Wednesday, July 15, 2015

How to Land Your Next Sales Job

So many people are looking for jobs right now, it's difficult to set yourself apart. What do you do? More resumes? More cold calls? Better clothes?

Friends, you're in sales! Landing a job is all about selling yourself to your next employer! Work on this project as if you were making a sale. As you make contacts, they will see you exhibiting all the skills you'll need to be effective in your new position.

Remember, over 60% of all jobs never make the want ads. Don't limit yourself to the jobs you see posted. Look for the job you want. Make a target list of companies you think would be a good fit. And then go get 'em! 

Of course, you need a great resume. And a concise, focused resume. A resume focused on what you've done is ok, but a resume focused on what you want to do for your next employer is better. Include your experience, but write your text to focus forward. 

Yes, you need to research your target list, just like you would in sales. Make lists of who the key players are, and learn their histories. (It's probably all on LinkedIn!) You'll have a much better idea of who might advocate for you, and many good connections may be one introduction away.

Cold calling is not dead. It's part of your job search strategy. Can you just walk in and expect to walk out with a job? Maybe not. You'll do some calls in person, some via email, and some via USPS.

Networking is a great way to cold call for a job. Your research will tell you where to network to meet the people you need to know. Members of the Chamber? Join the Chamber. Active in the Red Cross? Volunteer. Networking with target personnel takes some of the pressure off of both of you, and allows you to be less formal.

Don't talk about your previous employer any more than absolutely necessary. Focus on moving forward and accomplishing good stuff for your next employer. 
Remember to follow up. Just like you would in any sale, you need to follow up promptly and professionally. Email is the way to go. No texting! No phone calls. Email is professional, and respects your contact's schedule.

You're a great sales professional. You know what to do. Go forth, and sell yourself. You'll have a job you love in no time!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Ins and Outs of Sales in 2015

Out: canned sales pitch.  In: probing questions.

Out: talking.  In: listening.

Out: cold calling and hoping.  In: networking and planning.

Out: closing a sale.  In: opening a relationship.

Out: customer committing to you.  In: committing to your customer.

Out: customer service lines.  In: customer service reps.

Out: features and benefits.  In: reaching customer goals.

Out: single Decision Maker.  In: group of decision influencers.

Out: faxing.  In: emailing.

Out: just knowing the gatekeeper's name.  In: knowing what the gatekeeper likes in her coffee.

Out: side-stepping gatekeepers.  In: teaming up with gatekeepers.

Out: sign here.  In: we're here for you.

Out: meeting quota.  In: blowing quota out of the water. 

Sales isn't dead as a profession.  Sales is evolving.  Internet shopping has had a huge influence over the job of sales pros.  Your client can (and will) shop the competition from their phone while they're talking to you!  You need to add value to your relationship by being considered an important business partner and resource. The way to make that happen is to be invested in achieving your customers goals, and make sure your product is a part of it. 

Make sure you're clear on the short and long term goals of your customers.  At every meeting, ask how that project is going, and what you can do to move it forward.  Mean it.  The reason you have a job is to do what a computer ordering page cannot: establish a value-driven relationship.