Selling Yourself into a Job

If you’re currently without a job or need of upgrading your job, it’s time to work on selling yourself. The key to success is to stop right now and think about what you are selling. Yourself. This should be the easiest sale you’ll ever make. Who other than you has more in-depth knowledge about your talents, abilities, and desires?

The first key to success in this endeavor is to look at an employment situation as a selling situation. You’ll play two roles. In a job interview, you are both the salesperson and the product. Your goal is to match your particular features and benefits (skills and talents) with the needs of a qualified employer.

Here are six steps to help you.

Step 1: Begin by Prospecting

Prospecting means finding the right potential buyer for what you’re selling. When you’re selling yourself into a new job, it means finding the right potential employer.

You should already know what type of work you most enjoy. That word enjoy is key here: if you don’t firmly believe that you would enjoy the type of job you’re seeking, you’ll have trouble being enthusiastic about job hunting. It’s a lot easier to be excited about a job that interests you than about one that happens to have the biggest ad online or has the salary range you need to have an enjoyable lifestyle.

You may send out literature on your product. Product literature in this case is called a resume. Have your resume professionally prepared. Chances are good that it will be competing with quite a few others that have been professionally prepared. You don’t want yours to look like a poor relation.

Be different. At this point, you’re not yet selling yourself into the job. You’re selling the reader of the resume (and cover letter) on interviewing you. Use only what may be appropriate for your particular employment situation. Enclose a photograph of yourself, dressed appropriately for the position. Having a face on the résumé to put with the attributes of the candidate establishes a certain familiarity. Add a clever quote to the bottom of your cover letter. Taking a few moments to research this attention-getter will make your resume stand out.

To ensure that your name gets attention more than once, send a thank-you note the day after you send your resume. Thank-you notes are always read. If the recipient hasn’t had the time to review your resume by the time they receive your note, don’t you think they’ll go looking for your name among the stacks of others? You will have made a positive first impression that will bring you closer to getting that precious interview. [Read more…]

How I Built Rapport with Members of Hell’s Angels

I think most salespeople will agree that building rapport is one of the most critical skills a sales pro can develop. Since we work with many different types of clients, we have to think on the run, including the time I built rapport with members of Hell’s Angels.

Don’t you wish we could know about the people we could be serving before we meet them? Wouldn’t it be great if we could just know a couple of things about them in advance so we could prepare our opening lines? Well, that’s rarely the case in sales. Especially in the field of real estate, you never know what you’ll find behind the doors of even the most beautiful homes.

One of the most dramatic examples of needing to make a good first impression happened after about my third year in real estate. At this point, I had finally turned my dismal career around and was doing pretty well. I was wearing the latest style of men’s clothing and driving a brand new Cadillac. The Cadillac was THE real estate car of the 60’s. It was long, sleek and just beautiful. [Read more…]

Four Social Media Tips

I don’t profess to  be an expert in social media. I do profess to be an expert on the subject of selling. That being said, let me give you four social media tips for sales pros.

Tom HopkinsTip #1 – Complete Your Profile
Complete your profile before trying to connect with people. I see this most often on LinkedIn. I receive literally hundreds of requests to connect with people on LinkedIn every month. I view LinkedIn as a tool…not a race to see how many connections I can make. I want to know who these people are.

  • If you haven’t yet uploaded a photo of yourself or your product, you’re not ready to use LinkedIn as the valuable tool it is. If you don’t like any of your photos, have a professional take one. It’s 100% worth it.
  • If you have not included at the very least your job title, your industry and your company name, you’re only toying with this incredible resource.

If I cannot determine from your profile whether or not we have something in common that’s related to business, I will not accept the connection. And you should treat LinkedIn the same way.

Tip #2 – Be prepared to work.
Somewhere along the line a lot of people got the idea that because postings appear instantaneously, that it’s a shortcut to success. There are no shortcuts to success. Selling always has been and always will be a process of building relationships.

Social media is an excellent tool for building relationships but the basic principles of selling still apply. You must prospect, connect, establish rapport, and qualify before you can earn the right to present any type of offer.

Tip #3 – Schedule social media time wisely.
In reading a comment in one of your groups on Facebook or LinkedIn, you read a great comment by Bob Smith. You let Bob know how much you appreciate what he said. Someone else comments on your comment. Another chimes in with a link that takes you away from the conversation and off onto another topic. Eventually, you come back to trying to connect with Bob outside of this conversation. When you view his profile, you note that he’s connected with someone else you might want to connect with…and it goes on and on. Next thing you know, it’s 11AM and you have not yet invested any part of your day in your real job–interacting directly with people who are in a position to own your product or service.

How much time is reasonable for you to commit to social media? What time of day is best for you to do it? Not your best selling time. Figure that out. Schedule it. Set a timer if you must, but STOP when it’s time to move on to another productive activity.

Tip #4 – Offer assistance before attempting to sell.
You wouldn’t walk up to a stranger and say, “Read my book!” “Subscribe to my blog!” or “Buy my product!” (Well, some people might act that way, but not sales pros, right Champions?) So don’t do it in social media. Engage people first. Offer to be of assistance. Ask questions about their challenges, their needs. Then, only after a comfortable dialog has been established have you earned the right to even mention the possibility of providing service.

Social media is today’s hot tool  for communication. And, it can be quite fun and productive–when you use it like a tool. The frenzy around it is not very different from new innovations in selling in the past–the f ax machine, overnight delivery, computers, mobile phones, laptops, e-mail, tablets and so on. Those are all tools of the trade that have moved business communications forward. They have accelerated the speed with which we can gain new knowledge and communicate with others. They have not replaced the communication process that is essential to the sales process.

As with any new tool, there are best practices for maximizing the effectiveness of social media. Invest the time to understand it. Use it wisely. And, you’ll gain the incredible benefits it can bring to your career.

Copyright Tom Hopkins International, Inc.

Be Proud to Be a Salesperson by Robert Terson

A few months ago Nicki and I went looking at exercise equipment. I was experiencing sciatica in my left leg (I didn’t know it at the time, but it was caused by a synovial cyst pressing on the nerve between L4 and L5; after an MRI revealed the problem, microsurgery provided the cure), was getting physical therapy treatments at the hospital, and needed to purchase an item for my home exercises. We went to a number of places, including two sports-equipment stores, finally found what I needed at a top-of-the-line exercise-equipment store on Golf Road in Schaumburg.

Author of Selling Fearlessly

Author of Selling Fearlessly

There was only one salesperson in the store—a tall, lanky young man in his mid-30s. It took only a few minutes for me to realize I was in the presence of a real pro; I thought he was a terrific salesperson for the following reasons:

1. He was incredibly knowledgeable about every product in the store; the man knew his stuff.  He answered every question like the late Ted Williams talking about the fine points of hitting a baseball; it was impressive.

2. He asked a number of excellent questions directly related to my condition; he wasn’t about to proceed without getting the information he needed to do his job properly.

3. When I asked about a $2,000 piece of equipment (a similar piece of equipment I was using during my sessions at the hospital), he smiled, extolled its virtues, and then told me a $15.00 exercise rope would do the job for me for a heck of a lot less money. He wasn’t interested in selling me something he didn’t think was in my best interest. He was far more interested in establishing a long-term relationship with us than making a specific high-dollar-amount sale. [Read more…]

Using Phone and Email for Sales Conversions

phone email iconsAccording to Leads360’s latest report, The Ultimate Contact Strategy – How to Best Use Phone and Email for Contact and Conversion Success, “Lead response persistence is critical to maximize conversion. Making more than one call and sending even just one email can have a positive impact on lead conversion, yet 50% of leads are never called a second time and 59% of leads never receive an email.”

When leaving a voice message for a new lead keep it simple. Leave your name and number twice – once at the beginning of the message. Again at the end. Refer to the fact that you’re calling about the information they requested. Then, state a benefit of your offering to pique their curiosity to learn more (thus increasing the chances they’ll either return your call or accept your next follow up call.) [Read more…]

In It to Win It Amazon Best Seller

in it to win itI recently joined a select group of fellow business experts to co-author the book,
In It To Win It: The World’s Leading Experts Reveal Their Top Strategies for Winning in Business and in Life! The book was released by CelebrityPress™ – a leading business book publisher.

In It To Win It: The World’s Leading Experts Reveal Their Top Strategies for Winning in Business and in Life! was released on Thursday, August 2nd, 2012 and features entrepreneurs and professionals from around the world revealing their top secrets on an array of subjects ranging from health, wealth and marketing, to business success.  Some of the topics covered in the book include meeting client expectations, luxury home marketing, growing your virtual business, keys to highly successful marketing leaders, thinking like an owner, re-engineering your sales force, the psychology of sales and creating loyalty, among others.

On the day of release, In It To Win It reached best-seller status in four Amazon.com categories – reaching #2 in the Direct Marketing category.  The book also reached best-seller status in the Small Business & Entrepreneurship, Marketing, and Entrepreneurship categories.

After such a successful release, I was fortunate to be recognized by The National Academy of Best-Selling Authors™, an organization that honors authors from many of the leading independent best-seller lists.

Order Your Copy of In It to Win It

Keep Your Boat Afloat

How do negative thought patterns affect your life? They give you the emotional droops. Your drooping emotions bring on a mental sag. Then your sagging mental powers cause a downturn in your job performance. That downturn leads directly to a sharp decline in your income. The decline in your income gives you more negative thought patterns, and they add more spin to your downward spiral.

We all go into declines. We all slide downhill now and then. Here are a few things you should be continuously doing to keep from getting exposed to depression:

[Read more…]

Rapport Building – Step 8: Act Relaxed

If you have a nervous or stilted manner when trying to establish rapport with clients, instead of relaxing them, you’ll put them on edge. If you’re nervous, they’ll get nervous and start raising their walls of sales resistance. They’ll question your reasons for wanting to talk with them. They’ll become suspect of your every move.

In selling situations, many of your clients will respond to your demeanor in kind. What that means is that if you come across friendly and non-threatening, they’ll feel friendly and not threatened by you. In other words, you get what you give. That’s why it’s so important to be well-prepared before meeting with your clients. [Read more…]

Mastering Your Inner Game by Dan Kennedy

We’re going to talk about the inner game of building your business. I believe that the inner game is simply all-important. “The inner game” is a new term for a classic idea explained many different times, many different ways by virtually every success educator, and even philosophers.

In the book Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill reveals the secret using the words, “thoughts are things.” Dennis Waitley has worked with U.S. astronauts and Olympic athletes on their inner games. Author Tim Galloway explores the ideas of his books, The Inner Game of Golf, The Inner Game of Tennis and The Inner Game of Selling.

Interestingly, there is a never-ending connection between the inner game in sport and the inner game in business, allowing experts like Waitley, Galloway, ex-quarterback Fran Tarkenton and golfer Arnold Palmer, among others, to step back and forth between expounding on success techniques in the athletic and business worlds. [Read more…]

Rapport Building – Step 6: Finding Common Ground

In the rapport setting stage of selling, your #1 goal, as stated in other blog posts on this site, is to help people to like you, trust you and want to listen to you. If you think about selling situations you’ve been in yourself, you’ll have to admit you have the same preference. The sale just seems to flow more smoothly when you learn that you have something in common with the salesperson. So, part of your job in this stage of the sale is to learn something about your buyers that you have in common and talk about it briefly to demonstrate that commonality.

Here are some areas to consider in consumer sales (B-to-C):

  • Are they married?
  • Do they have kids? If so, how many? What ages? Are the kids involved in sports, music or other activities?
  • Are these people sports fans? What sports? What teams? (Take note if they’re wearing a local team’s jacket, shirt or baseball cap.)
  • What part of town do they live in?
  • Have they always lived in this city? If not, what area of the country did they move from? If you moved to the area from elsewhere you can briefly talk about first impressions of the area or what they enjoy most about living there. [Read more…]