One of my favorite parts of being a sales professional is that my skills (and yours) are transportable. Like some other professions, we can take what we do and be successful in many places and industries. Essentially, as long as we continue to demonstrate that we can deliver the business, we should enjoy employment. The title of this blog reflects the fact that I believe we are always in some state of professional transition. Last weekend, I gave a speech on using sales techniques to manage career transition. The first question I asked the group was “Who in the room is in transition?” A few raised their hands. I asked it again, the group got what I was asking, and everyone raised a hand.
YOU are always in transition, and how you manage it counts. No job is forever. No job is for life.
Once the sales community understands that, then we can take comfort in the fact that we can stay ahead of the “change monster” and take our skills anywhere. I am living proof of that. In my professional sales career, I have changed industries four times and been successful in each one. The reason is that what we do can overlay what we do as sales professionals, and all of that skill we own on the particular industry we are selling in. Now, I do realize the value of having deep knowledge of a product or a service. This is of course very valuable to an employer. However, it is a fact that it is more challenging to teach someone the art of sales and how to close than it is to teach someone an industry (again with exceptions).
How do you stay ahead and stay marketable? Simple. Deliver the business and demonstrate a track record of developing and closing business. Show potential employers how you will use your sale skills to penetrate new markets. Inspire by being a leader and a mentor to sales reps. Be resilient, flexible, and open to learning and coaching. If you think you have the skills and the “stuff” to get the job, sell yourself with passion and conviction. I believe in my sales community. Go and make it happen!