Finding the Sales Position You Want

by Jacques Werth

The fastest way to find the sales position you want is to use methods that are different from what others are doing.  Sales managers want salespeople who are smart and confident enough to apply their prospecting and selling skills to find a sales position.

If you were trained in High Probability Prospecting, then here is an outline of how you might use it to find the position you want:

    • Do a search on the Internet or with a list broker and make a list of all of the companies that look attractive to you and that you believe employ people with your skill set.  Be sure to get the names of their sales executives.  Make it a big list – at least 300 sales managers.  Be sure that your list is sorted by job titles and has phone numbers.  Many community libraries have access to list brokers and can provide you with free lists.  Ask the research librarian.
    • Design a clear and very concise Prospecting Offer that is intended simply to find someone who wants to hire someone like you.  Here is an example.
“This is Jane Salesperson.  I’m an experienced, conscientious salesperson in the xyz field.  I can find and make appointments with prospects that want your products and services and close many of them.  Is that the kind of salesperson you want for your department?”
Your prospecting offer should contain no more than 45 words (fewer is better), and should be simple and direct.
    • Call all the sales managers of the companies on your list.  If you don’t have their direct-dial numbers, it’s easy to get connected to someone in the sales department who will look it up for you.  It works to tell them, “I need your help.”
    • Present your prospecting offer.  If the manager says he/she does not need anyone, you say “Are there any other sales managers in your company who do?”  If not, you say “okay, good bye.”  Do not try to sell your way into an appointment.
If the manager asks you to send your résumé, you say, “I don’t put my résumé in the mail.  I’ll bring it with me if you want to meet me.  Do you want to set up an appointment?”
If the manager tells you to contact the HR department, you say “Okay, good bye.”  Do not contact HR.  Do not send them your résumé.  Résumés are processed by computers, and the odds are too great that you will get dumped into the “rejected” file – permanently.
If the manager says “yes”, you ask “when?”  However, be prepared to handle a preliminary telephone interview.  Have a list of questions you want answered before you will commit to the appointment.
    • Do not accept the first offer you get unless it’s the best position you could hope for.  The people who use this system usually get from two to four offers within a month.  Thus, it is generally better to ask for a couple of weeks to think it over.
    • You will probably reach between 10% and 15% of the sales managers you call.  Just keep dialing.  The average person who uses this system can do about 60 calls per hour.  Once you have it down to a routine, dialing 200 numbers per day and reaching 20 to 30 sales managers is pretty easy.  The biggest mistake you can make is to spend your time talking with someone who did not say “yes” to your prospecting offer.
  • You can reach most of your list within 2 or 3 weeks.  Then, start to call all of them again.  You are likely to get at least as many positive replies during your second round of calls as you did on the first.  When you finish the list a second time, start over again.  Just keep going.  It works best if you change your offers so that each prospect hears at least 3 different offers before you begin to repeat yourself.

Prospecting Tip:  Many sales managers are in their offices on Saturday mornings without their gatekeepers.

Remember, if you are willing to take “No” for an answer each time you call, you will find more “Yes” answers sooner.

Author: Carl Ingalls

Administrator for High Probability Selling Blog

6 thoughts on “Finding the Sales Position You Want”

  1. A point of clarification here. I understand why sending the resume to HR will be unproductive. Can you clarify why the high prob approach is to deny emailing even the sales manager your résumé?


  2. I understand why I should refuse emailing my résumé to HR. But I do not understand why I would refuse emailing my résumé to even the sales manager with this approach. Can you please clarify?


  3. I understand why I should refuse emailing my résumé to HR. But I do not understand why I would refuse emailing my résumé to even the sales manager with this approach. Can you please clarify?


    1. Hello David,

      I do not completely agree with Jacques Werth on the resume question. There are situations where sending your resume to a sales manager (or even to HR) would improve your odds of getting a job that you want. However, there are also plenty of situations where doing so would actually reduce your chances.

      I recommend that you learn how to read each specific situation, so that you can make a better decision about when to send your resume, and when not to. Evaluating the odds in each situation is what High Probability Selling is all about.

      Most of the tools for doing this are described in the book, High Probability Selling. In some cases, we apply those tools a little differently today than when the book was written, but it’s still a good place to start.

      Happy Job Prospecting,
      Carl Ingalls


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