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Reviewing the Classics: Three Keys to Getting an Excellent Sales Job in any Economy

three salespeople looking for a new job standing on a ladder

The Sales Professional's Playbook: Three Key Moves for a Successful Job Hunt in Any Economy

     This post is for salespeople seeking a new job in a competitive market.

     No matter how successful you have been or how successful you will be in the future, there will always be times you find yourself in the job market unwillingly. At first, it’s shocking, and then you’ll need to adapt quickly.

This post will provide a simple framework for tightening up your job search game.

The Unpredictable Job Market

If you have found the job market to be relatively kind to you, and now you feel like you’re dealing with an angry in-law, you are not alone. But there are things you can do to elevate your search. And from here, it doesn’t look like it will take too much to stand out.

Sometimes, it seems as if all these things have been said a thousand times, and many of them have, but daily, as a headhunter for tech sales roles – I see fundamental mistakes made even by the most senior-level executives.

So, let’s review three classic ideas you can use to get an excellent job in any economy:

First–Embrace professional excellence before you need it if you wait until you are looking for a new job to commit to excellence, it’s too late. But better late than never. The first thing you must do is commit to being the best at what you do.

And if you are continuing forward in your career because it’s easier than finding something else to do- consider this a sign you should reconsider. Life is shorter than you imagine, so do not waste it on things you can’t get excited about. After all, this is your life we’re talking about here.

So, commit to being the best or finding something you can be the best at.

Second- Subtleties matter: be aware of what you are communicating. Let’s take a look at the accountant. Unlike some salespeople, accountants don’t show up to work in Hermès scarfs. Salespeople imagine this is because they are well – accountants.

Some might assume accountants are just frugal by nature. But whether it’s on purpose or not, accountants want you to know one thing about them – they are careful with money.

Accountants want to show you they are disciplined and prudent with their money and will be disciplined and prudent with your company’s money, too.

So, when you show up to an interview, what do you want to directly or indirectly communicate about how you are as a salesperson? What does presenting a clean, crisp, and polished resume infer about how you put together a client presentation? What does listing job duties on your resume instead of achievements say about your ability to understand the difference between what your product does vs what outcomes your solution delivers?

When someone asks you the most basic question during an interview, “What do you sell at Company X?” and the other person hears a word salad, what does that say about your ability to clearly communicate your product’s most essential value?

In a competitive job market, the details matter. 

Third–Your network is your life preserver during rocky times. Somewhere along the line, networking died, and we attempted to replace it with social media.

No doubt, networking can be awkward – everyone has had an experience or two where they were trapped in conversations with no hope of an escape.

But the adage, “Who you know is more important than what you know,” is still valid in most circumstances. Your former colleagues can speak firsthand about the results you produce.

Having your network vouch for you can be the difference between getting a job quickly and staying unemployed for months. The networking process can begin with reaching out to former colleagues.

Find out where your former teammates work and tell them you are on the market and looking for a new role.

Building a Foundation for Your Future Success

So, position yourself for success and consider nothing may be more important right now than to start working on these skills.

This involves calling up your old colleagues, taking courses to help you gain new skills, and thinking about how you showcase and demonstrate your skills to employers throughout the interview process. Continue to build your in-person network like it’s your job. 

You might sign up to attend classes or volunteer in person, but remember that building your network is an ongoing investment that lasts a lifetime. And the sooner you get started and the more consistent you are, the better!  

Sonja Hastings SCR123

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