7 Recruiting & Sales Lessons from the
Sound of Music

The Sound of Music was on TV last night and of course I watched all four hours (including commercials). This is the one movie that not only do I know every song, I could recite most of the dialogue. It brings back memories of playing these songs on the piano and having my daughters sing along. As I was driving to work this morning, I couldn’t help but think of seven specific lessons in this movie that also relates to our Profession.

LESSON NUMBER ONE: Always be open to change

Marie kept breaking rules throughout her journey to become a nun. She was given the chance to become a governess of seven children and amazingly adapted very well to this major change. How many of you have been faced with changing your niche or being asked to also sell contract, temp or direct hire to your clients? Your owner is always attempting to enhance not harm your career, but your ability to adapt to change is critical to your success.

LESSON NUMBER TWO: Being too regimented, doesn’t always work

Captain Von Trapp had a “my way or the highway approach” to running his household. This approach wasn’t working well with his children and Maria helped him adapt. What changes have you made during the GREATEST SHIFT in the WORKFORCE in HISTORY? Millennials don’t react to the same approach as baby boomers did, so what have you changed? It’s important to learn how each generation communicates, to elevate your success.

LESSON NUMBER THREE: The results are greater when you’re having FUN

When the children were in uniforms and answered to a whistle, they were naughty and not happy. When they could play, sing and have fun, everything changed, even their regimented father. Your candidates and clients want to work with someone who is FUN, who really enjoys their profession and is great to be around.

LESSON NUMBER FOUR: Other people’s opinions, don’t have to be your reality

Maria was different and she was hard to describe. Some called her a devil, others an angel. Her superior told her to take on challenges when a jealous female told her she could be a great nun. Bottom line, just like Maria, someone else’s opinion doesn’t not have to be or limit your reality. Tune out negative people and develop the attitude “Watch Me!”

LESSON NUMBER FIVE: Share your core values and ethics

Captain Von Trapp’s love of his country Austria ran deep. He would not accept or be bullied into the beliefs of the Nazi’s regime. We have people’s lives in our hands on a daily basis and must also be honest and ethical throughout our careers.

LESSON NUMBER SIX: Switching gears can improve your results

In the movie, the family decides to escape Austria and drive to Switzerland. They were stopped and announced they were singing in a concert and needed to get to the stadium. That quick thinking saved Captain Von Trapp from immediately being taken away.
In our Profession, your ability to think quickly on your feet and overcome objections will keep conversations flowing and will result in more interviews booked, placements and fills.

LESSON NUMBER SEVEN: Know when to walk away

The entire Von Trapp family left everything they knew and loved behind and migrated to Switzerland. You may have a client you’ve worked with for 10 years, but if their margins or fees are not competitive, you need to raise them or walk away. The same holds true for candidates who have unrealistic expectations. Your time is valuable, and you must spend it representing the best clients and candidates.

One of the songs in the movie is “My Favorite Things.” I want to end this newsletter with telling you that being able to share my training, to help you achieve greater success is one of MY Favorite Things.

I wish you and your family a Blessed, Magical Holiday Season and a Prosperous New Year.


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