There are plenty of articles of this nature on the internet. None of them are helpful. If you’re top biller you’ve worked your arse off and probably have a lot of common sense.
But not always.
Whilst I’m currently top biller, I’ve played second fiddle plenty of times before. And a lot of the time, when that happens, you start to notice parallels. The first one you’ll notice is this…
There’s fundamentally no difference to number 1 and number 2 at lots of agencies. Unless you’re number 1 of course.
Then you’re the hard working type.
When you’re number 2, your rival lucked out on a slightly better account. They had one client take a punt on a grunt at the beginning of their tenure. They’re one of those lucky b*stards who just don’t seem to get rejections.
If you’re not yet Top Biller, and have never reached that cherished mark… I’ve written down some early signs you’re well on your way.
Look at the top biller in your business right now.
I’d estimate almost 99% accuracy in the statement I’m about to make…
How can I be so accurate? Just think about this logically. Who, out of everyone in your business gets the most rejections? Who, despite those rejections, still trudges on and doesn’t let it bother them?
Correct. Your current top biller.
And chances are, this penchant for turning a NO into a Maybe into a Yes came at an early age. Almost certainly about 17 years old. Plied to the eyeballs on WKD Blue, trudging around a Yates’s Wine Bar scraping up the dregs to parade home like a prize hog.
Despite those 148 rejections, you can set your watch by a Yates’s. No matter how fugly you are, you’re in with a shot.
Did your Mum tie bacon to your laces to make the dog play with you? Chances are, you’re a top biller in the making. Congrats.
Sure everyone loves the top biller to their face. They’re good for a round in the boozer and have the swagger of someone who knows a deal’s just round the corner.
But ask most people privately what they think, and true colours start bleeding from the shiny blue suit quicker than you can say “They’re actually a d*ck”.
If you step into a recruitment company with no friends, you’re already half way to becoming top biller. You’ve got no friends to lose anyway. Which means you can make more ruthless decisions.
Throw colleagues under the bus. Sharpen up that knife and start pinpointing spots between the shoulder blades.
No one likes you anyway.
You might as well put everything into work and you can buy friends later.
Let’s do the checklist of items a top biller will have in their possession.
i) An expensive car they’ve ‘bought’ on finance or lease
ii) A massive house for them to stride around naked, laughing, mortgaged to the hilt
iii) A ‘worldy’ partner so far out their league it’s like Yeovil beating Citeh in the cup over two legs
iv) Upgrades to Business every time they fly
Sure, it’s nice to have nice things. But your spouse’s expensive taste will turn sour when the deals dry up. And all of a sudden you’ll question how many pairs of shoes one actually needs.
Want to move company? Start on your own? Move abroad? Try a different career? Good luck paying off that £45,000 wedding. Keep your head down, keep spending money and you’ll smash your way to the top of the leaderboard.
Sure, all your mates will come and go as often as the deal bell chimes. But have they got four Louis Vuitton dog coats, hardly worn?
No. No, they haven’t.
Most top billers have something to prove.
Sure no one openly questions their looks or lack of friends openly. But staring deep into the mirror on a Monday morning, painting on their smile, wiping away their tears with £50 notes they know the world’s against them.
They’ve been fighting this fight since aged 4.
The very first time they were picked last for the team. A cherished memory that set them on the path to DeterminationVille.
If the world’s against you… guess what? Start showing them. And the money, accolades, bitching and hatred will follow.
What a dream, life is.
Ever met a top biller who gets on with the owner of a business?
And that’s because the more placements you make for an apathetic owner… the more admiration turns to questioning.
Questioning turns to second guessing.
Second guessing turns to outright derision.
The more public that derision, the more the top biller cements their authority as ‘chief bacon bringer’.
They squirt their pungent scent of Paco Rabanne; Musk; Gym sweat and Excellence within a 1 metre perimeter of their desk.
Did you have a hard time at school? Does your Parole Officer shudder in monthly catchups? Ever found yourself in contempt of Court? Then you are MORE THAN qualified for a spot at the top.
Despite all of the above, the top biller’s at the top for a reason.
They know exactly how much they’re worth. The wider their smile on payday, the wider their arms flail as they bowl off to the bank, pissing themselves.
It means you can queue-jump the shitmunchers waiting for an EasyJet flight and enjoy the comfort of a tightly-packed metal tube, for longer than them.
It means you can enforce Veuve-branded Golden Showers over other winners in Marbs VIP.
It means you can treat waiters like shit, to look really really great in front of friends.
If you walked into a new company and professed your impending rise to the top, with no prior work experience, you’re well set.
If you’ve ridden off the back of Mummy and Daddy and are now perma-smug, you’re 80% there.
Go get that status champ. We’re all rooting for you.
If you’re still climbing the slippery ladder of hope, destined but yet to achieve greatness, follow my lead and you’ll be spraying your musk far and wide in no time at all.
All my love,
Senior Consultant, UX & Design – New York at Futureheads
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