As I’m sure most of us do in some form or another over the holiday break, I have been reflecting on the past year, the wins & losses, but most important the lessons. What did I do well (or in many cases, not so well)? And as a self-professed student of life, what did others do well that I can learn from?
In this life we are all defined by who we are, what we bring to the table. To use some Sales Acronyms, what is your USP/POD (Unique Selling Proposition/ Point of Difference)? But what does that really mean? I’m not a car so my features are subjective aren’t they, subtle.
I would like to pose a question or maybe even a challenge. In these increasingly challenging economic times, are we making the most of every opportunity that is presented to us? Hand on my heart I know I can do better; in some cases much better. I mean when you turn up for something, are you bringing you’re A-Game; really bringing it? You can apply this to all facets of life from friendships to relationships to business. How often do we turn up not fully there or with a subpar approach? How can we do things better?
I am fortunate in my job to meet a lot of people and every day I learn from them; Recruitment is an ever evolving learning vocation. Whilst the lessons are many, the one I want to focus on is preparation. If you are prepared, I mean really prepared you will win 9 times out of 10. Here are 4 examples of Candidates that went the extra mile and got the job with 100% success.
1. Sales & Marketing Manager interviewed with a Melbourne based property developer with some lagging stock in Sydney. He turned up to the first interview, having flown to Sydney specifically to view the projects so he could see them firsthand. Whilst there, he mystery shopped the existing agent, the agents of competing projects, he visited local real estate agents, compiled suburb and purchaser profiles and handed over a 15 page marketing document detailing a strategy down to the level of which agent he would engage given his market research. He walked out with the job.
2. Digital Communications Strategist handed a 5 page proposal that detailed where she thought the company was at, what their competitors were doing in the space, how she felt the company should approach the digital/social space and she even registered a couple of twitter handles that the client had not yet done with the cheeky password of “give[Candidate’sName]ajob”. You guessed it, she got the job.
3. Marketing Coordinator took a day off work to research the company, its displays, even the hiring manager. She realised they had some people they knew in common, so she spoke to them about him, the company and his point of pain in his current team. They were then able to sit down at the interview and after a brief skills analysis, begin to talk about how she could assist overcoming his points of pain. Obviously having been able to relate back to the common people they knew and build rapport.
4. Sales Manager handed a 10 page document detailing his first 90 days in the job. What it would look like, what he would do, how he would assess the team, where he felt the opportunities were, and the industry relationships he had that he could bring to the table.
No surprise that all four Candidates were successful and are doing amazing things in their new companies. I later quizzed Candidate number 1 about why he flew to Sydney and he felt that for the small investment of a plane fare and a day of his life preparing the material amounted to small change considering the $200k per annum salary he is now paid.
So the challenge I think for all of us it to approach life with excellence, to do the best we can do, to be the best we can be. I know you’re saying this is all the same BS in every self-help book you pick up, and you are probably right, but the results speak for themselves don’t they? Even in this short period since coming back this year I have changed my thought processes towards approach and so far it the results have been strong.
Good luck with the year, may you achieve excellence and achieve your dreams. Here’s to a happy, healthy and successful 2012!