Your career to date may not have had a “sales function”- i.e. a section of your role that is directly responsible for bringing in money for the business, but now that you are hitting the job market, it is time to switch mentalities.
You are now in sales.
“And what am I selling?” You may ask. You are selling yourself and that hopefully, very well put together little sales brochure that we generally refer to as your resumé. Still not convinced? Here’s 4 reasons you should consider yourself in sales.
1.You have a “Product” to sell.
No one particularly likes to think of themselves as a “product” being sold to the market, but when it comes to job hunting. Your experience and aptitude is your product and the jobs available on the market are your potential customers.
With this in mind, you need to think about your approach – the classic approach to successful sales is that it’s not about what you can take from your customers, but what you can give and selling your skills is no different. When putting together your CV, Cover Letter and Job Applications, think about the following:
- What value will my experience be adding to their company / what am I giving them?
- How does my experience fit in with their current requirements?
- What in my CV makes me stand out above the other applicants that might have the same experience as me?
- Is my “brochure” high quality, well laid out and easy to read?
2. Be Prepared to Engage in Networking and Numerous Sales Calls.
Salespeople would be absolutely stoked if they only had to make on call to “seal the deal”. Whilst this approach may fluke its way to through happening, the reality is that the process usually takes numerous calls and networking to get the result.
It’s not different in a job hunt. You will need to consider the resources at your disposal and utilise them including;
- A good industry specialist recruiter (keyword, specialist) – someone that speaks with your type of people day in, day out is usually the best place to start as they will likely already know the customers interested in your product. Many of whom, won’t be advertising.
- Your own networks – you know people that know people, why not utilise this.
- Job Boards.
3. Understand that you have an “Asking Price” known as your “Salary.”
If you can accept that your experience is your product, you now need to consider that this also comes with an asking price – aka your salary.
As recruiters, we will always want to push your salary higher as it pays us to do so, but you need to be aware of what the market is currently paying for your skill set. Your research may guide you to discover that you are underpaid and if this is the case, great! Push for higher.
It may also however show that you are well above the industry average and if this is the case, be prepared to be able to sell and/or justify your price point or even potentially take a step back – sometimes the market or a company simply cannot budge.
4. Not Everyone will be Interested in Buying.
We all hope that when we hit the job market, that everyone will be interested in our skills and dazzling personalities. This is obviously not usually the case. Resumes are unsuccessful, interviews happen but don’t progress and job offers fall through. This is all a normal part of the process.
Mentally preparing yourself for not making the sale is just as important as curating your pitch to be the best it can possibly be. Learn from it, and just like rejection in a sales role, your pitch will be stronger for it the next time.