A current discussion on LinkedIn’s Account Manager Group is “Why do your customers buy from you rather than from your competitors?” Seeing how there is a direct correlation between success in sales and a job search it is no surprise the #1 answer to this query is Relationship Building and here are some of the responses to this discussion from professionals around the globe.
Vince R – Major Account Manager: It starts with relationship building, to generate open and honest conversations. That provides a foundation for a partnership where you can demonstrate an ability to help them achieve goals, and avoid problems. Good clients want real value, not a low price.
Juan I – Key Account Manager Europe: Service and relationship. These days most of the times your product is not very different from what your competitors sell… It’s all about relationship and the service/help you offer to your customer in achieving his/her goals.
Magda P – Technology Account Manager: Customer service and relationship are definite keys. There are so many competitors in every market now but it still comes down to dealing with someone you like, trust, and can rely on.
Scott W. – Executive Sales Representative: When most products achieve the same goals there is not much to differentiate you from your competition. Listening, understanding and being able to put yourself in the potential customers situation is what will build a strong relationship with the potential buyer.
Jo R. – Client Services Director: It all comes down to making your proposition relevant to your audience.
Radu P. – Account Manager Europe: It’s been mentioned relationship. I agree, it’s very important, but not enough. First of all, your sales must add value to your customers, otherwise the relationships you have with your customers don’t help you very much.
Consider all the highlighted points above and you’ll notice they’re just as applicable, if not more so, to conducting a job search as they are to getting a customer to buy from you and not your competitor. Why did I say more so? Because in sales your goal is repeat business whereas in a job search you have one shot at the prize and then it’s done or none!
What I hope you take away from this are two things. First you should acknowledge there is not too much differentiation between you and your competitors in terms of tangibles you have to offer; but whatever difference there is you need to find it and make it your own. Next, and I’ve repeated it many times over, is a job search is more about people than it is about skills and experience. I think we can agree that more often people buy from and hire people they like and trust.
As a job seeker the key to your success lies in your ability to build relationships that help you to be found or personally referred for opportunities that can bypass or lessen your competition for an interview.
In my mind, to build relationships for a job search requires having the proper job search tools and attitude and knowing how to wield them to achieve success.
The three most important tools a modern day professional has at his or her command are a resume, bio and LinkedIn page that tell people that you are not only talented but that you’re aware of the needs of the job and you are someone they will enjoy meeting and someone they can trust.
The attitude you need is two-fold. You need to believe in yourself and that telling others verbally and in writing about how talented and special you are is not bragging but telling people a truth they need to know; and you must be sincere about it. More important you need have confidence that you can reach out to people you already know and those you do not already know to establish or reestablish a relationship and that they will not consider this an annoyance. Take my word for the vast majority of people you properly approach to ask for their help in your job search will do whatever they can to help you succeed. All you need to do is make the first move to build and continue the relationship.
As always I am available to critique U.S. resumes at no cost when emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
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