My Girlfriend set up the Meeting
My girlfriend has been friends with a CEO of a large company for about 10 years and she has set up a meeting for me. Any suggestions on how to handle this meeting? My girlfriend works with me as a recruiter and we want to do business with this company. Would it be appropriate to invite her to the meeting as well?
This is a tough decision because the only meetings my girlfriends ever set up for me were with therapists and furniture movers, but enough about me.
I would not bring her for the first meeting. You are not going in to define a search and qualify parameters. It's Phase One. The CEO is clearly doing this as a favour to your girlfriend, but its hard to know from your question, (and maybe you don't know) whether its a courtesy or he/she is measuring you to see if you are to be allowed into the inner circle of their staffing needs. I am the CEO of my own company, and while I am fond of many of my colleagues and friends, I am ruthless about my time, calculating in my purpose, and if it were me, I would be bringing you in not just as a favour to your girlfriend, but because I had staffing issues.
So play it cool. Your goal is to let him know who you are and how you approach the placement process, and to educate him about the shortage of talent, and how much of an impact recruited candidates from his competition could make on his bottom line. Describe your company and process in general terms, and when you feel it’s right, you venture out with:
"So that's the short story version of how I work, and I'm passionate enough about my business to go on and on, but I value your time, and I know you wouldn't have agreed to see me just as a courtesy to [GIRLFRIEND]. So I will assume you have some staffing needs you want addressed?"
THEN KEEP QUIET. EVEN IF HE DID BRING YOU IN AS A COURTESY, HE CAN'T ADMIT THAT NOW, SO HE WILL COME UP WITH SOMETHING. JUST BE CAREFUL THAT IT IS NOT A “B” JOB THROWN TO YOU AS A BONE. QUALIFY URGENCY.
And no matter how this turns out, you owe your girlfriend for the opportunity.
These are the rules. I don't make them. I just enforce them.