How Not To Apply For A Sales Job In Plastic

27 Jun

I’ve reviewed hundreds if not thousands of resumes and job applications during my tenure. Out of a hundred I probably filter out 10 that I’m willing to read. On one job posting I received just over 150 applications – a greater portion than not weren’t even qualified and for others it would take an 11 hour plane ride each day to work and back. Come on folks… if you want to impress us at least be within driving distance.

Let’s focus on the pitch for a sales job… merchandising yourself…

AIDA still stands strong – Attention, Interest, Desire, Action

1) Grab our attention amongst the hundreds of pieces of paper and email we have to go through – use colour, highlight the really important and useful stuff, stick a picture of yourself on your cover letter. Show us that you think differently from all the others. Don’t bother telling us what you did 10 years ago, or that you worked as burger-tosser… that has nothing to do with your ability to sell… our attention is drawn to things like – “worked an order desk handling 30–50 calls a day”, “can learn and recall technical information with ease”, “can establish rapport quickly”, “can reed and rite good”, “can up-sell”, “am well organized and willing to share these skills with others”

2) Invoke an interest – demonstrate that you understand our world and are willing to build a passion for it… offer us experiences and abilities that will help us get to where we want to go

3) Create a desire – a need for you and what you can do for us. Compel us to take action now in fear of losing you to a competitor.

4) Evoke action – make me reach for the phone NOW and call you without any guilt over not reading any other application.

If you can do this, then you I know you’re a salesperson.

Then you know that I know I have to have you. NOW!

Now, when you get here, be prepared for an interrogation… I’m ex military and I am relentless and getting information out of you whether you know you’re giving it up or not… my job is to evaluate your frame of mind, your mental and physical conditioning, your ability to make timely and effective decisions without a lot of babysitting, your ability to deliver on a promise, your ability to bring peace when the bullets are flying… your ability to fit into our master plan…

Some of this requires some due diligence on your part, such as knowing what business we’re in… who our customers are… who our customers customers are… it doesn’t matter what we’re selling, what matters is whether or not you can engage another person in such a way as to willingly divulge the triumphs and tragedies they’ve experienced in their business and personal life. Yeah, you have to get personal – because any rep from any other company can solve the business problems but long term customer relationships go beyond the transaction – an into a personal relationship and that’s a whole other world of trust.

There’s a lot more to our game then just flipping sheets of plastic – it’s about people… it’s always been about people… and your job isn’t to sell them plastic, it’s to create problems – showing people where their current solution is costing them more than yours. Identify the problem, narrow down the solutions to good, better, best, and then hold their hand throughout the process of evaluating the benefits. Solve the problem and make them look good – and they’ll keep you around. That’s the person we’re looking for – the one’s our customers want to keep around.

Thought you might like to know.

Shawn Chambers, Warehoused Plastic Sales

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Posted by on June 27, 2007 in Career, The Business


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