Start Being Realistic
How's Your Pipe?
Pipeline. It’s all about the pipeline. As long as you have a lot in the pipeline you’re bound to do a deal, right? Maybe, yeah. Definitely? No. And this is one of the most destructive things anyone can do, laying too much false hope on their pipeline, for no other reason than they have ‘loads going on’.
You need to be realistic about what you have. It’s not about being negative, but there’s no point in getting your hopes up when you may have no real reason to. Just because you have ten interviews happening, that doesn’t guarantee you anything. No one owes you a deal. It’s easy to look at the black and white of it, see how many interviews you have and start working out the commission, because, ‘of course there’s a deal in there’.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you are only setting yourself up for failure and a lot of disappointment.
Take Those Rose-Tinted Glasses Off
One of the first things I try to teach my teams when we have our 121’s is to take stock of their pipeline, including the CV’s they sent out that week. And yeah at first, I’m sure they thought I was just writing all of their work off, but those rose-tinted glasses are dangerous. Especially when you are just starting out. It’s easy to get fooled by the figures.
If we just focus on the interviews for now, when you look at your pipeline, you need to be asking yourself questions like:
• Have we placed with this client before?
• How often have we placed with them?
• Do they low ball?
• How fussy are they?
• How many other candidates do they have in the process?
• How many other interviews does my candidate have?
• Does the candidate have any concerns? (The most important question you can ever ask your candidate)
To be honest, the list could go on, but that should you give you an idea. The number of times I’ve sat down with a Consultant to go through their pipeline and I find myself saying, ‘well we know how fussy that client is', ‘that candidate has four other finals, none of which are yours’, ‘We know that client low balls’ etc. etc.
And concerns, how do you expect to make that placement if you don’t know your candidate's concerns?
No One Took The Jam Out Of My Doughnut
It’s not about putting a downer on things and I’m not trying to burst your bubble. But unless you are really being honest with yourself about what you have, you’ll spend a lot of time scratching your head wondering why you’ve blanked. Again.
Another common danger, which all of us have been guilty of, is deal watching. Convincing yourself or relying on that deal coming in. Spending the week talking about it any chance you get and working out the commission on a daily basis. And it may do, but it’s the biggest distraction there is. You will take your foot off the gas if you think you are done for the month.
Think About What You’ve Done
Being realistic about the CV’s sent that week is also just as important. Again, it’s easy to get lost in the figures and think you’ve covered a role just because you’ve sent three CV’s to it. Are they the right CV’s though? Be honest with yourself. You only need one to make the placement, but is that one in the CV’s you sent across? If it is, great. It’s easy to just focus on the KPI’s and think a role is covered and move on.
You should be taking stock of your pipeline on a daily basis and I’m including CV’s in that. This is what should determine what you do that day. Apply the same thought process to the roles you have before you start working one, rather than just jumping on it because you haven’t sent anything there yet. Is it worth working? Do they give you feedback? Are they moving quickly? Do they have a load of finals already?
I’ll Just Spray And Pray
This job is not just a numbers game, and if you think it is, I’m afraid you are incorrect. It’s true the more CV’s you send and the more interviews you book increases your chances of doing a deal. But this job also takes up a lot of time, so you want to use that time wisely and being realistic with what you have will save you a lot of time and increase your chances of getting that placement. Work smarter not harder.
Being honest with yourself isn’t easy, we like to be optimistic and there will always be someone telling you to ‘think positive’ like that’s all you need to not blank. But there is a danger of being blinded by false hope. Yes, be positive, but be positive about the realistic options you have and be positive in how you react when things don’t go as planned. There’s no reason to say you can’t be positive and realistic at the same time.
And if you are a little more honest about the pipeline you have then you’ll be a lot more successful.