Making Quality Connections

two women at a table connecting

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As a Job Seeker, you have entered the world of sales – and the sooner you admit that the better off you’ll be. If a role in sales has not been a part of your experience, you could face the challenge of a significant paradigm shift. The “sales mentality” is not for everyone – making calls, meeting people, attending meetings and conferences and small group discussions are not easy for some people. I know – I’m not a salesperson! And handling rejection? – is one ever good at that?

Sales is the world a job seeker is in (or entering). The product (“YOU”) is your number one priority. And, who other than you can sell you best? No one! The successful marketer develops a clear plan and executes it with energy and determination.

Once your product (“YOU”) is clearly defined and packaged with a good resume and introduction letter, you are ready to find people who could lead you to your next position.

As an executive search consultant, I receive countless requests for assistance. These are unsolicited…and could almost be considered spam, as there is no voice or face to the correspondence. I do not know them – but I do know this about them:

  1. What they’ve told me in their resume.
  2. They are seeking a new position and want me to do something about it.
  3. We have no relationship.

What is the “most important thing about finding a new position?”  Get to know the person with whom you are trying to communicate. Begin building a relationship by giving that person a call…use your 30-second intro to see if you can get an audience. Follow up with that person only after you have connected personally.

Some think blasting a resume to numerous sources is an effective means of locating that “right” position for you. While one could boast about the number of resumes distributed, it is highly questionable that this process will help you land your next position successfully. The personal touch starts with making quality connections – beginning with that often-dreaded cold call.

Cold calls are difficult…and not consistently immediately productive. A salesperson typically lands a conversation 7 to 10% of the time. That means 7 to 10 calls yield one conversation. Following this, the salesperson turns a conversation into an order 7 to 10 % for each successful conversation, which means 200 calls to make one order! Let’s be clear: it takes a lot of calls!

  • 200 calls – 14 discussions – 1 order (interview)
  • 500 calls – 35 discussions – 2 orders (interview)
  • 1000 calls – 70 discussions – 5 orders (interview)

200 calls for 1 interview – a significant number of calls, to say the least. It’s all about the numbers – so set your daily goals and make them happen. These numbers are not presented to discourage you. They are given to encourage you.

Planning and organizing are critical. The first time I depended on my sales ability, I sought my comfort level – finding names easy – but calling them? Forget it. So, I created a discipline for myself. Mornings are best for me: 9 – 11 prime time for my productivity. So, I put on my headset and made my calls between 9 and 11 every day. Every day! I averaged more than 50 calls per day. And, to this day, if my sales are suffering, I can usually attribute it to the fact that my “marketing time” has been overlooked. 

Your job search is all about connections – quality connections – finding names, calling names, and developing relationships with a real person. Don’t let the ease of e-mail get in the way of your number one task:  making connections – quality connections.

Photo by Christina @ on Unsplash

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