Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Don't Sell Yourself Short

Okay, this isn't an obvious connection for folks seeking their First Real Job: "Achieve Sales Success by Mastering these 5 Steps," an infographic found at http://www.salesforce.com/sales-cloud/resources/sales-success-how-to-successful.jsp.

You may have no ambition to sell anything: not a paperclip, not a used car, not a Girl Scout cookie, not anything. Nor am I suggesting that you should want to go into sales. Not everybody does, and that's just fine.

But face it: you will be selling yourself when you are on the job market. So why not learn from the best, the folks who sell for a living, and who enjoy doing so? Here are the 5 steps, and what you, the job-seeker, can learn from them:

1. The sales attitude, your personality: You don't get a choice but to sell if you are on the job market, so you're not using this information to decide if sales is right for you. But you can see what the skills are, and evaluate what skills and attitudes you need to cultivate to be successful.

2. The sales call: You're probably not "cold-calling" and asking "Hello, do you have a job for me?" But you might find these strategies useful asking for informational interviews, following through on an application, or otherwise initiating a job-related action.

3. The discovery call: Ways to consider whether and how your product (that is, you as an employee) can meet the buyer's (employer's) needs.

4. The voicemail: Aaak! You've called and been sent to voicemail. Rather than just muttering your name and number, here are some ways to make voicemail work for you, rather than against you.

5. The follow-up email: Some basics on what makes a great business email, and a sample of the high standards of communication you'll be bringing to the table as a new employee.

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