One of the most frequently asked questions I receive in coaching, training and speaking sessions is ‘What makes the biggest difference between a high performing recruiter and the rest?’
It’s a good question, and one without an easy answer.
There are many factors that assist a high performer accomplish more than their peers. I have written about this topic a few times in the past; Low performers are team focused extraverts (and other surprises), and Recruiters perplexed: Elite performer is short, has a beer gut and is 51 years old.
I was prompted to revisit this topic after reading Rafael Nadal’s recently published autobiography (Rafa: My Story by Rafael Nadal with John Carlin, Sphere, 2011). I am an avid reader of tennis memoirs. The travel, the varying playing surfaces, the global nature of the ATP tour and the quirks of the rules (in how many other sports can you win more points than your opponent and still lose the match?) make tennis a sport whose elite practitioners have a fascinating combination of physical, mental and emotional powers.
Like the autobiographies of Agassi, Sampras and McEnroe, Nadal’s story was a revealing insight into the makeup of a champion.
One passage in particular, jumped out at me in Nadal’s book:
‘One lesson I’ve learned is that if the job I do were easy, I wouldn’t derive so much satisfaction from it. The thrill of winning is in direct proportion to the effort I put in beforehand.
I also know, from long experience, that if you make an effort in training when you don’t especially feel like making it, the payoff is that you will win games when you are not feeling your best. That is how you win championships, that is what separates the great player from the merely good player. The difference is in how well you are prepared’ (page 287)
It’s this statement that perfectly sums up the difference between high performing recruiters and the rest: The elite-performing recruiter doesn’t let his or her feelings or emotions dictate whether they will or they won’t do something that they have committed to do.
And it’s not just Nadal. Here’s what was written about Roger Federer after he won his seventh Mens’ Singles title at Wimbledon:
Federer turns 31 next month, but says retirement's not in his sights and believes he's a superior player now than when he was dominating the game at 25.
"God, I've practiced so much. You don't want to be worse five years later," he said. (Roger Federer, quoted in The Age story Family Man Federer by Darren Wolton, published 9 July, 2012)
It’s incredible (or maybe not) that one of the world’s most successful athletes, ever, is practising his craft more, not less, relentlessly as he becomes more successful.
Do you see the link to your own job?
The elite recruiter stays back and returns all her messages, the same day, because that’s her commitment to high standards of customer service.
The elite recruiter comes in early and clears his inbox so he can start his prospecting calls promptly at 8.30am and he keep making the calls until he has his goal of 10 quality conversations or 3 visits accomplished because that’s his commitment to never getting complacent about his sales pipeline.
The elite recruiter makes that seventh call to a prospect when every other recruiter has given up because she knows this call might just be the one that leads to gaining a visit, or a job.
The thrill of winning those clients and filling those jobs is in direct proportion to the effort put in beforehand.
How badly do you want to prove how good you REALLY are this new financial year?
It all depends on what you do, or don’t do, whenever you ‘don’t feel like it’.