Finding the Sales Job You Want

by Jacques Werth, Founder of High Probability Selling.  © 2004

I have hired and managed many hundreds of salespeople.  In most cases, we spent a great deal of time and money recruiting them.  Those few who called me directly almost always got an interview, even if we had to send them a plane ticket.  The reason is simple: Sales managers want salespeople who are smart enough to apply their prospecting and selling skills to finding a job.

Understand that regardless of economic conditions, every large company, and many medium sized ones, have a multitude of job openings.  Getting those jobs filled by suitable candidates is a long and tedious process, complicated by miles of organizational red tape.  Managers who need to fill positions are often desperately trying to cope.

The fastest way to find the job you want, with a company you want to join, is to do it differently from everyone else.  Find the companies - maybe only 2 or 3 percent of the companies you would like to join - that have a current need for your expertise.  Find them before the job you want gets filled.

Here's how to sell your way into the job you want:

  1. Develop your list of target companies.
    Do a search on the Internet or at the library, and make a list of all of the companies that look attractive to you.  You're looking for companies likely to employ people with your skill set.  Make your list as big as possible - at least two hundred potential employers.
  2. Design a “High Probability Prospecting offer.”  Include the following information:
    1. Your name;
    2. A short comprehensive description of your capabilities;
    3. Two outstanding functions that you can accomplish;
    4. A request for an appointment.
  3. The prospecting offer must contain no more than 45 words.  Example:
    1. This is Jane Salesperson.
    2. I'm an experienced, conscientious salesperson.
    3. I can find and make appointments with prospects that want your types of products and services, and close most of them.
    4. Is that the kind of salesperson you want for your department?
  4. Get the contact information of the decision makers.
    Call all of the companies on your list and get the names of the department managers that you want to call.  While most receptionists won't give out that kind of information, you can usually get connected to someone in the sales department who will look it up for you.  It works to tell them “I need your help.”
  5. Call all of the managers on your list and present your prospecting offer (see above).
    1. If the manager says he/she doesn't need anyone at this time, ask, “Do you know of anyone who does?”  If not, say, “Okay, good bye.”
    2. If the manager asks you to send your resume, say, “I don't put my resume in the mail.  I'll bring it with me if you want to meet.  So, do you want to meet me?”
    3. If the manager tells you to contact HR, say, “Okay, good bye.”  Don't waste your time contacting HR.  Don't send them your resume unless you are the rat that is sure to win the race.
    4. If the manager says “Yes,” you say, “When?”  However, be prepared to handle a preliminary telephone interview.  Be prepared with a list of questions you want answered before you will commit to the appointment, also.
  6. Don't accept the first job offer you get - unless it's the best position you could hope for.  It's generally better to ask for a couple of weeks to think it over.  People who use this system usually get from 3 to 5 job offers within a month!

You CAN find the sales job you want!  Apply the principles of High Probability Prospecting to your job search.  Define and target your market (employers likely to need your skill set), design a High Probability Prospecting offer (offer your expertise, using 2 of your skills as features), and qualify the potential employer (they either need you now, or they don't).  If you diligently follow the process, you will achieve positive results - the sales job you want, at a company you'd like to work for.