hether you are looking for your first sales job, or want to switch roles and try working for another company, the job hunting process can be daunting for even the most self-assured and experienced applicants. In this article, we will look at the steps you can take to ensure that you track down the best sales position for you.
A healthy measure of self-confidence is the best foundation for success. As someone inclined towards a career in sales, you will know the importance of outlining the benefits of a product or service. As you look for your next job, you will need to apply these very same skills in covering letters and interviews. In other words, you will need to be willing to sell yourself as the obvious candidate for the position. Start by taking an inventory of the experience you have gained to date, as a sales professional. What products and services have you sold and within which sectors? Do you have experience selling to individuals, businesses, or both? Use this information as the basis for your CV. If you have met or exceeded sales targets on a consistent basis, make sure you highlight this wherever possible, during the application process.
What do you enjoy?
Think about the kind of sales job you would most enjoy. For example, what kinds of products and services do you want to sell? If you have a genuine interest in a certain sector, this will come through to a prospective employer. Do not apply for a position that would require you to sell products which do not interest you and with which you have little or no experience. Research a company carefully, before making an application for a sales role. Go online, look through their website and run a Google search, to find out more about their reputation. You could even call the sales department. Make contact with a member of the sales team and ask them what they sell, the ways in which they sell it and why they enjoy working at the company (asking them to list the downsides is unlikely to yield any answers, because the employee in question will worry that their feedback will somehow come to the attention of their manager).
Do you fit in?
As you learn more about your potential employer, ask yourself whether you can see yourself fitting into the company culture and adding value to their business. If you cannot devise a ready explanation as to why you can help their business run more smoothly, ask yourself whether this position really seems like a good fit. It is worth taking the time to look through job advertisements – you need to find a company that appeals to you, that has a reputation for valuing its salespeople and is showing signs of growth and innovation. This information can all be gleaned from online information, such as business based websites, professional networking sites and trade journals.
When it comes to looking for job postings, the same rules apply as in most other job sectors. Explore a range of avenues. Start by looking at commonly used job websites, but take a range of other approaches too. Visit company websites and look for more information about current openings, network with any existing contacts you may have at other organisations and let everyone you know (within reason, of course – do not tell your manager that you plan to leave, until you have another job lined up) that you are looking to make your next career move.
Interviews area two-way process
Just as you would approach any negotiation with the hope of securing a win-win outcome for all parties, you should tackle job interviews in the same way. Do not hand over your personal power to the interviewer, by assuming that you would be lucky to land the job and that the position is your best or only chance of furthering your career. Instead, see an interview as a two-way process, in which you can learn more about the company and the role. Be open to the possibility that just as a prospective employer may not decide that you are the right person for the job, you may come to the conclusion that they are not the right company for you.
The best salespeople know how to ask the right questions and to make good use of the answers. An interview is the perfect place for you to demonstrate that you possess this skill, whilst at the same time enabling you to maintain a degree of control over the whole process. Once you learn to view the process of job hunting in this way, you will feel empowered to seek the best position for you, rather than accept the first offer that is presented to you. In the long run, this increases the likelihood that you will find a job that brings you a great deal of satisfaction.
Click here if you would like to gain further understanding and a qualification with our online Closing Techniques Certificate course