How to land a sales job? In some ways, it’s like every other job search. It’s difficult to set yourself apart. What do you do? More resumes? More cold calls? Better clothes?
Friends, you’re in sales! Whether you’ve sold in a previous job or not, how to land a sales job is by selling yourself to your next employer! Work on this project as if you were making a sale. As you make contacts, they will see you exhibiting all the skills you’ll need to be effective in your new position.
Remember, over 60% of all jobs never make the want ads. Don’t limit yourself to the jobs you see posted. Look for the job you want. Make a target list of companies you think would be a good fit. And then go get ’em!
Do your “landing a job” homework
Of course, you need a great resume. And a concise, focused resume. A resume focused on what you’ve done is ok, but a resume focused on what you want to do for your next employer is also important. Include your experience in outcome-based phrases, like “consistently exceeded quota” or “sold 8 multi-million dollar accounts in the 3rd quarter.”
Yes, you need to research your target list, just like you would in a sales job. Make lists of who the key players are, and learn their histories. (It’s probably all on LinkedIn!) You’ll have a much better idea of who might advocate for you, and many good connections may be one introduction away.
Use your sales skills
Cold calling is not dead. It’s part of your job search strategy. Can you just walk in and expect to walk out with a job? Maybe not. But you may get an appointment, or make a connection. You’ll do some calls in person, some via email and Zoom, and some via USPS.
Networking is a great way to cold call for a job. Your research will tell you where to network to meet the people you need to know. Are your target companies members of the Chamber? Join the Chamber. Active in the Red Cross? Volunteer. Networking with target personnel takes some of the pressure off of both of you, and allows you to be less formal.
Don’t talk about your previous employer any more than absolutely necessary. Focus on moving forward and accomplishing good stuff for your next employer. Otherwise they may not see that you’re ready to adapt to a new environment.
Remember to follow up. Just like you would in any sale, you need to follow up promptly and professionally. Email is the way to go. No texting! No phone calls. Email is professional, and respects your contact’s schedule.
You’re a great sales professional. You know what to do. Go forth, and sell yourself. You’ll have a job you love in no time!