I’ve always had a thing for agents who don’t get in touch with their consultants unless they need referrals. Or don’t get in touch at all until the time of extension comes.
I’d like to think we’re not just numbers, we are people who care about being called once in a while to see how we’re doing.
A few years ago I was looking for a job and after I found it, I gave the two week notice. I just sent an email to my agent and to my employer with the subject “Two weeks notice”. Within the body of the email, without further explanations, I wrote a few lines saying that I am pursuing another opportunity and I will not extend my contract. This is usually OK, what comes next is a professional conversation between you and the agent/employer at the end of which both parties wish each other ‘Good luck’.
Ten minutes later, my agent sends me an email telling me that I am ungrateful, that she thought we have a relationship, that how come I am just giving the notice without asking first. I was furious! Two years I’ve never heard from her, not even a call for Christmas. Let alone for my birthday (btw, Norbert from Systematix calls me for my birthday for the past 5 years or so). In the end, agents get their money through me. I am making money for them. I deserve a phone call. At least once a year.
Anyway, my point today is that I’m starting to see a change on how agents work. The competition is much higher now and consultants are no longer working with unprofessional agents.
One day, I got a phone call from Jeff Vainio asking me if I was interested in a contract opportunity. I told him I wasn’t available. When I came home I found an email in which he was congratulating me on my contract extension. A few days later, Jeff sends an email through Linkedin.
In his email, Jeff tells us about the market (you can be sure next time I want to find out about the market I will call Jeff!). Then he’s offering his information in case we are looking for jobs and an agent to work with. At last, he’s asking for references. I admit, there is something Sales about his email, but that does not bother me. Agents must be good at Sales and must know how to attract new business/retain their consultants. Just as much as we, consultants, have to know how to sell our skills.
To all the agents out there, please watch how others do it and learn from them. You have so many ways to do it right, you just need to care enough.
My congratulations to Jeff who does it right. I hope I will keep hearing from you.