We’re all in sales, so use tools of the trade to find a job

Friday, May 8, 2015, Vol. 39, No. 19

Lately, I’ve heard the phrase, “we’re all in sales” a few too many times.

This thought can be a strange one to grasp when you think about it.

For example, how could you ever be considered to be “in sales” if you work in the accounting, operations or legal department?

Chances are that when you started your career, you were open to many more options than you are today.

After all, you had no particular experience yet and just wanted to get your feet wet.

You’d take any job that was related to what you studied, just as long as it would pay the bills.

As time goes on however, your needs become more specific.

You may become set on a particular industry, department or role within the organization.

As such, the number of total opportunities available shrinks considerably.

In turn, the career competition within a certain category can increase.

Rather than distribute your resume as if your computer were a firehose, it’s time to become more targeted.

The first step in the sales process is prospecting.

In your job search, you want to identify the organizations that are the best fit for you. Select the companies that are the most likely to need your services.

In fact, you may even begin to think of yourself as a product you’re trying to market.

Next, a salesperson gathers data and sets up meetings with identified prospects.

For a job seeker, this equates to networking.

There’s no better way to lay the foundation with your target companies than to get to know them, and their problems.

Set up coffee or lunch with those you meet, so you can learn more about what makes them and their organizations tick.

Learn what their biggest pain points are.

Designing a proposal and presenting solutions are often the next step in sales.

As you apply for jobs, present what you, the product, can bring to the table.

What need will you meet for the company?

What pain point will you help them to resolve?

How will you add value to the bottom line?

Rather than just apply online and have your resume enter a black hole, it’s time to consider a new approach.

Follow up with those you’ve been networking with.

Call them, send them e-mails, and setup additional meetings.

Express what you bring to the table that will make all the difference to their business.

Often, jobs are not found on big online job boards, but through persistent and calculated networking.

Those in your network will share open positions over casual conversations or through e-mail.

They’ll think to pass opportunities along to you because you’ve taken the time to stay in touch and to understand their needs. You’re top of mind.

In fact, they may even call you before the job is posted.

By looking at yourself as a salesperson, and the work that you do as a product, you’ll be ahead of your job seeking competition – and will land your “sale” before you know it.

Angela Copeland is CEO and founder of Copeland Coaching and can be reached at CopelandCoaching.com.