Learn what being a member does for you
The Seller Styles
Learn the styles and take your free assessment
See a summary of all our programs and certifications
Certified Professional Sales Person(CPSP®)
Develop your potential as a certified sales professional
Certified Professional Sales Leader(CPSL®)
Grow your impact as a certified sales leader
Certified Master Sales Professional (CMSP®)
Join the elite group of sales professionals and leaders
Advanced Sales Influence (ASI)
Take your influence and leadership to the next level.
Learn foundational sales behaviors, strategies, and skills
Power of Contact Marketing
Learn from marketing expert and author Stu Heinecke
Join the top 1% of sales professionals in the world.
Next Level Virtual Coaching
Join our ongoing dynamic virtual coaching community
Explore job postings from some of the best companies in the country looking for sales professionals
Daily Dose of Influence!
Enjoy our video series of influence tips and strategies
Leads To Growth
Dig into our podcast featuring industry leaders and experts
Learn from our high-level sales coaching video series
Women of Sales & Influence – Facebook Live Series
Be inspired by our Facebook Live series spotlighting top women influencers
Women of Sales & Influence – Video Blog
Enjoy valuable, high-level sales strategies to empower your sales goals
The Growth Quotient
You’ve heard about IQ, but what is your GQ?
Our Commitment to You
We are here to help your approach to sales, how you interact with others, and how you perform and execute
NASP Sales Blog
Learn from our member-submitted articles for sales professionals
Write For Us
Share your sales expertise and insights with our community
About Our CEO
Standards of Conduct
Common Questions and Answers
The compensation plan changed again. The revolving door of company executives spins out of control. You look at the corporate direction and you’d like to give the CEO a compass so he can find his way. Concerned, you’ve decided that today is the day that you will peek your head over the cubicle wall and see what other opportunities are out there. After all, you’ve been successful. No need to go down with the ship.
The morning you wake up with the inspiration to begin a job search is a little scary. There is the factor of the unknown. Yet, you pushed yourself outside of your comfort zone to open the doors to new opportunity. It’s been a while since you last looked for a new sales home. How do you go from where you are today to a new, fresh opportunity?
Know what you want. In sales, you often work with the profile of your ideal client. The same applies when looking for a job. You need to know what the ideal fit is for your sales pedigree. If you don’t know what you are looking for, how will you know when you find it? This introspective exercise is the subject of another article of mine titled, “Finding the Right Home For Your Sales Skills.” That article walks you through the exercise of defining your ideal sales role. Don’t go another step in the process until you have read that article.
Develop your marketing tools. Marketing tools? Yes, that is what a cover letter and resume are all about. When you think of marketing, you also think of messaging. Many forget this when they develop their cover letter and resume. However, these marketing tools communicate a message, a story. The key is to make sure they convey the story you intend.
While the easy thing to do is to create one cover letter and one resume, it is not the most effective way to pursue a new job. As someone who has screened thousands of these documents from sales candidates, I can share with you a little nugget of insight. Hiring managers ask themselves a simple question when they first peruse your cover letter and resume. “Do they want my job or just a job?” We know when you are mass emailing your marketing tools just like prospects know when you mass email them.
In sales, you are taught to make sure your message matches your audience. Sales is not taught as a one-size-fits-all, but rather a template that is adjusted to match the need and circumstance. When prospects feel that they are the sales call of the day, they don’t respond. The same applies to hiring managers. Hiring managers are looking to hire people that want to work in their organization. They can feel when someone just wants a job, not necessarily theirs. Thus, when they get that feeling, your candidacy for the job goes into the trash.
The cover letter is one of the first ways it becomes obvious that you are treating this as a mass event. The sales person applies for a specific job, but the cover letter communicates a message that says they want a different job. It is not intentional on the part of the sales person. After all, they paid a copywriter a thousand dollars to create this masterpiece. Copywriters are very helpful to those in need of assistance in creating the story of their background.
When the objective, isn’t the objective. The same holds true for the resume. Many sales people write an objective at the top of their resume. Yet, they fail to adjust the title based on the position for which they are applying. My favorite is when someone writes as an objective, “To get a sales or sales management position.” I can assure you that approach is a guaranteed way to get yourself removed from consideration in an instant. Those are two completely different jobs. “I want to be a pitcher or the manager of the team. It doesn’t matter to me.” Again, I just heard you want a job, not necessarily my job.
What you’ve done. The resume is an extension of the cover letter. The message should be the same. Highlight the results and areas of expertise that are most relevant to this opportunity. I’m not suggesting that you leave certain jobs or employment off your resume. However, package each one as best as you can to convey the synergy between you and the company.
From the job posting, you can usually infer what is most important to the sales manager. Those usually can be found in the section of the job description that highlights the candidate requirements for the job. Include bulleted descriptions and statistics that map back to those elements.
While the work to customize these marketing tools may seem huge and painful, it really isn’t. Earlier, I mentioned that you should start the search process by identifying the right home for your sales skills. The reason for that recommendation was to give focus to your search. It allows you to laser-in on those opportunities that best match you. Thus, isn’t it worth the time investment to customize your marketing tools for those job prospects that are best suited for you? Wouldn’t you do the same thing in pursuit of a major prospect? I certainly hope so.
About the author