That's what a recruiter for tech companies gleefully told me.
That was my response.
And my detachment, plus mastery of fundamentals of selling, got me both the compensation and the good treatment any seasoned ghostwriter should demand.
Yes, the professional-services market can be configured as a seller's one. The bottom line on that is our ability as the seller to know our professional worth. A perceived glut, what lesser players are billing - all that is essentially irrelevant. What is relevant is the fee structure and terms and conditions we hammer out with each prospect. That also applies to employers providing full-time positions.
It's never the marketplace. It's us. And the obvious willingness to walk away from a possible sale is the bottom line.
It had been a legend in public relations that then-head of Hill & Knowlton, Bob Dilenschneider, would allegedly make his pitch, pause, and then do a trial close. If the prospect didn't respond appropriately, Dilenschneider reportedly packed up his materials and himself and headed out the door. Usually, that prompted the propsects' moving toward closing the sale.
In real estate, there has always been a glut of agents. I chose my agent in West Hartford, Connecticut because she presented herself as relatively detached. Of course, though, she indicated strategies for a quick sale at the price I wanted. It was her sense of a professional self that convinced me that I could trust her to implement the plan she presented to me. She knew her worth. She was not too hungry.
Anyone in professional services who decries supposed glut conditions in the current marketplace lacks one or both of two things:
- An understanding of his or her worth
- Selling skills.
If the latter, it would be a shrewd investment to enroll in a formal sales-training program. In 2002, when corporate executives were going low profile and budgets were slashed post-9/11, I recognized I had to get a new kind of pitching edge. I developed that in a Dale Carnegie eight-week seminar.
For me, the key takeaway was the competitive advantage of being able to appropriately value my unique expertise. Being "off your game" means losing that.