Packaging Your Services
Just as the products and services that you sell require presentation, so do you. Whether you are selling yourself to your current employer (seeking a raise), a prospective employer (seeking a job), or to a new prospect (seeking a sale), you must package yourself as well as your products.
How can you package yourself? You can write an accurate and honest job description, develop a truthful resume, and document valuable credentials. You can help people understand the value of what you do without bragging.
Your Job Description
An accurate job description not only helps you focus on your primary tasks, it also guides others in identifying what they can expect from you. For example, “widget solution resource for industrial buyers in New England” is a focused job description that can help prospects understand what you do. It's easier to recognize the benefits of working with you than if you were to simply call yourself a “salesman.”
Of course, you don't want to be misleading in your job description. Don't let your ego write the words “Greatest Salesperson on This or Any Planet.” Stick with an honest, accurate, helpful job description. You'll use it in many ways, including in introductions to new prospects. You also may include it on your business cards and other promotional literature. It can help you describe yourself and guide others in defining you.
Are there any widely recognized associations for salespeople?
Yes, there are. One is the National Association of Sales Professionals or NASP. It has more than 50,000 individual and corporate members and offers a certification program based on sales experience, performance, education, continuing training, and professional and community service. The NASP also has standards of professional conduct and other trust-building opportunities. Other sales associations are established for specific businesses and industries.
A later section will help you find a variety of jobs in sales. It will cover how to develop a winning resume and cover letter as well as how to get it to the appropriate people. For now, know that packaging your services and selling yourself requires that you document your knowledge and experience in measurable terms. That's what your resume will be designed to do.
Telling others, without bragging, of your features and benefits is a powerful way to sell yourself. However, it can be even more influential if it comes from others. For example, if you have earned a degree or accreditation related to what you sell, let others know. If you have customers who highly recommend you, ask for a written reference and make sure that hesitant prospects see it. Include these facts and references in your promotional literature, as appropriate. You may only be able to use recognized accreditation initials after your name (CE, CPA, CBM, PhD, etc.), but, if appropriate, these credentials can help you gain earned recognition and help sell yourself.