7 months ago
February 21, 2017

Every Profession is in Sales

No matter the industry, the role or position, or the products and services with which a professional works, every profession is in sales.

Claire McConnachie

every profession is in salesMany job seekers are in a position where no matter how many resumes they send out the call back for an interview remains a rarity. Many other professionals who are employed are in a cycle of job changes, where no position seems to bring the hoped for success. Both of these situations might be attributed to one misunderstanding: Every profession is in sales. Beginning with cover letters, resumes, and interviews and continuing through entry to executive level careers, every professional works in sales in one form or another.

Getting Hired Is a Sales Process

Perhaps the best advice for job seekers can be encapsulated in just two words, “Sell yourself.” Whether looking for a new career while between positions or looking to change positions from a current employer, every job seeker needs to be able to sell his or her qualifications, personality, and dedication to prospective employers to convince that employer that he or she is right for the job. There is no point of view where this is not a selling prospect! The process successful job seekers follow is the same process that successful sales leaders follow day in and day out:

  • Making cold contacts through letters, e-mail, and phone calls
  • Following up with new, relevant information throughout a decision cycle
  • Convincing others that a particular opportunity is the best possible avenue for all parties

A Sales Approach Drives the Customer Experience

Customer service and the customer experience is a sales driven process, even when no direct selling is involved. This is because any professional in a customer facing role is representing his or her company, and must perform like a sales person in order to satisfy the customer. The customer driven approach is a core competency in sales, and organizations that are successful ensure that professionals at all levels, from the reception area to the customer service desk to the C-suite, understand that each positive customer interaction is a further invitation to do business with their company. Consider:

  • Like direct sales people, each person in an organization must be acutely attuned to the processes, products, and services he or she is responsible for.
  • Each person in an organization has an opportunity to make a positive impression that can drive further sales, even if a sale is not immediate.
  • While each person in an organization is directly responsible for a certain set of tasks, these tasks combine across all areas to drive sales directly and indirectly, immediately and over time.

Negotiations at Any Level Require Sales Aptitude

All professionals must master the art of negotiation, which is a sales skill because negotiation in itself is a sales pitch, even if the exchange is not for money. To start with, all professionals, in or out of sales, negotiate salary and benefits with their employers. All professionals negotiate internally with peers, reporting employees, and superiors on deliverables within their spheres of responsibility. And all professionals negotiate for internal buy-in on their ideas for new processes, services, and even products, even if they will not be selling these ideas directly to customers themselves.

In this context, negotiating price and delivery with customers is the only type of negotiation that sales people might be doing differently than all other professionals – and even that cannot be taken as a given.

No matter the industry in which a professional works, the role which a professional fills, or the products and services with which a professional works, every profession is in sales. Whether it is landing an employment offer, accomplishing career goals, or moving ahead to positions of further responsibility, all professionals must use key sales strategies to succeed – even if they do not perceive themselves as working ‘in sales’. Understanding that sales is something all professionals must do can be the deciding factor in career success.

Claire McConnachie

Claire is a Western University graduate with a background in recruiting, sales and customer service. As a Recruitment Consultant, her goals are to place the best people in the right roles resulting in satisfaction for both the candidate and client.