The Worst Cover Letter Mistakes

Many people looking for jobs destroy their resumes by accompanying them with halfhearted or downright terrible cover letters. While some employers don’t bother reading cover letters, most do. And they will quickly eliminate you if you make these mistakes.

SalesJournal.com’s sponsor Naviga Recruiting & Executive Search, a national sales recruitment and marketing recruitment firm, not only offers job seekers the ability to search for jobs both regionally and nationally, but they also offer Premium Career Resources. This includes professional resume writing and career coaching. Follow this link to learn more about cover letter/resume assistance from Naviga.

Dysfunction Junction, What’s Your Function?

Reading the Sales Improvement Analysis by Graham Roberts-Phelps & Associates got Naviga Partner and CEO of Meeting to Win, Jill Myrick thinking about the dysfunction salespeople continue to live with daily. In their analysis they share “12 key elements to analyse that will lead to sales improvement”, none of which she disagrees with. What’s funny about this is that many of these are self-inflicted by a dysfunctional way of managing sales and salespeople. She doesn’t have all the answers, but she has challenged her readers to meet at “dysfunction junction” and has pushed them to reduce at least some of the dysfunction for the good of all, including those sales results.

So, what can sales leaders and salespeople do about this dysfunction?

The Power of Effective Communication:

This week’s blog is by Terry R Yoffe, CPCC, PCC, a certified personal and professional development coach with TRY Coaching, LLC.

What do we mean when we talk about effective communication?

Sales people communicate every day and probably don’t give it a second thought. They put their mouths in gear and talk, eager to make the sale. But are they communicating successfully or are they just talking?

In today’s ever-challenging and uncertain marketplace, sales people have a much tougher row to hoe as sales are down dramatically. In this environment, can a sales person afford not to stop and consider how they are communicating with their current clients or, more importantly, with prospective ones?

By putting good communication skills to use, sales people can learn to communicate with and influence others. Over time, they will see the impact their words have on others from the listener’s perspective.

Lee Iacocca said: “We can have brilliant ideas, but if you can’t get them across, your ideas won’t get you anywhere.”

How many sales people have brilliant ideas that went nowhere because they couldn’t sell them to their client? What would it be like if they had the ability to influence or persuade another to embrace that idea and set it in motion?

Here are some basic communication skills to start putting into use immediately:

Express Yourself

  • Provide all the necessary information, taking care not to omit important parts of the message.
  • Be direct, clear and congruent. Content, voice, tone and body language should all say the same thing. Body language makes up 50 percent of the impact of our message.

Listen Actively

  • Active listening means one thing: Hear what people are really saying.
  • How well we listen has a major impact on our effectiveness and on the quality of our relationships with others.
  • FACT: People only hear 25-50 percent of what we say and they hear it within the first 2½-5 minutes of communication.

Ask Powerful Questions

  • Asking questions shows that we are listening and allows the sales person to glean new information and get clarity on what is being said.

How would your life change if you could successfully master these basic skills? How can you not make the investment to improve your communication? You will be amazed at the startling turn your sales efforts will take once you have learned to harness the power of effective communication.

On each sales call ask yourself this question:  Are you communicating successfully and effectively to influence or are you just talking?

Sales & Marketing Jobs That Will Vanish

In a previous post on BNET, Geoffrey James explained that the current economy is going to leave many sales professionals without a job. But it’s not just the economy that presents a threat — it’s the Internet, which makes many traditional sales and marketing jobs obsolete.  As businesses get over their initial shock, stop their panicking, and start looking at their cost-structures, they’re only going to keep certain types of sales and marketing professionals.  Will you make the cut? What sales and marketing jobs will survive?  There are two…

Do you agree with Geoffrey’s analysis? He’s hearing stories all over about traditional sales reps, managers and VPs who can’t find a job.   And also some pretty incredible success stories — but they’re all in either quant marketing or high-level “managerial” selling.   Do you see what’s happening?  Or does he have it all wrong?

Break the vicious cycle of weak sales performance.

Many companies world-wide want to know how much liquidity is needed to sit out this unpleasant situation and what can be done to reverse sinking profits or rising losses. One of most obvious answers to all of these inquiries is this: Stop careless spending; increase selling!

In times past, sales have been easier to come by; with sufficient revenue income, mediocre sales performance from a few on staff was somehow tolerable. But as sales cycles get longer and purchasing decisions get further delayed, the term ‘mediocre’ gets a whole new meaning in value. Less value. Entire sales floors are taking a deep dive, based on last year’s performance. The fruits of success are hanging much higher in today’s economy, and companies unprepared to meet these new conditions will go on a wild ride in a dangerous and vicious cycle.

Jeff Gitomer is an author/writer, speaker and business trainer.

College Degree Required?

Do you work for an organization that wrestles with the idea of whether or not to require a college degree as a prerequisite for employment?  Sales and Leadership Strategist, Doyle Slayton reflects that while working with his old company,”The importance of the discussion would heighten when considering advancement opportunities into management, director, and VP level positions.”

What do you think… Is a college degree important in the world of sales?  Does it create an advantage?