I recently had a conversation with a friend of mine about my 25 year love affair with the staffing industry. I was hired, quite by accident, by the owner of a small staffing company back in 1988 and was immediately assigned to my first client - a very large client that had some fairly consistent needs. What my new manager didn’t share was that I was the 5th representative assigned to them in less than a year, and the client was less than satisfied.
My first visit to the client was a disaster! I was greeted with hostility and impatience. No one wanted to talk to me. I persisted. I went to the library (keep in mind this was 25 years ago) and learned about the positions they hired for and the subtle differences by department. I learned to speak their language and made a point to never go for my weekly visit without bringing a résumé, an article, or some value added material to generate conversation. Our business with them tripled in only 8 months! Finally, I sat down with each manager and asked them one question – why did they trust me with their business when the sales representative before me failed? The response? You listened, you learned, you cared about what I wanted, and you delivered what you promised.
At my prior company, I held many titles – account executive, branch manager, district manager, AVP and finally Regional Vice President. I always took great pride in seeing my career and responsibilities grow. I have provided staffing to several hundred clients – from small retail users to large national contracts. The one thing all the clients have in common is what I learned all those years ago – they want someone who will actively listen, be genuinely interested and learn about their business, and deliver everything promised within the agreed upon time frame.
These consistent needs led me to explore and join the TrainingPros’ team last year. In my new role, I think my title of Relationship Manager is the most appropriate of all. It clearly defines what is most important to everyone I touch every day, whether it is a consultant seeking a new opportunity or a client trusting me with their training resource needs. After all, it’s the relationships we foster that make us someone that anyone wants to do business with in the first place.