In part 3 of this sales hiring series, I’ll explain how to get a job in 2019 from the hiring manager’s perspective.
From the 150+ applications, I learned a ton about what candidates should do and definitely should not do.
To help other candidates that are actively applying for sales jobs, read this and share this with friends who are currently looking to gain employment, either in sales or not.
But first a word from our winning candidate…
How To Get A Sales Job In 2019: Do’s & Don’ts
DO: When responding to a LinkedIn post, connect and write a thoughtful LinkedIn message to the hiring manager. Make sure you do it spaced out so it’s easy to read on mobile.
DO: If responding to a LinkedIn post, have credible friends tastefully plug you in the comments.
DO: Backchannel me! Get an intro to me from someone who knows me well and is credible in the space. One person got an intro to me from a highly regarded VP of Sales that we work with a lot. That immediately gets you to the top of the list.
DO: Work on your LinkedIn. This is your public resume. I didn’t even ask for resumes. Especially in sales, your LinkedIn tells the entire story of your career. If your numbers are good, you’ll display them. In sales you use case studies and testimonials. Selling yourself is the same. You should have reviews. If you don’t, go and get some. Customers want to see this too. Get them from your colleagues, now! Don’t wait.
Other things that stick out are your attention to detail, stats, experience, social presence, network, etc. It’s all I really need for step one of the interview process.
DO: Get active on LinkedIn. I want to hire people sharing relevant content that shows their passion for the industry and their practice, especially if that overlaps with their sales process. I want to see people are engaged on a social channel where their customers are.
DO: Show your passion and eagerness. I only want to hire people that are dying to work here. They are so passionate about it that I can see it clearly. These people will go above and beyond. I’ll take a passionate person that wants THIS job, over someone slightly better on paper 99% of the time.
DO: Get a proper profile pic. A proper pic is in proper business attire, with a smile or friendly facial expression, without hats or sunglasses. Look like you’re a fun person to talk to, while still being professional and credible. Remember, you’re likely going to be reaching out cold to people.
DO: Get a Gmail account, personal email, or an email for your personal LLC. Hotmail, Yahoo!, and AOL are signs of someone who is out of date with technology, even if it’s not the case. SBC Global, Earthlink – no chance. Sorry, maybe I’m an email server snob.
DON’T: Rush. Seems like a few people messed up putting in the link to their LinkedIn. I can’t access your info, how can I hire you? Take your time.
DON’T: Get upset if I don’t respond to you right away. I had a London conference coming up the next week and was traveling. One person pinged me on my Instagram (which is an underrated channel), and when I didn’t respond in 48 hours decided to tell me they were going to unfollow me for not responding. To say the least, I’m pretty sure I’m not missing out on anything there.
DON’T: Take it personally, or even worse, burn bridges. This is going to be a really hard decision to make with so many good candidates. I can only hire one person. In many job hunts, it’s the same way. That being said, don’t get upset if it’s not you, or you don’t get a follow up from the hiring manager, etc.
The best thing you can do is follow up and ask for feedback, and tell them if they ever need anything, that they shouldn’t hesitate to reach out. This will build goodwill, which is a long-term currency.
Hope these were helpful! Follow along on LinkedIn and Instagram as I write my next book on Career Hacking.
Bonus: Special Follow Up For Our Candidates Who Didn’t Get The Job
I didn’t know what to do with the rest of the candidates I had to turn down, but as a leader in the space, I couldn’t just write a generic “sorry, not at this time” email.
So I posted a note on LinkedIn asking the community for help. I know tons of great companies are hiring right now, so I had them nominate their company and tell me which titles they were hiring for.
Here was the LinkedIn post –
“Hey Folks, I have a really good problem and I need some assistance.
We have over 150 applications (good ones) for our Sales Hacker – Partnership Sales Exec position, but I can only hire 1 person.
This means I’ll have to pass on some very solid salespeople. Since I can’t make the hire, I’d like to help them find a good home elsewhere.
So, if you’re hiring for Inside Sales positions, please comment with your company name and what positions you’re hiring for. I plan on giving them the options to follow up with you.
Hope it works out to be mutually beneficial!”
The next day the post had over 70,000 views and over 100 comments plugging their companies and open positions. A week later it had over 350,000 views and 218 comments.
*As of the time I wrote this. There are more now!*
I took these 200+ comments, filtered them for qualified companies, and had my virtual assistant pull the company name, sales roles, locations, and LinkedIn profiles for the person who posted, into a spreadsheet.
My follow up email to the candidates that did not get the job, will now have plenty of other options and the right people to contact.
I’ll continue to monitor to see if this translates into employment with any of them.
This is something we do out of generosity and is something that sets us apart, but I wish it didn’t.
I encourage other companies to do the same, and pay it forward. As the CEO of a sales company, I’m the only one that can make this hire.
So, if I can do it in the middle of running a 450 person conference in London and conducting the entire interview process from Europe, there’s no reason why your organization can’t too.
Also published on Medium.