Are You Marketable (& Does Your Company Know It)

My friend Ann recently lost her job as an inside sales coordinator at a large Boston start-up company.  Her entire department was eliminated and her job went along with it.  A friend of ours, Joe, remarked about the situation, “No worries.  She will be fine.  She’s highly marketable!”  I never thought of anyone as being marketable and I market lots of things….my business, my value proposition, but not people.  So, I pondered this remark and I came to the conclusion, he was right.  She’s totally marketable!  She would have no problem finding another job.  But, the more I pondered her marketability, I concluded that most people are below average when it comes to marketing themselves AND I wondered why her current company didn’t realize how marketable she is, thereby finding another position in their firm for her.

First, let’s discuss marketability.  There’s a good chance that the things that make you marketable never show up on your resume or on a job interview.  Here are some things that make my friend marketable:

1. Network – she has a huge network of contacts which makes her a great resource for any organization looking to expand.  She has potential new clients and/or business resources that would drop anything to help her excel.

2. Business Owner – She owns a business of her own.  She appreciates what it takes to run a business and to be responsible for all the bills.  This makes her highly conscious of ways to save money for any organization she works for and because she’s a boss herself, she understands what it takes to be an awesome employee.

3. Highly Social – My friend has run a successful real estate sales business, at one time closing more than 100 transactions in a year.  How?  Connections!  Also, she’s not afraid to talk to people and to insert herself to let them know what business she’s in and how she can help them.  She’s the type of woman that can go into a room of strangers and one hour later have an army of advocates, friends, and associates.  She’s not just highly social, she’s a master networker.

4. Teacher -Ann is a co-author in a self-help book on how to build a successful life and business.  She is the first to raise her hand to help others learn new ways to excel in business and in life.

5. Fashionable – Some would argue that looking good is not a predictor of success in business.  I would disagree.  I know of no highly successful business owner or C-level executive who does not dress for success.  In fact, when interviewing people for my own businesses, fashion matters!  I know that if you care about the way you look, you will also take great pride in my business.

I am sure I am missing some of the reasons that my friend is highly marketable for a position, but what’s important to note is that NONE of the items I have mentioned would ever show up in a job interview or on a resume. Perhaps she could share the business she owns on a resume, but many wouldn’t for the fact that it could be seen as a detriment…what if she’s working on her business instead of concentrating on mine!  In reality, this is a huge value proposition as she markets herself for a new job.

So, how do we market ourselves if we aren’t doing it in our resume or on a job interview?  You can’t!

If you are looking for a job today, you must take stock in your value proposition.  Tally up your value proposition- figure out what makes you marketable.  What makes you better than most other job candidates, and why?  Then create a resume and/or cover letter that properly shares your assets with the potential firm.  Your resume won’t look like most others – but who cares!  Great hiring managers are looking for resumes that scream out to them somehow and yours WILL if you are properly sharing your value proposition.  A resume normally just lists off all of your old jobs.  Does that help you?  Maybe.  If it does, then by all means list away.  If not, eliminate that malarkey and build a case as to why someone should hire you.

Let’s now talk about the job interview.  I’m a big believer in having a presentation ready, a powerpoint which you present via ipad is best.  Create a short presentation that explains your value proposition.  Present that to the hiring manager.  Not only will you be demonstrating that you are an amazing value package for the company but also that you are an amazingly creative salesperson!  Who wouldn’t want you?

Last, but not least, it is absolutely essential that, even if you aren’t looking for a job, you must make sure your current organization fully understands the value you bring to the table.  I was shocked when she was laid off.  Really?  Out of the hundreds of employees that this company has, how many have written a book?  How many have a network like you have?  How many own their own businesses?  Her answer to this…..Oh, they didn’t know.

Unfortunately this Boston start-up firm had a huge asset sitting under their roof that they didn’t even know they had.  Is that true for your company too?  Make sure that your value proposition, your marketability if you will, is communicated throughout the hiring process and throughout your entire tenure at the firm.  Joe was right.  Ann is totally marketable…her company just didn’t know it.  If they did, they never would have let her go.

 

Stacey Alcorn is the author of REACH! and Tuned In. She is a business strategy and sales consultant for large corporations and Global Fortune 100 Firms. She is also a keynote speaker, blogger, trainer, and start-up consultant. Her sales training products have been licensed by hundreds of organizations around the world who use her one-of-a kind sales training materials as the genesis for their own brand growth. Make sure to sign up here for my REACH! Weekly News for awesome interviews with Leaders & Visionaries that I only share with my VIP members.

Totally Crossing the Line – Deal With It

 

Today I was having lunch with a fellow salesperson.  He and I are both in the business of recruiting talent to our firms and we both do a better than average job of growing our companies.  Therefore, I was curious to find out from his point of view, what it takes to be good at sales and recruiting.  His answer pleasantly surprised me because, in my opinion, he hit the nail on the head.  This is how he explained it to me:

To be good at sales, you have to be good at stepping over the line.  It requires that you push a little in order to get appointments with people who do not yet perceive your value.  This means that you must be willing to call people who don’t want to hear from you right now, text people who wish they could ignore you, and politely share your value proposition with those who may not know how much they need it.

I asked, “So how do I know if I’ve crossed way over the line?”

My friend went on to explain that the great thing about sales and recruiting is that we never know where the line is in relation to the individual client.  Therefore, we can’t know if we’ve stepped over it unless we’ve done so and the other party lets us know.  The financially successful salespeople are the ones who keep stepping forward – making the calls, texting, emailing, and reaching out to the client in all different ways.  These sales pros are the ones that are testing that line every single day.  Do they occasionally step over it and maybe even offend someone, probably.  However, these are the same sales professionals that make huge steps forward in their businesses, building relationships with one-time strangers, and sharing their value proposition with the world.

The difference between colossal success and average results is in moving forward.  Stop wondering if you are crossing the line and just keep pushing forward.  You will gain far greater results than those who simply stand still for fear of violating an imaginary line in the sand.

You are so right, Ed.  “The sales business favors the bold.”  Today I will keep crossing the line and those who don’t like it will just have to deal with it.

Stacey Alcorn is the author of REACH! and Tuned In. She is a business strategy and sales consultant for large corporations and Global Fortune 100 Firms. She is also a keynote speaker, blogger, trainer, and start-up consultant. Her sales training products have been licensed by hundreds of organizations around the world who use her one-of-a kind sales training materials as the genesis for their own brand growth. Make sure to sign up here for my REACH! Weekly News for awesome interviews with Leaders & Visionaries that I only share with my VIP members.

Question Behind the Question

I recently had the amazing opportunity to interview John G. Miller, author of QBQ – The Question Behind the Question.  This book is about taking personal responsibility.  If you haven’t achieved your dreams, it’s your fault.  If your customer hasn’t been 100% satisfied, it’s your fault.  The Question Behind the Question is about taking responsibility and taking action, even when it’s not your job.  In other words it’s about always taking the position that “the buck stops here.”  This interview was one of my favorites so I am extremely excited to have recorded it so that I could share it with you.

CLICK HERE to download the podcast.

Stacey Alcorn is the author of REACH! and Tuned In. She is a business strategy and sales consultant for large corporations and Global Fortune 100 Firms. She is also a keynote speaker, blogger, trainer, and start-up consultant. Her sales training products have been licensed by hundreds of organizations around the world who use her one-of-a kind sales training materials as the genesis for their own brand growth. Make sure to sign up here for my REACH! Weekly News for awesome interviews with Leaders & Visionaries that I only share with my VIP members.