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  • Writer's pictureChris Bloomquist

Up in the Air and how to un-make a connection.

Inspiration, a creative outburst of ideas, often happens when you least expect it.

For me, it's at 1:38 AM on a Friday morning after re-watching a Clooney movie that, by this blog title, should be quite evident. Dilated pupils, can't sleep, and I'm compelled to share with the world that tomorrow morning I'll joyfully start my un-making a connection and firing a brand new client.

If you aren't familiar with the film, it's honestly a great ride. Dark humor, quick wit, and the "hero" is Clooney's character, Ryan Bingham, a fellow Nebraskan paid to fire people for a living. Talk about your Debbie Downers. And here's the irony...I'm paid to hire people, yet I'm inspired to fire!

For quick context, I'm a Founding Partner and VP of Talent Acquisition with The Talent Mine, and we pride ourselves in doing the exact opposite of what I'm advocating in this article. We provide free counsel, encouragement and expertise, and help land a new role in line with a candidate's dreams and career aspirations. Each candidate is literally putting faith in us to find something in them, and for them, that they may not be able to find for themselves. I realize how "preachy" this sounds, but it's true, and it's a beautiful thing when you share a symbiotic relationship that succeeds.

For our clients, we evangelize their culture, team, potential role and its benefits to a candidate that is "looking for new opportunities", as an extension of our client's HR team. It's both art and science, and the challenge of not only doing this accurately, but faster than your 5-25 other competitors (not an exaggeration), makes our line of work only for the strong willed and most diligent.

And, this leads to why I'm inspired to fire: my new client doesn't see the value of any of this!

Perhaps I started too strong on our call, or the HR Manager was ashamed to ask for my help, but I could tell in the first five minutes of our chat, the relationship was doomed to fail.

They were polite but terse, professional but cold, and I could have been speaking Mandarin mixed with an ancient form of Gaelic German and the response would have been the same, just "send me the resumes"....ugh. No appreciation for expertise, new ideas, or service and therefore no relationship. Yep, it's time to un-make a connection..and fire this client.

In any long term relationship based sales role, if your clients aren't interested in your service, your style, methods, etc., you honestly have nothing. I don't mean that a sale can't be made, you may accidently succeed, however you won't find joy in doing so.

With all of the articles floating around in our tech industry about a certain notorious Seattle online merchandiser, and the misery of the modern tech employee, it's time to chose a different path, which means:

  • giving 100% of your time, effort and joy into making your good relationships great.

  • doing business with those that value you, and how you achieve results.

  • un-making connections and firing those that don't.

I would like to challenge each and every one of us sales and service professionals to build relationships with those that value all that we have to offer. Be brave enough to professionally un-make a connection and put that potential deal "up in the air." With any luck, you'll find yourself more permanently grounded, and arrive at a happier and more successful destination.

It's now 3:11 A.M. in the morning. I can't wait to start my day by a professional firing. :)

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