Think about it, when companies meet tough times, they might improve their product but you can bet that they will train their salespeople! They will tell them that waiting for the customer to call, is sales suicide! They will train them and then send them out to see more customers.
That’s what selling is all about and what job-searching has always been.
Now more than ever, it is critical that workers and students learn effective job-search techniques. No matter what, you must be a salesperson.
Remember, you are your own product and you need to speak convincingly to your skill-set, experience and qualifications to professionals in your field. Just like how sales-people advertise and market their products, you need to ensure that you market yourself effectively through your resume. This requires a strong understanding of the industry you are trying to get into and familiarizing yourself with the needs of employers.
Furthermore, expand your list of contacts. The more you advertise what you offer, the greater the likelihood that you will get noticed. Going back to how sales-people advertise and market their products; you would want to promote your product to attract as many shoppers as possible. Job-searching is no different, so get out there and spread the word, far and wide, about what you have to offer. Attend networking events, use social media sites and, most importantly, be prepared to sell yourself and what you have to offer to anyone who is interested.
Get to know your target industry (and the companies you are interested in working for) so well that when you communicate with people in it you’re participating in a discussion, not asking for a favor. The more knowledgeable you are about their industry or company, the more interested your contacts will be in speaking with you, and the more likely you’ll be able to recognize potential future job opportunities.
Top salespeople act like consultants; they look to solve customer problems rather than pitching the sale. By listening, you’ll hear about challenges your contacts and their companies are facing, and if you’ve done your homework you’ll be able to contribute your expertise by talking about what other companies have done in similar circumstances. For a dry-run, consider spending time on the Q&A section of Linkedin, where you’ll find all sort of questions from people looking for answers that you might be able to provide.
Have the confidence to end every meeting by establishing next steps – this may be a follow-up meeting or a touch-base over the phone a few months from now. What’s most important is ensuring that you can continue the dialogue at some point – and while you may not be able to firmly schedule a follow-up at the end of your first meeting, you need to open the door for the next one.
Top salespeople are fastidious about keeping track of every conversation with every potential customer. They know when they last spoke with them, what they talked about, what information they shared, and what’s important to them. Job seekers should do the same: Keep detailed records of everyone you’ve spoken with, when, and what you talked about, so that when something relevant appears in the news or on a blog you’ve got reason to follow-up with them.
By following these steps and thinking like a sales-person, you will likely see dramatic improvements in your job-search prospects.