You know, I just realized something. It’s not enough just to care about your clients. It’s about them REALIZING that you care.
I just did three back to back “report cards” with my students’ owners. It’s something I do after each Recruiter Start-Up. I had to deliver not-so-good news to one of the three owners. He’s been with me for 12 years and has sent 17 recruiters to ranch in that time. Every …time we do a “report card”, he brings his file of my opinions, predictions, recommendations and guidance tips to counter-balance a flaw that I might spot in the students that he sent.
Today, he kind of freaked me out when he said that today’s call would be a report card on me. I certainly didn’t expect a bad grade. He’s trusted me since 2002. But I certainly didn’t expect what was to come out of his mouth, either. He said there were 3 reasons I was “his man”.
1. My philosophy of watching the crowd and do the opposite. (Inside I chuckled because my expression is “watch the crowd and move in the opposite direction”) He said his whole life was spent role modeling companies he thought were successful. He never dreamed of watching the entire herd and then totally reversing the approach. He said, “just the fact that it made me think”, led to changes in their client offerings that made him an “island of quality”, according to one of his clients (I love you, J-man! That is so awesome.)
2. He said, that during a break in the January 2009 Management Clinic at TPR, he asked me a question during a break and I invited him on a walk in the woods. He asked me for a technique to use to make his biz dev team do a better job of communicating a deeper interest in the hiring managers than their competition. (I have no recollection of this conversation ever taking place). He said, I told him, “there is no technique for that. It just had to be genuinely felt.” He said I gave him an example of something I did that got me a 100.00 bill, as a tip, when I was a server at a not so-classy-steak house called, Mr. Steak, in St. Louis. I was 21. (This I remember like it was yesterday.) A family of 7 was seated in my station at a big round table. There were the parents and 4 kids, of which 2 were twins, probably 3 years old. I opened with my “pattern interrupt” and instead of saying, “My name is Peter, I’ll be your server tonight.”, I said, “Welcome guys, my name is Peter and you, whose names I do not know, will be eating here tonight.” (they laughed and intro’d everyone and the connection begins) “So how hungry is everyone?” (You know what they’ll say, which set up my sale.) “Can I make a suggestion?” (so obviously here comes the commercial on the most expensive thing on the menu, which absolutely could not be enjoyed without a side of the highest priced app. I mean hell, tips are nothing but commish, right?)
Back to my client. He said the next thing I told him I did, (which was a habit), was to snatch and remove the knives and forks that were sitting in front of the 3 year olds and said to the parents, “How ’bout we skip the bloodshed tonight?” At the end of the meal, they got up to leave and I said goodnight. I was really pissed because I thought they had a great experience. They paid with a credit card, didn’t add a tip on the card and there was no cash for me left on their table. I couldn’t believe I got stiffed.
As the dad herded the kids out to the parking lot, the mom walked up to me and handed me a folded napkin. In the napkin was a hundred dollar bill and a note written with the crayon I brought for the kids. “Thanks for really caring about my kids.” She never said anything, just stared at me as I read and then walked out.
My “report card” client said that story changed the way he interviewed recruiters so as to look for a theme of genuine care in their make-up. (THAT made ME choke up.)
3. The last thing he told me that kept him loyal to me was caring enough about him to suggest the immediate termination of the 3 recruiters out of the 17 he had paid me to train. Apparently, I spotted a security/integrity risk in one, a nicely disguised drug addiction in another and the third, a total misfit for the job of a recruiter. That misfit was his son. He said my honesty, at the risk of offending him, showed my genuine care for his boys success. Wow. Not one thing about tele-sourcing or our unique style of the recruiting call, the time management plan.
I offer this to you because:
1. I got emotional and I am at the ranch alone, icing my knee replacement and I have no one to share this with!
2. It just goes to show, what’s in your heart is soooo much more important than technique.
As always, appreciative of your training trust.