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The 6 Dos and Don’ts of a Sales Rep Job Search

David Law

Thu, 11 Jul, 2019

  • Reading Time:
    ~ 3 minutes

As a sales rep, you’re constantly on the go, always on your way to somewhere important, always selling something (or trying). We get it— it isn’t always easy to transition in and out of your sales persona. So, when you go on a job hunt, you tend to stay there in your safe zone.


But, contrary to what you might think, approaching your sales rep job search like any other sales operation isn’t always a good idea.


Of course, there are both pros and cons to this approach. The key is learning them to achieve balance.


Here are the main 3 things sales reps get right when looking for a job. Also, the 3 things they often miscalculate (and how to avoid them). Onwards!


The 3 sales rep Dos


These are the three key areas in which your sales rep instinct will steer you true.


Effective communication and storytelling


As a sales rep, you already have a good grasp of conversation dynamics and of reaching a good rapport with the other party. You should focus on listening in an active and empathetic way and, when you do talk yourself, on showing a sense of purpose and confidence.


In a job search context, especially in the early stages, you are the product you’re selling. So, at this time, staying in your sales rep persona is probably a good idea. Bring out your best storytelling too— you’ll need it to involve your listeners in your focused anecdotes and get them to see why you’re the best for them.


Treating it like a sales op


Use your work ethic and techniques, take this as another important sales operation. Only, this time, you’re doing your best to sell your talent to the customer.


Manage your time: not too late, not too much and too soon. Many light touches, as you know, is the best way to go. Measure progress as you typically would, and use your insights to track your decisions objectively.


Delivering value to the customer


Every sales rep knows that a good deal doesn’t just mean a positive outcome for them, but also for the client.  Both parties need to feel like they’re winning. And, since for you winning means getting hired, you should focus on persuading the company that you’re a good fit.


The best approach to this is to identify the company’s pain points and show how you can solve them creatively. From the very start, commit to working in the relationship and communicate in a way that’s open and inclusive.


The 3 Sales Rep Don’ts (Please Refrain)


Aka ‘the most common job search pitfalls that plague sales rep because of their sales rep persona’. In order to close the deal, you’ll need to work on letting your authentic personality shine through.


Shiny object syndrome


If you’ve ever seen a child play, you’ve definitely seen shiny-object-chasing. But, when adults do it, it becomes an endless race after yet another project while not completing anything. It’s, essentially, a distraction from your true, and highly motivated sales reps are especially prone to it. 


Getting shiny object syndrome while you’re searching for a job means you can’t tell a good opening from a bad one that’s being pitched to you. When you’re too much in your sales rep character, you’re at risk of taking an offer that doesn’t align with you just because you wanted to close a deal.


If you want to avoid this, you need to take a step back, get out of character, and come back to your core values and goals.


Forgetting the little things


Typically, sales reps are masters of detailed communication in the early stages of a buying cycle. But, later, they tend to get too confident or too focused on closing the deal. This often ends in preventable missteps and no deal at all.


To counteract this, you have to concentrate on continuing the early-stage kind of attention. Continue to identify the company’s pain points, follow up on your relationships, and update your CV often. This isn’t a cold call!


Not conveying why you’re the right fit


Your sales rep persona is awesome at the beginning. After all, your prospective employer wants to know you can do the job. And, of course, the sales relationship you carefully build shows your commitment to the project.


But another key point your future employer needs to evaluate is this— ‘Are you the best fit?’.


This is a deeper stage. Your sales rep character won’t work. Now, you’re not selling. Instead, you need to be more vulnerable and show your authentic personality. Effortless authenticity is what tells the buyer that you’re a good cultural and social match. Drop the mask!


In and Out of Character— You’re It


If you want to sell your solutions effectively, you need to believe in yourself first. And with good reason: you are the real asset a company should covet. The only thing you need to do is to show up as that sort of sales rep in your job search. Balance the sales persona with your true personality and you will take the industry by storm!

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