Let me start my story at the beginning…

January 9, 2009

I should start my story at the beginning.  In November 2008 I started a career search in earnest.  I knew at the beginning that this process would probably not be easy for several reasons, not the least of which was the redirection of my career.  See, having earned an M. A. in Professional Counseling and spending 6 years in social services was a great start to a career, just not one in the world of business-to-business sales.  The 2 years of experience I did have in sales, as an Executive Recruiter, had been revolutionary in my life.  I was more engaged in my work and had more fun than ever before.  I knew I must continue to operate in the business world, engaging other professional and solving business problems.

I began that career search with a commitment to do it differently, to use the techniques I had learned as recruiter to help myself.  That meant one thing I had never been good at doing personally before. Networking.  I would have to network with everyone I knew, many people I didn’t know and continue to expand my network to the beyond.

That is where it starts.

On my last day of employment as a recruiter, with Manning Search Group a friend and co-worker, Mike Neubauer, asked what I was looking to do next.  I explained that I loved the sales aspect of recruiting but that working only the telephone was very difficult for me.  My training and nature had prepared me for the power of face to face conversations and I loose something in the translation of a telephone line.  As we talked Mike encouraged me to look into sales opportunities.  He suggested refining my target and focusing on networking into an opportunity that can capitalize on my talents.

Mike Neubauer had only been with our group a few months , but we became friends quickly.  As a retired sales executive from the medical industry I saw Mike bring a world of knowledge to his recruiting practice and I quickly respected his insights into business and specifically sales.  Mikes interest in my career was genuine and within a few days Mike called me to check in on my progress and give me a list of four people he wanted to introduce me to.

I gathered up all of my courage and the nerve that allowed me to make hundreds of cold calls a day as a recruiter to call those four people.  Okay, that’s an exaggeration but it was not easy to call about my new product and service (i.e. myself).  Of the four, I spoke with 2 over the phone and had wonderful little conversations about sales as a profession, how I should craft my search and operate throughout my career.  The other two wouldn’t talk to me over the phone.  They both simply said, “If Mike referred you to me, then we need to meet.  When is good?”  I was amazed.  These were to two “heavies” on my short list.  These guys had careers under their belts that were a little intimidating and they wanted to meet with me; face-to-face.  I just kept thinking, what in the world can they possible get out of this?  What can I bring to these conversations that can provide some value to either of these guys?

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