“Applying for a sales job is an audition for the job,” wrote John Klymshyn, author of How to Sell Without Being a Jerk!: The Foolproof Approach to the World’s Second Oldest Profession. It’s a good thing to keep in mind while you’re searching for your doorway into a career in sales.
If you think about it, this is the one job where the interview process mirrors the requirements for the job itself. You need to be able to sell things — so being able to sell yourself to an employer is a valuable show of your talents. For this reason, you shouldn’t rely on a resume blast aimed at everyone hiring in the area. Instead, make your approaches personalized and logical based on what each company is looking for. Need more tips? Here are three tips to getting the best sales jobs out there.
1. Understand that Not Every Gig is the Same
The best way to move up is to excel at what you do. To that end, you’ll want a sales job that matches well with your skills and experiences. Don’t just try and work at a company because it has a good reputation, yet lacks the sort of structure or approach you’d prefer. Most people work best with a market segment they understand. Art Sobczak, president of Business By Phone, explains that “a schoolteacher who is tired of low pay, but loves the educational field could target software or equipment companies that sell to schools.”
2. Ask the Right Questions for a Career in Sales
Good sales people don’t wheedle people into buying a product or service: they help lead them with good questions towards figuring out themselves that it’s the right solution for their needs. Listen to what the interviewer is saying, and ask intelligent questions about daily operations based on what you’ve read up about the company. Wendy Weiss, a sales coach and author, recommends that you should “talk 20% of the time and listen the other 80%.”
3. Be Persistent
Even though the advice on how to handle the follow-up varies — many employers would rather not get 50 calls asking whether someone got the job — for sales jobs it can still be helpful, and in the age of email, a handwritten note still stands out. Treat the interview like a sale call you’re following up on, and consider forwarding interesting industry white papers or research and indicate why they might find it valuable to look over.
Are you interested in starting a career in sales? Let us know in the comments. To see more, read this.