This year is going to be an interesting year.
The economic outlook suggests that the number of new job vacancies and promotions will reach an all time low.
But the good news is that a successful set of selling skills will always be in huge demand and, despite the tough conditions, you can still command great earnings if you get the right job!
But what is the right job and what are the right selling skills to have or develop?
Well, today’s highest-paid B2B sales jobs have changed. Employers across all industries are now looking for consultative selling skills, rather than a track record of traditional sales techniques such as FAB Selling.
Employers are also willing to pay much more for consultative sales techniques when hiring sales professionals, in terms of both salary and commissions.
Employers are looking for consultative selling skills
The great thing is that the following things are true about consultative selling:
- They can be learned much more quickly and easily than most people think.
- They can be readily applied to any industry, widening your opportunities for progression and promotion.
- They are completely missing in the majority of people you’re competing against for a top selling position.
- They can be used to convince an employer to hire you and work in any situation.
Develop your own brand and actively sell yourself
Rising up the corporate career ladder requires more than simply acquiring consultative selling skills, however.
Developing a great selling career requires you to also develop your own brand and actively sell yourself as a solution to an employer’s specific critical and urgent needs.
To achieve this you should develop a network of contacts at the level above your own or, even better, at two levels above your own in a number of organisations across the industry.
But to develop your brand and sell yourself at the right level – whether to sales management personnel or senior directors – you need to adopt a consultative selling approach. This means you need to demonstrate a clear understanding of the pressures and trends that affect the key decision makers for the job you’re targeting, as well as showing a clear understanding of their short-term and long-term objectives.
Then (and only then) start aligning the benefits and advantages which your achievements and skills offer your ‘prospect’ (i.e. potential employer) within the context of his or her vision for the role. In other words, you have to turn yourself into a solution that satisfies the decision-maker’s most pressing needs in your target organisation.
The more pressing the need and the more compelling your solution is, in terms of what you have to offer, the quicker you’ll get that great new job!
Your CV is a sales proposal in its own right
But remember, your CV is a sales proposal in its own right and should therefore be sales opportunity-specific. Don’t just pitch a general CV at organisations or senior managers – tailor it for each and every position your go for.
Your CV should be full of what you can offer and what you’ve achieved so far in your career (even if this is your first selling role). Make sure that it is in the context of what they want from the role.
Remember, your CV is an opportunity to sell yourself and is a sales proposal in itself, so employers are looking for a clear statement of the tangible value you are offering them. Again, align your offer to the pressures, challenges and needs facing the target organisation.
Written by: Steve Eungblut, Managing Director of Sterling Chase