"I'm not interested in sales."
How many times have I heard that statement from job seekers in every industry -- even though, as business professionals, we're involved in some aspect of presenting (or "selling") ourselves and our ideas every day?
While I respect that not everyone is cut out to live the fast-paced, people-centric life of a sales person, just about every job candidate can benefit from a sales expert's insights, particularly when it comes to managing business relationships. By developing those skills yourself -- or by working with a recruiting service that understands the methods of successful selling -- you can makethemostof your job-search process.
Here's a short three-step process to successful sales relationship management:
To excel at sales, you first must know your product, and then search out the perfect customers for that product. As a job candidate -- your product is both you and your experience and skills. So the task here is two-fold:
You must identify what you specifically can offer to an employer that sets you apart from other candidates, and you must identify the employers that would be a good match for what you have to offer.
Inmanycases, working with a recruiting service that helps you analyze your specific abilities and helps present your experience effectively can jumpstart your career search process. Try to create an engaging profile of yourself that goes beyond a simple resume, so that a prospective employer can get a sense of your style and your personality. In other words, make yourself memorable!
In addition, take advantage of services that allow you to narrow your search to the kind of companies who truly match your interests. You already know you don't want to work "just anywhere" -- so don't consider positions that aren't a good fit for you.
The second powerful tool for sales professionals is their contact process, or how they go about initiating a conversation with their prospective customers. This skill is also critical to your job search. Mass emailing your resume to every job available -- sometimes to multiple postings at the same company (I've seen it happen!) is not the recipe for success. Instead, each prospect should be considered individually -- whether it's a cutting edge online startup or a centuries-old bricks and mortar firm. By tailoring your message to match your prospect, you show respect and understanding -- and communicate that you value them as a partner in the search process.
Follow Up 跟進
Finally, the smart sales person is always "on" when it comes to conscientious follow-up. Similarly, a timely, thoughtful contact plan after each interview is essential for you to keep communication open with your key prospects -- particularly if you are considering multiple employers at the same time, which is frequently the case in today's job search process. At Climber.com, we provide candidates with a sophisticated contact management interface, but you can also set this up through your own email/calendaring service.
The Bottom Line: No matter what your field, when it comes to the job search process, you can give yourself an edge over the competition by taking a page out of the sales professional's handbook. Take the time to develop a true sales plan for prospecting, contacting, and following up with employers, or work with a job search service to help present you effectively. It can not only make a difference in how quickly you'll land a job -- it can help ensure you land the right position, as well.