Me and My Big Fat Pipeline Collapse

Me and My Pipeline Collapse

It was coming up to a Christmas period and everything had been going great. I have 4 offers out for five-figure fees. It was going to be a great end to the year. On form did not describe how I felt, I was Naked Recruiter, champion of the world.

Superstart recruiter. Recruitment god. Then the offer rejection came in, then a counteroffer, then another rejection and then an offer was pulled due to an internal financial situation. In the space of three days, I went from being (as we British say) the 'dogs bollocks' into a dog's dinner.

Due to my hubris whilst being King of Recruiters, I had ignored business development and resourcing and was starting right at the abyss of a totally dead pipeline.

What happened afterwards?

Christmas happened. We went right into the Christmas period and then come out into the new year. I let myself enjoy the Christmas period, as there was nothing I could really do. Or maybe I just ignored it.

However, what I realized was that over the next three to four weeks I could not shake the sense of loss that all these job offers had failed and had fallen apart. I went over every conversation again and again and again and again. I spent the commission money in my head time and time again.

In a sense, I mourned deals. I did not get back up after being knocked down. It really, really hit me hard, knocked my confidence. It was shocking to my system. I barely called anyone, candidates, and clients. Indeed it took six weeks before the sense of impending doom kickstarted me again and I began to rebuild.

How did I rebuild?

Simply I took action. Any action. That action was nonsense projects around my digital and accounting responsibilities but it got me working instead of being stuck in a self-made rut. We are after all our own worse enemy.

Ok, Napoleon's worst enemy was the Russian Winter, but for 99% of humans, we are our own worst enemies. Me included. And you as well. Once I got going, doing actual work, actual tasks I was able

What did I learn?

Looking back now, I learned three things:

  1. I allowed a sense of hubris to take over my daily thinking, essentially I had mentally "cashed" the cheques.
  2. I took the rejections personally. It's never personal, just business. Up to that point, I was on a 95% success rate for offers so in a sense for about two years I had been outperforming the law of averages.
  3. All parts of the cycle have to happen each week, I neglected Sales and Resourcing. I knew that these candidates were going to get offers and I sat on my hands. That I needed to change.

How can you get over your own pipeline collapse?

  1. Focus on daily Business Development.
  2. Remember it happens.
  3. Interact with people and get them to offer your chest.
  4. Take action, any action.
  5. Focus on getting candidates in front of clients. 

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