July 23, 2018

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Core Competency #3: Study to Master the Basics

To achieve big billings on your desk, all you have to do is do what big billers do. Think the way they think. Treat your clients and candidates in the way that they treat their clients and candidates. Close the deals the way they close the deals. Plan the way they plan. Study the business the same way they study the business. Act as if you already are a mega-producer and you will start to become one.

There is no mystery to the mechanics of our business. Just master the basics and do the right things the right way over and over again. But the biggest challenge you have is your own mortal human nature. To compensate for this, you must continue to study and study the basics over and over again. We have a tendency to do what is quick and easy instead of what is right. By studying the basics over and over again, we compensate for this deficit. Only two percent will achieve mega-success in our business because only two percent are really willing to do everything that it takes. Do today what others won’t. Have tomorrow what others can’t.

Consider this five step training plan to begin your journey today to bigger billings.

Step One: Get on board with creating a ‘training’ or a 'learning' culture in your firm. And even if your firm is resistant to this culture, then take it upon yourself to own your own training. Last month I received an email from a frustrated recruiter who was employed with a large search firm that invested absolutely nothing in the training of their staff. But fortunately, he shared with me that he ‘owned’ his own training and committed to teach himself the business, even though his manager was tight with the training dollars. Today your recruiters are screaming for quality training, and because most signs indicate an upturn in the market, today is the day to start investing in their performance. Whenever a recruiter calls me and says that he or she is looking to make a move to a different firm and asks for my advice, I always tell them that generally the firm with the biggest commitment to training is the best one to consider. If they’re not willing to invest in your future, why should you invest in theirs? (Remember that training does not have to be expensive. Refer to the following articles for rock-solid inexpensive training ideas: May 27 article, April 8 article, Feb 11 article, Dec 11 article )

Step Two: Admit what you have or have not done to date with your training. Go back to January 1st of this year and add up how much you personally invested in your own training.

Step Three: Have a colleague hold you accountable with your daily diet of reading. Tell him or her what your goal for the week is for training. Are you going to watch sales training videos over lunch? What tape programs are you checking out of your firm’s training library? What sales books are you going to read this month? What seminars are you going to attend? Do you listen to training tapes and CD’s in your car?

Step Four: Teach others the business. You learn something once you teach it to others because then you own it.

Step Five: Measure. Anything that is measured generally improves over time. Measure the first half of this year’s billings compared to the second half with your training system in place. Once you see how it has specifically improved your production, you will make it an even higher priority next year.

Remember that is is the mastery of the basics that gives you mastery over your W-2. Follow this five step plan, commit to mastering the basic elements of the business and you will bill more this year than you ever thought possible.

-Scott Love

Copyright © 2004 Scott Love

Scott Love is an author, syndicated columnist, keynote speaker, and trainer in the executive search industry. His regular columns are published in the Fordyce Letter, regional and city Business Journals, and trade magazines. To book him for your next company function or in-house training, call 828-225-7700. For more sales and leadership articles, visit his other site: