In a difficult economy—or in a good one for that
matter—the salesperson should have a big advantage over other professionals
when looking for work. He should
be able to pick up the phone, get through to the head of sales (or the
president) and sell himself with a quick, spot-on pitch.
You heard correctly: cold call the employer. This is a sales position you’re inquiring about, not some
ordinary pod job where you’re clicking away at the computer.
Are most out-of-work salespeople doing this? Are they proactively seeking out the
companies they want to work for, or are they letting the online job boards
dictate their actions?
you place that call make a list of all the companies that you admire and would
like to work for. Don’t worry if
they’re not hiring. That’s not the
point of this exercise. Like any
good salesperson you have to go on the offensive when looking for
employment. Sales is not about the
past, or being passive, and it’s not a pastime. Your list
should be no less than fifty companies, companies you trust and believe
You might say, “What if I don’t have experience
selling software, or the desire to sell financial products?” If you have absolutely no desire to
sell a particular product then cross that company off the list. If you’re inexperienced at selling
software but have an interest, go for it. Ask the VP of Sales if there are entry-level positions for
passionate go-getters who need a short ramp up period before seeing results.
Do your homework before you pick up the phone. Focus on your top ten companies. Google them. Read the company’s most recent press releases and write down
the names of the people who are quoted.
Find out how many divisions the company has and what exactly they do. The more information you have about a company—the better you can talk shop!—the greater the chance of impressing the
executive on the other end of the line.
Your pitch should be short and to the point.
“Hi, Sharon, how are you? My name is John Doe and I’m an inside sales manager living
in San Francisco. I’m calling you
today to see if you have room on your team for an assertive, hungry salesperson
who can drive additional revenue.”
Is Sharon going to get angry because you cold called
her? Of course not. You’re in sales, she’s in sales. She’ll probably think, “I wish some of
my staff were this assertive.” And
even if she’s not hiring she may ask about your experience and skills. During the conversation mention
something about the company she works for. “I noticed you have a new office in San Francisco.” “How’s your new product line doing?” “Sales were up (down) last
quarter. What was the reason? How do you think you’ll do next
Before you hang up with Sharon ask her if you can
stay in touch and ask her if she knows anyone internally or outside the company
who might be looking for a go-getter like yourself. Also, don’t forget to leave your name and number just like
with every other sales call.
And then it’s on to the next company.