I remember Bill Cullen telling a contestant “everyone is a salesperson”, during a series of The Apprentice. The last 18-24 months has served to emphasise his point. We have experienced a significant reduction in available jobs, and a significant increase in competition for these jobs. This has placed even greater importance on our ability to sell our product effectively. Having said this, I am not convinced that all job seekers accept (or want to accept) this point. I hear resistance on a daily basis – “I’m not a salesperson, I’m ABC”,” If I wanted to be a salesperson, I’d be selling second hand cars”, or “I am no good at sales”. It is time job seekers accepted that WE ARE ALL SALESPEOPLE! Resisting can only lead to one outcome – negative job search results.
Some points to consider…
Ignore the customer – (at your peril). Most job seekers take little notice of company requirements during the job search cycle. Any good salesperson will tell you, understanding the customer requirements is the foundation for any successful sale. Understanding the customer when job hunting is easy – you don’t even have to ask probing questions. The job description outlines the customer requirements. It is important to understand and highlight how you meet these needs. REMEMBER – Company requirements determine CV content and your focus during interview.
Product knowledge is not important – (for those addicted to rejection). Many job seekers cannot communicate their key skills and achievements effectively. If you don’t know yourself, then how can the HR person get to know “you”. Brainstorm skills, experience, achievements, and identify your USP’s. Do this exercise in the comfort of your own home, rather than under the glare of the interview spotlight. Practice talking about your strengths and achievements until comfortable.
Wait for opportunities to sell – (if you have plenty of time on your hands). Opportunities rarely land on your lap. You must go out and generate them. You can’t sell if you don’t have a lead, and you can’t get a job without an opportunity. If you are no on the phone (or meeting people), then you are not selling. Get proactive and get hired.
You can no longer rely on skills, experience and qualifications to get you a job. The ability to package and sell yourself to potential employers is key. If you don’t take responsibility for selling product “YOU”, then you will struggle in the current job market. It is unlikely that someone else will champion your cause. You can become more successful if you learn and practice the skills of exceptional salespeople. Transform your sales ability, and transform your job hunting results.
Do you want to learn how to sell like Hector Sleazeburger? Join “Measurability Careers & Jobs Club” on LinkedIn” (A group dedicated to helping job seekers).