I had a dinner party last night and the subject of contacts in business came up. A couple of my guests were talking back and forth about the level of personal information that they divulge to their business contacts….basically the gist of the conversation was if you are only doing business with the person, how much do they really need to know about you and your personal life……
My answer is A TON ! That seems to be the issue with business today, everything is transaction based. People in business don’t feel like they need to get to know their clients because they are going to transact regardless and the transaction is impersonal.
I disagree 100%. People in business today are tired of being treated like a commodity. They are tired of being looked at as simply a transaction. People in business want to deal with people like them, people they like, people they trust, people they enjoy spending time with and getting to know……does that sound like anyone in particular ??? It sounds to me like people in business want to do business with their friends yes?
A friend of mine, Hal Hassal, now the marketing director for Iron Solutions in Nashville, TN, made a comment to me when he and I met over coffee almost 2 years ago. He said ” Chris, I don’t look at my Rolodex as simply a Rolodex. I look at my Rolodex as a collection of my friends!” WOW….kudos to you Hal if you are reading….and I hope you don’t mind that I stole that quote and view on my Rolodex and have used it ever since.
Think about that….my rolodex is simply my collection of friends who I happen to do business with. How does that change the game ? Do you try to do deals with your friends that are not a win win for everyone involved ? I would hope not ! Then why are you doing it with your clients ? Do you lie to your friends ? Then why are you lying to your clients?
In the staffing and recruiting industry, where for those of you who don’t know, I have spent the majority of my career…..there are many, many stories I could tell about people and companies alike who either don’t have very many friends, or don’t know the true meaning of friendship…because they sure don’t display it towards their clients and/or candidates ! Why is that ? In a business that is so people-centric, why does the common sense theory of Treat others as you would like to be treated go out the window? I wish I had the answer….I would shout it from the mountain tops as a warning to all the people out there who are about to do business with a disingenuous slime. Trust me the slime balls know who they are…..
I love the work that I do because as my bio says on our website http://www.seriousaboutrecruiting.com , I have never met a stranger. I am a people person. I love to talk. I love to learn. I love to hear stories about other people’s experiences…..and I am genuinely interested ! I don’t ask about your family to try to warm you up to see how much work you can give me ! I truly want to know ! I don’t go to lunch and pretend to be interested in what you did over the weekend…..I am VERY Interested ! I don’t know how to “BE” any other way! I LOVE People and I can’t think of another career where I get paid to interact and associate with people who in my mind are my friends. Those of you who know me and have talked with me will constantly hear me say ” I have a buddy who……. ” and that is because that is how I think of every contact I have made. My “Rolodex” if you will is simply an address book of all my “buddies”.
So to sum it up…..Clients work with the people you like, get to know them and let them get to know you. If they don’t attempt to do that then do you really want to be doing business with them anyway ? Candidates the same…..work with the recruiters that actually take the time to listen to what your hopes and dreams for your career are! If all they are interested in is your resume, your salary history, and how soon you can interview then it might be time to start looking for someone else to represent you. We all can spot the fakes…..and there are too many good guys and ladies out there….that you don’t have to work with the jerks…..
Friends I know that this was a long post…..but I want to end with this…..Get out there and make some FRIENDS ! You will be surprised how rewarding those Friendships are not just for your business and your bank account…but for your LIFE !!!!