Are you struggling to make deals, and it never seems to end? Client Server Director Nick Boulton offers his advice on how to break out of the infamous deal slump.
A ton of consultants have asked me how to get out of a deal slump over the years. How can they turn the tide on a few poor months and get back on track? There are a few basic things to do to stop the deals from falling through.
The most common mistake is to lose focus on what you are trying to achieve. Let me paint the scene.
You have won top biller awards and spent your hard-earned commission money when suddenly things dry up. All logic goes out the window. You go from calm and collected to an out-of-control consultant who sends out undercooked CVs and attempts to ram jobs down poor techie’s throats.
So what has changed?
Consultants have forgotten what got them to be the top biller. And by the top biller, I mean you have a record of consistency over a lengthy period. First, look at the levels and quality of your activity. Many consultants hate checking this. Why? Because they have not been working hard enough.
If it is not the quantity activity level dropping, then it is the quality of the activity. Consultants forget the hard work they put in to getting the deal.
Start with getting to know your candidate, building rapport, prepping them, helping with salary negotiations, and counteroffers. Then when the time comes, they accept the job offer.
Everything before the deal takes real skill and hard work.
Alternatively, sending a steady stream of average CVs, taking down the basics, not prepping them, and assuming everything will magically take care of itself, is a waste of time. You are only fooling yourself by believing you are doing the correct activity levels in this scenario.
So, back to the original question, how do you get out of a deal slump?
First, have you genuinely done an honest evaluation of your day-to-day activity? Where can you improve? The best consultants pick this up early.
Assuming you have done this, you need to look at the quality of your activity. There are a few questions to consider during this process:
- Are your candidates failing at first-stage interviews? If you do the introduction interview well by covering all the details and listening to your candidates, you should have sparse interview rejections in the first phase.
- Are your candidate withdrawals on the rise? Again, have you listened to your candidate? Have you built that relationship where they never pull out of interviews? Continue rapport with them — anything could change between CV send out and interview request.
- Are your candidates rejecting your offers? Have you been listening to their feedback after every interview? Listen to see if you hear the intonation in their voice when they answer your questions. Glossing over those red flags will hurt you in the long run. And if/when they accept your offer, have you taken them through the resignation, counteroffer, and emotional stings processes?
Consultants tend to blame everyone but themselves for their deal slumps. But most of the time, the problem comes from the consultant. They never ask why or avoid the fact that they need to work harder.