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BLOGIt’s (not) all about me

by Randall CraigFiled in: Blog, Career Planning, Make It Happen Tipsheet, New JobTagged as: ,

Even if your day job isn’t “sales”, how often do you engage in the act of selling? More than you might realize. We pitch ideas to our managers or the board. As advisors, we sell our recommendations to our clients. We sell our staff on what they should do. We (try to) convince our children why one course of action is better than another. And certainly, when it comes to managing our careers, we are selling ourselves into new responsibilities, bigger raises, and special projects.

The best advice of 30 years ago suggested a formalized selling process, that might be applied to your “sales” efforts:

  • Develop the product (Complete Education, Earn experience, and Buff up the resume or pitch deck)
  • Meet the client and tell them about the product benefits (Send resume and cover letter, send proposal; networking)
  • Determine the client’s objections (Interview or Presentation)
  • Address objections (Negotiate contract terms)
  • Close the sale (Sign the contract)

Some news: this advice makes as little sense now as it did 30 years ago. And yet, many still mindlessly follow it. The fatal flaw is that it is all about “me”, and says nothing about the requirements of the client. What are their needs? What problem are they hoping to solve? What would the “perfect solution” from their perspective really look like?

The implications are enormous. If you knew just a few of the answers, you wouldn’t waste your time applying for jobs (or pitching for business) for which you were not the best candidate. And you could spend your time improving the “product” (you or your organization) to better fit what the client was looking for.

Consider this different sales approach, which changes the focus dramatically:

  • Identify potential partners (Networking and Research)
  • Understand the problem they are trying to solve (Networking and Coffee meetings)
  • Determine whether your product will address the requirement. (Resume or Proposal)
  • Begin developing trust (Interview or Presentation)
  • Start Relationship (Agree on terms and sign contract)

THIS WEEK’S ACTION PLAN

The next time you are trying to sell anything, move the center of gravity to the other party. This is true whether you are selling services, products, ideas, and especially yourself.

Does this topic resonate? Reach out to Randall: he can present it to your group.  (More presentation topics)
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@RandallCraig (Follow me for daily insights)
www.RandallCraig.com: Professional credentials site.

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