Making Quality Connections

As a Job Seeker, you have entered the world of sales – and the sooner you admit that, the better off you’ll be.

If a role in sales has not been a part of your experience, you could be faced with the challenge of a major paradigm shift.

The “sales mentality” is not for everyone – making calls, meeting people, attending meetings and conferences and small group discussions are not easy for some people.  I know – I’m not a salesperson! And handling rejection? – is one ever good at that?

Sales is the world a job seeker is in (or entering).  The product (“YOU”) is your number one priority.

And, who other than you can sell you best?  No one!  The successful marketer develops a clear plan and executes with energy and determination.

Once your product (“YOU”) is clearly defined and packaged with a good resume and introduction letter, you are ready to begin the process of finding people who could lead you to your next position.

In my role as an executive search consultant, I receive countless requests for assistance.

These are unsolicited…and could almost be considered spam, as there is no voice or face to the correspondence.  I simply do not know them – but I do know this about them:

        1. What they’ve told me in their resume.
        2. They are seeking a new position and want me to do something about it.
        3. We have no relationship.

What is that “most important thing about finding a new position?”  Get to know the person with whom you are trying to communicate.

Begin building a relationship by giving that person a call…use your 30-second intro to see if you can get an audience.  Follow up with that person only after you have connected personally.

There are those that think blasting a resume to innumerable sources is an effective means of locating that “right” position for you.

While one could boast about the number of resumes distributed, it is highly questionable that this process will help you land your next position successfully.

The personal touch starts with making quality connections – beginning with that often-dreaded cold call.

Cold calls are difficult…and not always immediately productive.  A sales person typically lands a conversation 7 to10% of the time.

That means 7 to 10 calls yield 1 conversation…Following this, the sales person turns a conversation into an order 7 to 10 % for each successful conversation, which means 200 calls to make 1 order!  Let’s be clear: it takes a lot of calls!

        • 200 calls – 14 discussions – 1 order (interview)
        • 500 calls – 35 discussions – 2 orders (interview)
        • 1000 calls – 70 discussions – 5 orders (interview)

200 calls for 1 interview…and the statistics could be similar when converting an interview to a new position.  If 7 to 10% of the time is the norm, it could very well take 14 interviews to land one offer.

That converts to an amazing number of phone calls.  These numbers are not presented to discourage you…They are presented to encourage you.

Planning and organizing are critical.  The first time I was totally dependent upon my sales ability, I sought my comfort level – finding names…easy…but, calling them…forget it.  So, I created a discipline for myself.

Mornings are best for me…9 – 11 prime time for my productivity.  So, I put on my headset and made my calls between 9 and 11 every day.  Every day…Averaging 50 to 100 per day.

And, to this day, if my sales are suffering, I can usually attribute it to the fact that my “marketing time” has been sacrificed.

Your job search is all about connectionsquality connections – finding names, calling names, and developing relationships with a real person.

Don’t let the ease of e-mail get in the way of your number one task:  making connections…quality connections.

Craig B. Toedtman – April 2019

Don’t Get Stuck!

“If you don’t go, you don’t get” – a phrase shared many years ago by the captain of a ferry boat cruising Lake Champlain from Burlington VT to New York ports.

He was answering a question as to why he was facing bitter weather casting its forces over the lake one winter day. And this same phrase rings true to every job seeker in today’s market.

Over 10 years ago, I published an article telling Job Seekers that seeking new opportunities takes a lot of energy and drive. Y

ou have to go…you have to do what it takes…you have to “do it all” to succeed in finding the right opportunities.

Research then suggested that positions were filled through a variety of approaches, as follows (success rate in parenthesis):

          1. Organization Web sites (21%)
          2. Referrals (21%)
          3. Job Boards (20%)
          4. Search Firms (7%)
          5. Newspapers (5%)
          6. Social Networking (2%)
          7. Career Fairs (2%)
          8. Other (22%)

The premise was: you can’t succeed by working through just one channel for success.

Websites, Referrals, and Job Boards were suggested to be the most successful approach to find an appropriate opportunity, while others very well may be successful.

So what about today?

Statistics haven’t changed much, and you still have to “do it all.” BUT: there is very common agreement that networking is the most successful approach to finding a new position. Successful networking is conducted many ways – conferences, happy hours, job fairs, alumni associations…and many more opportunities to meet people face-to-face. The point is to find every opportunity to get yourself out there to meet more people – but the likelihood of landing a job using this approach is still less than 10%.

The most successful approach – LinkedIn – leads the social networking field as the most successful approach to networking. It common knowledge that many opportunities are landed through LinkedIn – either by finding an opportunity or by being found. While there don’t seem to be published statistics on the subject (survey is pending!), I am inclined to think that people are more likely to land an opportunity by finding it…versus being found. The passive lookers dominate the field…so, an active looker can seize the opportunity to step ahead of the competition by actively seeking opportunities through LinkedIn.

It’s a constant challenge to keep inspired with high energy and confidence. You have to keep going – working through the valleys and staying positive. You get what you pay for – if you don’t to, you don’t get…and you won’t fail – unless you stop trying. RDC Hiring Edge will help “you stay the course” – especially through the challenging waters!

Keep connecting – we can help!

Craig B. Toedtman – April 2019