Discouraged in Job Hunting? Powerful Tips for the Best Job

Few things in life are as shattering to an unemployed person’s self-esteem as the inability to draw a paycheck.

Whether unemployed or under-employed, a person needs two things: A sense of hope and the right tools to negotiate a job. More than 100 years ago, Oscar Wilde wrote: “What seems to us as bitter trials are often blessings in disguise.”

Unconvinced? Try the philosophy of Dr. Norman Vincent Peale: “What seems impossible one minute becomes, through faith, possible the next.” You can get faith from the action of using the right tools in your job search.

st stockimages at www.freedigtialphotos.netHow much money do you want to make? Take my word for it, Roy Chitwood, of Max Sacks International, has the right tools, which are worth whatever you want in a salary.

He’s also an advocate for positive thinking and he’s been successfully training salespeople the art of selling for more than four decades. And now, he is providing free-of-charge, his “Seven steps on how to ‘sell’ yourself to get a new job.”

I agree with him when he says the best-selling takes place as the result of the power of listening. To help you remember the concept, think of Marlon Brando in “The Godfather.” Remember the scenes of him listening to the downtrodden folks as they unloaded all their troubles? The godfather had all the power.

To gain job-negotiating power, Mr. Chitwood provides this example:

“The typical job interview goes like this: The interviewer says something like, ‘Tell me about yourself’ or ‘What are some of the projects that you worked on in your last position that you’re proud of?’ From that point on the interview goes downhill. Why? Because the interviewer will be bored stiff by whatever you say.”

So, he advocates taking control of the conversation. “The only way you know what someone is thinking is when he or she is the one talking – not you,” he says.

He explains further:

“Think about how differently the interview would go if you responded to the interviewer’s question, ‘Tell me about yourself,” with, ‘I’d like to tell you about myself. However, could I first ask you a couple of questions regarding the position?; Now you have control of the interview and you know what the interviewer is thinking. Using this one phrase, you have put the interview on track.”

Here are Mr. Chitwood’s steps for a successful job interview:

Step one — approach: In this step, you’ll introduce yourself, smile, be engaged and interested in what the interviewer is saying. You’ll use the interviewer’s name when addressing him or her and you’ll develop rapport by using what we call the FSQS (friendly silent questioning stare). This is body language that shows you’re listening intently, inviting the interviewer to tell you more.

Step two — qualification: This is the portion of the interview where the “Tell me about yourself” question occurs. Get the interviewer talking with a response like, “Mary, I would like to tell you about myself. However, first I would like to ask a couple of questions. Is that all right?” When she agrees, you’ll ask a series of questions to gain the information you need to assess whether the position is right for you.

Step three — agreement on need: This where you’ll ask the most important question of all: “What are some of the things you are looking for in a candidate for this position?” This is how you’ll determine whether the job fits you. If it doesn’t, this is the time to gracefully terminate the interview. Say that this position isn’t what you’re looking for, thank the interviewer for his or her time and politely excuse yourself.

Step four — sell the company: This is normally the step in the selling process where you extol the virtues of your company. Since you are the “company,” share your own attributes. “John, let me tell you a little about myself.” Make sure that the things you talk about relate to the job, such as your education and experience. You could share information about your goals, travel or family situation if they are relevant. Finally, ask, “What questions do you have about my background?” to get the interviewer talking again.

Step five — fill the need: In this step you’ll drive home why you’re the one for the job. Say something like, “There are several important experiences I would bring to the company and this position such as …” and then relate how your education, experience, goals, etc. will benefit the company in a series of feature/benefit/reaction sequences. These sequences should be specific. “My fluency in Mandarin Chinese along with my five years of experience selling in China (feature) will help me increase your company’s sales in Asia (benefit).”

Then, ask a “reaction question”: “How would that help with your sales goals for this year?” Limit your feature/benefit/reaction sequences to three. Now transition to the next step by asking a release question such as, “What questions do you have?” Once the interviewer has asked any clarifying questions, this is the time to ask about compensation and estimated start date for the position. “When would you like the new person to start?”

Step six — act of commitment: This is the close of the “sale.” Make a statement such as, “If I can arrange my schedule to start on the date you would like and my references check out can you think of any reason why you wouldn’t hire me?” Unlike most interviews that end with the interviewer saying, “We’ll call you,” this closing approach allows for honesty between you and the interviewer. You’re communicating your interest in the position and if he or she is interested in you, you’ll most likely get an indication at this point.

Step seven — cement the sale: This is your graceful exit from the interview. Say something like, “Thanks very much for meeting with me. I appreciate you taking the time to give me the information on the position and the company. I look forward to starting on Jan. 15.” This confirms the specifics of what you and the interviewer discussed and it’s a friendly, professional close to the interview. Remember to shake the interviewer’s hand as you leave.

Follow up the next day with a handwritten, mailed thank-you card. The process of landing a job can be much easier when you know how to sell yourself.

For Mr. Chitwood’s selling tips, visit www.maxsacks.com.

(NOTE: I’m proud to say Roy Chitwood is a friend of mine. We were introduced by Gerri Knilans, who is the noteworthy president of Trade Press Services, www.tradepressservices.com. Trade Press Services gets your company in the news by writing bylined feature articles and guaranteeing their publication in trade magazines.)

From the Coach’s Corner, here’s a related column: Job Hunting? Tips to Land Your Dream Job with Style, Substance.

”The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

-Eleanor Roosevelt


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is also a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.

Photo courtesy stockimages www.freedigitalphotos.net

Want More Revenue? Avoid the 7 Deadly Sins of Selling

Whether you are an established company or a startup, what you probably need most is a positive revenue stream. It’s possible with a higher-performing sales staff.

So you might wish to consider the latest strategies of a globally known sales trainer, Roy Chitwood, who is based in Seattle.

He says salespeople often commit seven crucial errors. Mr. Chitwood, of Max Sacks International, has the credentials to address the topic – more 250,000 salespeople at 3,000 companies in 18 countries have used his sales counsel.

He’s released a white paper, “The Seven Deadly Sins of Selling.”

Here’s an excerpt:

Sin No 1: Talking too much, listening too little. The typical salesperson walks into an office, gives the official two minute warm-up – asking about the fish on the wall or the family photo on the desk – then, like a high diver, leaps into a hot presentation about this feature and that feature, the options available, the price and the savings.

There is no close. Most interviews are terminated by the prospect so they can get on with their life. Knowing what questions to ask and how to ask them is the only way to find out if you’re making a presentation to the person with the real need, the authority and the money.

Sin No 2: Selling the product, not the benefits. When someone buys a drill bit, it’s not the drill bit the customer wants, it’s the hole. People buy to fill a need or solve a problem. No one is willing to pay for a product or service they don’t need or does not perform. Yet salespeople sell as if they will. Presentations continually focus on the width, height, weight, power, speed, buttons, bulbs or whatever of the product/service.

Whether they’re individuals or committees, people buy benefits, not features. Prospects have hidden buying motives. There are reasons why they select one brand over another, why one product/service seems to fill the need better.

Ninety percent of selling is conviction, and 10 per cent is persuasion.

-Shiv Khera

Sin No 3: Never asking for the order. As a prominent study proved, more often than not, customers don’t have to worry about a pressured close, because in 62 percent of the cases, the salesperson never asks for a sale. For most salespeople, selling is an uncomfortable experience because they don’t know where to go in their presentations.

When prospects say “I would like to think it over,” “Your price is too high,” “I want to shop around,” what they’re really saying is, “You haven’t convinced me to buy.”

Sin No 4: Pushing for the close too often, the salesperson tries to “sell” rather than help the customer “buy.” When the salesperson is ready the trick closes begin. These old closes and gimmicks are outdated and backfire more often than they work. The prospect has fears, uncertainties and doubts about the decision to spend money, and when closed too soon, reacts negatively to being forced to makea decision.

Pushing too hard means the salesperson is forcing the prospect to build a defensive wall that won’t come down easily. Following the sequence of a well- given presentation means asking for the order will be at the right time.

Sin No 5: Wasting selling time. Selling is a problem for most salespeople because they don’t know how to spend their time profitably. Selling is prospecting, cold calling and obtaining leads. It is traveling to meet strange people, having to send emails and proposals, make phone calls and hand out brochures. It is doing the paperwork and servicing the client.

There is only one way to insure you get to the close, and that’s by having a logical sales procedure. This is why the salesperson should learn the buyer’s decision-making process.

Sin No. 6: Not identifying prospects from suspects. There are many people who will listen to a sales presentation. It may make them feel important or help them fill their time. Whatever the reason, it doesn’t help the salesperson get any nearer to the sale. In fact, it takes the salesperson further away from the sale because time has been wasted and the point-of-entry into a company has been mismanaged.

Presenting to people who are not qualified is just that – presenting. It is not selling. And a company or a salesperson can’t make a profit by just presenting. Probably the greatest misuse of a salesperson’s time is presenting to someone who doesn’t have the need, the authority or the money.

Sin No. 7: Making a sale, not a customer. A professional salesperson is someone who helps a prospect satisfy a need. And most importantly, your company can count on the loyalty of a new client – one that will return with repeat and increasing orders. For many salespeople, just getting the sale is the only objective.

To accomplish this end, they use whatever means are available – assumptive closes, high pressure tactics, promises of extra incentives, threats of price increases or whatever other tricks are in the bag. Salespeople like this sometimes walk out with a sale, but they don’t sign on customers. In fact, the customers may be so resentful of the pressure and tricks, they may rethink their commitments.

Mr. Chitwood’s Web site: www.maxsacks.com. (Mr. Chitwood also has sagacious advice if you’re discouraged in job hunting and need powerful tips for the best job.)

From the Coach’s Corner, see these resources for productive selling:

Sales Secrets for Getting by Receptionists, Gatekeepers — Getting past receptionists and other gatekeepers is a universal challenge for salespeople. Successful salespeople, however, have the right insights and approaches for success. Here’s how they do it.

11 Sales Strategies to Outsell Your Big Competitors — Big companies have obvious advantages over small businesses. Their brands are well-known. They can afford sales training, sales-support staff and customer-relationship management software. On the other hand, there are good reasons why Cyber Monday has become big.

8 Tips for Cold Calling By E-mail and Telephone — Since the advent of the digital age, cold calling is out of vogue for many people. But in the tepid economic recovery no matter what your industry is – whether it’s advertising or staffing services – cold calling has become the logical tool to use to generate clients or business customers.

6 Sales Tips for Successful Cold Calling — For most businesspeople in a lackluster economy, it’s important to create new opportunities with successful cold calling. Yes, it’s necessary to concentrate more efforts to create new sales. Attending mere networking events or depending on a high marketing budget aren’t sufficient for strong sales. OK, cold calling isn’t always easy, but you must if you want to dramatically increase sales in double-digit percentages. Develop and implement the right strategies. You’ll be in the all-important groove for a happy buying environment.

B2B Telemarketing: Your 1st Priority Is to Build Trust — Telemarketing is, of course, a challenge. You must create a favorable first impression in your initial approach. This means building trust should be your primary goal. Here’s how.

“The superior man is distressed by the limitations of his ability; he is not distressed by the fact that men do not recognize the ability that he has.”



Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is also a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.

Photo credit: www.mconnors.com

Seattle business consultant Terry Corbell provides high-performance management services and strategies.