If you are successful in sales, you’ve either had training or you’ve learned what works through trial and error . For the rest of us (90%!), we don’t really have any idea how to sell. Sure,we may have personal communication strengths that make us more or less persuasive, but without training, we’re flying blind.
As job hunters, we can learn a lot of from the steps to effective selling; especially if we think of finding the job we want as a similar process: prospecting, qualifying, negotiating and maintaining the relationship and we think of closing a prospect at each step along the way.
When sales people are required to make ‘cold calls’ — that is, talk with someone without an introduction… they use a process that can be helpful to job seekers. Check out …Cold Calling: How to Ask for an Interview.
Excellent sales people learn:
— not everyone is a fit for what they are selling
— not to take disinterest or rejection personally
— to focus on value and building relationships for the long haul
— to stick to the process and follow through
What separates a good sales person from a great one is how they:
— understand their target (research and listening)
— focus on the value of their offering to that particular customer
— are politely persistent in their follow through
No matter where you are in your job search process… I guarantee you will learn something valuable by learning more about sales. Take a great sales person to coffee or lunch and pick their brain about staying even, goal setting, follow through, etc. It’ll be money well spent.
Photo credit 1: borissey working women3
Image credit sales process graph: Peaksalesconsulting
Carl HoffmanAugust 30, 2012
For the last three places I worked I did one interview. What worked for me was to have my reputation arrive before I came on the scene. Take yourself for example. I would hire you without an initial interview because you have already won my confidence. What is necessary is for us to find the best fit for you. In my last job as a consultant I was always in a sales mode because when you do not sell, there is no reason to keep you around. I never acted hungry. I always dress well, drive an interesting car, and try to be an interesting person. When I am with a client, I give them my undivided attention. No cell phone talking or texting when a client is around. Also, research is necessary. I love statistics and look at them all the time. In my present position, I came prepared with the last 20 years of their history memorized and asked them questions based on that information. You do not have to throw that much mud on a fence if you know where to throw it the first time. That means target advertising and your ideas on a personal level are invaluable. More power to you!
DeborahSeptember 9, 2012
Carl, WOW… this is fantastic advice.
Undivided attention. I think a lot of us can take a page from that book!
Memorizing relevant stats and high points of 20 years as the basis for questions… wonderful. I’m certain they could tell you had done your homework.
My last comment… where is your blog? I’d like to be reading it!
ps. thanks for the vote of confidence!