This morning I had a top VP of sales candidate in my office. This person came to us because he’s looking for a new career position. He asked us to spend some time with him to help him talk through his career search as well as do some networking and also give consideration to him for specific positions that we’re searching for right now. We spent about 45 minutes together and through the conversation after hearing about his search and the direction that he was going I gave him several specific contacts, phone numbers and referrals that I felt would be useful. I also assured him that we would continue to keep him in consideration for positions which were appropriate as they became available.
At the end of our conversation this individual said, “Now I’d like to ask you: what can I do for you? You folks have been very gracious with your time and giving me ideas and some great referrals. What can I do to help you in return for your time and all of the good will that you’ve established here?”
This was an excellent example of how professional sales people understand that in any relationship there needs to be a positive “give/get” for both parties. This individual obviously understood this, because he took the time to ask us what it was that he could do to help us. I, of course, gratefully responded that we would be very anxious to get any referrals that he has to top sales and marketing candidates for the positions that we’re filling right now. I also told him that we would love to get referrals for any companies which need to retain the services of a firm like ours in order to hire sales and marketing talent.
If you’re out there looking for your next great job, make sure that you’re a giver and not just a taker. If you simply ask how can you help in return at the end of every networking interview, you’ll go a long way toward establishing good will. You’ll also build relationships that last beyond your job search.