8 Items that can Help You Land That New Sales Job! – Revisited

Relationship 2

As I complete my vacation, I recognize that many professionals of all types have been anticipating their job search for 2012.  I wanted to help with some information which goes past the resume.  The resume is important, and I will do some upcoming posts on that subject, yet wanted to use this informative post as the basis to begin thinking about finding a new work home.  This post was originally published on January 6, of 2011 and is timeless in its content.

I certainly hope you find it useful.


2012 will undoubtedly be a good year for the hire of sales professionals.  Pent up demand is showing, and there are possibilities that moving products and distribution will be an important priority during the full year of 2011.  Now, if you are considering a job switch, it is time for you to “get your ducks in line”.

Selling You! – Putting Your Best Foot Forward

I am going to give you some areas that you might want to focus on that could help you in this job search. Some of these you may have used already so this will take the form of a worthwhile reminder.  Some of these may be somewhat new.  From having hired sales professionals, I can tell you these items will enhance your chances!

I have broken this down to Stage 1 and Stage 2.  Stage 3 is negotiations for a job, and will be covered in another post.  There are items inStage 1 which could be better relegated to Stage 2 so use your discretion:

Stage 1 of the job search effort (Discovery and Qualifcation):

  1. Your Accomplishments
  2. Your Sales Numbers/Statistics
  3. Customer Retentions Statistics
  4. Customer Testimonials
  5. Special Skills or Areas of Expertise

Stage 2 of the employment effort (Proving Effectiveness):

  1. Reviews/Appraisal ratings and documents
  2. Income and Commission/Bonus Verification
  3. Your sales agreement/contract

Be prepared! – Stage 1  Who are You?/Who are They?

Most of you have been through these stages before.  Few of us have ever been ‘gifted’ a job, so you had to work to get it.  You know they will ask for your resume and your sales numbers.  My suggestion is that you go in with all of them, neatly recorded and bound.  Remember, your competition is stiff and well prepared.

Your Accomplishments - A good resume featuring your accomplishments is the most solid method.  Dave G. a friend of mine and outplacement professional advises that “… the resume as an indicator of experience is lacking substance if you miss the opportunity to list bullets defining your accomplishments.” An example – “Opened new territory in Kentucky in 2010 – Exceeded sales expectations by 36%”.  If at all possible  be prepared to back up your assertion.

Your  Sales Numbers/Statistics - Gather your sales numbers and put them in their best light.  Whether it is by quarter, by month, or by product.  Know your numbers!  Be an expert on yourself! The numbers do not lie but may tell a special story. I believe you should know this story well.  Use numbers from the last two-three years, plus current, at least.

Customer Retention Statistics - In some types of sales these are important statistics.  Your retention of customers as a percentage of total customers, or retention of business in total as a percentage of total business tells a story about your ability to service and gain loyalty.

Customer Testimonials - Customers who take the time to reduce to writing your value and service to them are invaluable to you.  You should always maintain a file of these and use them appropriately. I would not solicit them, yet when offered I would gladly accept.

Areas of Specialties – Any evidence of specialities can be very important.  Volunteer evidence of your specialties and be prepared to show how this will give you an edge, and how that translates to sales and dollars for your new employer.

Take the Offensive! –  Stage 2 Proving Your Worth

Stage 2 is good ground.  I mention in the listing of items in Stage 2 that could ultimately be integral in getting the job.

Reviews/Performance Appraisal ratings and documents - I would advise that these can get personal. It is a truly a personal opinion as to whether you want to use them, although face a basic fact that they give insight as to your standing with your employer.  When you play this card, it is presumed that you have nothing to hide, and you are serious about a job.  You would only want to use this if you felt comfortable that the information that was in your review is not proprietary regarding the activities of your employer.  You may have an agreement or contract which outlines this, honor it.

Income Verification – In this noble profession, income verification is important.  No one wants to pay you significantly without knowing that you deserve it, and can get it elsewhere.  Be prepared to share an indication of salary and bonus/commission position.  This can be done in a few different ways including W2s, wage stubs, and commission/bonus reports.  Any combination of these items will probably suffice in showing income.

Sales Agreement/Contract – This document is fairly simple.  It will give confidence to anyone that you can work for them and are not restricted.  No new employer wants to be tied up in a legal swamp over the fact that you have agreed to protect materials, client lists, customers, and otherwise in an agreement you signed willingly, then violated.  You may present this in Stage 1 if asked.

Obviously the provision of these items do not guarantee success, but they can increase the probability immensely.

One last important note. I believe that you should protect your employer in terms of the sharing of proprietary information.  Any activity that results in you sharing proprietary information will result in the new employer wondering if you would do the same to them. Plan to pass that test.  Important Stuff!!!

Let us know how you feel about this….send us a comment.

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