyond.
Mike Hartke has over 15 years of Sales and Recruiting experience in the IT Consulting Field. He is currently a Business Development Manager for the Modis branch office in Minneapolis, MN. You can connect with him on LinkedIn.