QUESTION: How important do you think it is working a niche or specialization? – Larry
ANSWER: Very important. The riches are in the niches. I forgot who said that.
I did high tech sales in the ethernet router switching world, high end corporate into telecoms. 90% of our searches were in all the major metros: Boston, New York, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, LA, San Francisco, Seattle, Denver. Yes, we had a national desk, but every once in a while we worked Salt Lake. I do not think I ever worked a search in Idaho or the Dakotas. In each one of those cities we had a few hundred salespeople, especially as we grew as an office, so every new search allowed us to leverage previous work.
Now, a niche could also be a geography, meaning I have got a client and our goal with here is to make her the queen of the greater Denver metropolitan area. Now she knows about all the executives and the players in a given geography. It is the same effect because she is not going to be doing a lot of searches in Los Angeles or Seattle, but she will know the entire IT world, the entire accounting/finance world, engineering world over time with her and her team in the Denver area.
So it is really about having the ability to recycle. If you take something, in any one of your definitions, you had industry versus skill based, like technical skills, well, I am not going to be an IT SAP guy. It is probably too big to work the entire country, but I could be an SAP guy in the Northeast.
Does that make sense? I think it is very important because whenever you think, Larry, of niche, think of being able to recycle what you did on previous searches where they kind of build upon each other. That is probably the best advice I can give you on that.