The Coffee Shop
Ok...it's no secret that times are tough and that there are a lot of people searching for work (which by the way, we're hiring good sales reps - shameless plug). I have, in the past two days found myself meeting people in a couple of different coffee shops. First, let me say, I truly dislike coffee shops. By their very nature I just don't like them. This is not a manifesto against the people who visit them, work at them or even own them. I just personally do not care for them...just my thing. While there I've been able to notice people working on their laptops, interfacing directly with one another and in many instances trying to drum up business of one sort or another. Today, I was waiting to have a weekly cup of java with my Dad (normally he comes by the house but we're renovating). He was uncharacteristically late, which for a retired U.S. Marine is indeed quite unusual, and I had a decent period of time to sit and observe. While doing so something really HIT ME HARD! I heard three different people who were obviously interviewing for positions say the exact same thing - "I'm into building 'relationships.' " No! Really? Is that even really worth stating...I mean, I fully expect the whole "relationship" building thing when I interview folks...maybe that's just me. Now, it would be something if you were to come into an interview and say I run roughshod over folks, take their money and then gave them an obscene finger gesture as I leave." Now that would be something! Not a good something, mind you, but something, nevertheless.
Now, perhaps this sounds a bit raw but as someone who hires and fires people the building of relationships (to me) is just a "given." I view that overheard coffee house statement as bizarre as someone telling me that they're going to give me 110%. You can't give me 110%! You can only give me 100% and if you're giving me that much of your effort, then there is some other portion of your life that's suffering chief...just give me your best while you're on the job...I don't want 110%...that means that you're eating into my life beyond the workplace. I digress... The whole net takeaway is that in sitting in the coffee shop this morning I saw a wonderful cross-section of people that are all trying to move forward but if all someone has to offer a prospective employer are canned platitudes as to how much effort he can give and that he is "into building relationships" I would highly recommend that he scrap the current approach and do some real homework. Before the meeting, study the business of the interviewer, provide him/her a real world scenario where and how you can be of benefit. Describe the benefit in specific terms. Let them know that you care enough to really work in a solution-based capacity right from the start. You see, just like customers or clients you'll come in contact with on the job this interviewer has a need (pain). Show him/her that you are the solution. This is your first opportunity to SHOW that you are into building relationships. You're starting off by building the most important one ...the one that gets you the job. All the rest will be implied going forward.