Ever watch your favorite sport, your player or team seems to be hopelessly losing the game? What are your thoughts when suddenly he, she, or they elevate into a higher gear, a much higher gear, an intensity that even an earthquake could not penetrate or of them cause distraction? How turned on and enthusiastic are you when they manage the most remarkable come from behind victory you’ve ever witnessed?
I wonder what it takes to win against the greatest of adversities. To be so melancholy and depressed because you’ve been on fifteen job interviews and then dismissed while hearing the same ol’, same ol,’ “We’ve got five more candidates to interview; we’ll call you in a week.” So much so, that going on future interviews seems like a total waste of time? I used to ask myself that very question; in fact, I asked it many times, only not about getting the job offer; I asked it about making the sale.
“What has been getting the job offer to do with making a sale,” you ask? Aren’t they the same thing? Think about It?
In both cases, something is sold. Either a product/service or YOU! Stop a minute; think! When I was selling a product to a prospective account, was it not my purpose to influence that buyer to say, “I’ll take it?” I don’t know about you, but whenever I went on interviews, I wanted to hear the same thing, “I’ll take you; you’re hired, when can you start? What, pray tell, is the difference?
Here are the biggest problems for many. And I don’t want to hear, “I can’t sell water to a lost soul in the deserts of Egypt .” Are you married? Have you now or ever had a girlfriend? Have you ever pled with your parents to attend an unsupervised party where there may be booze when you were a teen? Have you e tried to make a case for not having done your homework for school or not completing an assignment on time at work? No sir or madam, don’t tell me you’ve n sold anything. Sometimes when caught in a suspected lie, haven’t we all tried to save face by pleading even more challenging to defend our lie? Everybody sells, and they do so every day of their lives. Getting back to the most significant problem, it is that many don’t know when they are selling and have little knowledge of what selling is or what it is to sell? It is primarily for those who fit this description that I write this essay? To those who are masters at sales, it won’t hurt to read this as well.
Whether selling a product or oneself, both have features; bells and whistles, if you permit. It is the features and quality that buyers examine to gauge if the products are saleable; if indeed, they fit their customer’s profile and buying preferences. The buyer seeks to purchase products that will produce “profits.” Although buyers can never be sure to what degree of profits a product shall yield, they engage judgment and experience to make prudent buying decisions. It’s true, if a salesperson desired, he or she could hand the product to the buyer with its catalog sheet and wait for a yes or no response. Herein lays the definition of an “order taker.”
Have you ever heard of the Paretto Principle? Most times, it is referred to as the 80/20 rule. Simply put, it means that of many things, especially in sales, that 20% of the sales people produce 80% of the sales. The remaining 80% is comprised of mediocre to poor producers. Having spilled the beans, so to say, these numbers do not indicate that some of the 80% cannot be taught, coached, or mentored into achieving the top 20% status. Andre Agassi, Maria Sharapova, Barry Bonds, Wayne Gretzky, the 2008 Phillies, and other great achievers were not always #1; however, once they reached #1, few dropped below the top 20% before retiring. My point is, even though you may feel as though you can’t sell, you may be among those that learn well “ How to Win Friends & Influence People“, a best-selling book written by Dale Carnegie in 1936.
Let’s examine how the above scenario changes when a top 20 salesperson sells the same product. First, he or she will have put together a formal presentation of their product. It will not be enough to state that the “bells and whistles” exist, but how dramatically they will be accepted and cherished by the buyer’s customers. The salesperson accomplishes this by emphasizing the best features of his product. He or she will successfully demonstrate how profitable the product is and try to convince the buyer of its superior salability against similar products; that it outsells them all wherever it has been displayed. However, is it merely enough to do the above? Well, that depends on how believable, passionate, and focused the salesperson is. Merely making a mundane presentation and speaking almost in monotones, as would Al Gore if making one of President Obama’s speeches, will undoubtedly undermine all attempts to influence or make a case for anything. Al Gore is exceptionally knowledgeable but puts many to sleep when he speaks. When presenting products, top 20 salespersons speak as though they truly believe in the product they are selling and that its value is more significant than its price. Moreover, if they don’t, I think the results of their efforts will suffer.
Relating the above to selling yourself in an interview, hopefully, by now, you can see many similarities. One that I failed to mention above is “control.” “It is well-known in sales; “control” and most times the seller prevails” (ARNOLD SHERR). Just as the salesperson created a formal presentation to sell his or her product, so must you to sell you. You must take control of the interview right from the start. Respectfully requesting the interviewer’s permission to tell them a little about you is all it takes. After all, that will probably be their first question anyway; it is far better if you are first to offer. You can make your presentation as would Al Gore, or you can sound as though you believe in your product (YOU). If you can’t make them feel you believe in you; then, why should they? You must practice your presentation as President Obama practices his speeches. You don’t have to memorize it; it’s okay to have notes or an outline. It’s true. However, there is a lot more to this than I can put to paper without writing a book. Speaking of which, there are many great books about sales presentations; check it out!
In essence, what I am trying to convey is this. Very few job seekers belong to the top 20 interviewer’s club. Therefore, if you follow my lead, you will shine. If you shine brighter and better than those with whom you compete, it will be you that wins the trophy. I write many essays on this and other related employment subjects. Requests for copies are my pleasure to grant. However, I have an even better idea; call me, and I will personally answer your questions and listen to your concerns. 727-219-0177
I am Arnie Sherr, and I wish you job-hunting success.
- The state of energy, enthusiasm, and a sense of purpose, and the ability to get things going and get things done.
- Characterized by vigorous activity and producing or undergoing change, development, and personal growth.
- In physics, it involves or relates to the energy and forces that produce motion or the desired result.