When you set out to land a better sales job, your first objective is to sell yourself to a new employer. In a way, sales people have an advantage when it comes to finding a new job. The skills that you perfect day in and day out are the very skills needed to find a new job.
The first thing you've got to realize about finding a better sales job is that you don't need to follow the typical resume-application-wait-for-an-interview routine that so many people find themselves wrapped up in. If you view your job search as a normal sales process, with you as the product you're selling, you'll achieve better results: a better sales job.
Let's take a look at the five steps to landing a better sales job:
1. Know Yourself
Not all sales people are the same, and not all jobs are the same either. To find the best job for you, you've got to do some self-analysis. What are your interests? What are your skills and strengths? By being honest with yourself about these questions, you can significantly narrow down your field of interest, which helps when you're looking for a better sales job.
2. Research Your Possibilities
Now that you know what kind of job you're looking for and have narrowed your search down to just a few industries, it's time to do some research.
The first place to start is online. You can learn a lot about a company from a cursory web search. Start with their company website, and see if you can learn about its current sales people, pay structure, market, and competition. Take a look at LinkedIn to find out who's already working there. If you have contacts there, you'll be able to learn even more.
If you like what you see online, get on the phone and call the sales department. Talk to current sales reps and be straightforward about your intentions. Ask them questions about training, challenges, their services and products, and what it's like to work there. Such a conversation can have great benefits in the long run.
3. Ask Probing Questions
During your interview, be thorough and honest in your answers, but focus on asking really good questions. This is a classic sales technique, and it will show your prospective employer that you've got skills, but even more important, your questions will give you deeper insights that will help you evaluate whether or not this is a better sales job.
Listen carefully to the answers to your questions, and use the answers to further the conversation. For example, if you ask the interviewer what the biggest challenges are to the sales department right now, you can know which of your skills could be helpful in solving the department's problems. This gives you a great advantage in getting a better sales job.
4. Explain Why You're the Solution
Can you explain in a few sentences why you are the best sales person for this job? If not, you might need to ask a few more good questions. Your goal in an interview should be to articulate your value proposition. Give the interviewer specifics: how much money you made for your last employer, how you closed deals, and how you found new prospects. Nothing comforts an employer like numbers they can count on. Give the interviewer specifics.
5. Follow Up for a Better Sales Job
Again, your initial contact with a potential employer should mirror your best sales skills, and following up is a skill that should never be neglected. Send a handwritten thank you note after the interview. During the wait, consider putting together a plan showing how you would approach the job based on information you gleaned during the interview.
These five steps can help you to land a better sales job. With a better sales job, you will be closer to reaching your career goals.