Sales and Sales Management Blog

August 23, 2012

Is Now a Good Time to Make the Move to Another Company?

Filed under: career development — Paul McCord @ 5:23 pm
Tags: , ,

Over the past several years while we’ve been faced with a bad economy, companies laying people off, sales for most companies being stagnant or declining, I’ve been asked one question more than any other—“Is now a good time to be looking to make a move to another company?”

My answer is always the same—is what you have to offer worth buying?  Now, I’m not asking the individual if they’re selling something that people want or if the product they’re selling is of any value, I’m asking them the key question they must answer when looking to move from one employer to another—do you have anything of value that the other company would be interested in acquiring.

Whether we’re talking about today’s slow economy or the bad economy three years ago or the economy three years from now, there are always opportunities.  Take a look at any on-line job site and you’ll find hundreds, thousands of opportunities.  Even in cities and areas that are supposedly so mired in a horrific economy that there simply are “NO JOBS”—there are open jobs that employers are anxious to fill.

No matter the economy—and many are predicting that we may be headed for another serious decline–the question is never “is this a good time to make the move to another opportunity;” the question is “do I have anything to offer that another employer wants and needs?”

Value and skills are always in demand. 

If you have the skills, you can make the move successfully.

It may take time to find the right opportunity.

It may not be easy.

You might even have to move to another local.

But the opportunities are there.

Here are four steps you need to take if you are thinking about making a move:

Evaluate Your Offer Before beginning to make contacts or sending resumes, take stock of what you have to offer a new employer.  Be honest with yourself.  What superior skills can you bring to the table?  Don’t list the things you’ve done such as prospecting, closing sales, making presentations.  Everybody in sales has done those things.  Instead, make a serious analysis of your skills and determine which, if any, are superior to the majority of other sellers.

Strengthen Your Offer Once you’ve determined your superior skills, figure out what other skills you need in order to make yourself valuable to the best employers in your industry.  Again, be excruciatingly honest with yourself.  What skills must you strengthen in order to put yourself in the top tier?

Maybe you’re superior at developing relationships or making presentations to upper management or prospecting but need help developing other skills such as asking questions or cold calling or building trust.

Just because you’re top of the line at one or two skills won’t necessarily put you in a position to be salable.  Companies won’t be looking to hire a skill or two.  Selling demands a package of skills, not one or two. 

Look at what you need to improve to make yourself the complete package that your ideal employer will want and needs.

Once you know what skills you need to hone, spend the time and money getting the training and coaching you need to develop those skills.  This may only take a short time—or might be a major commitment of months or more.  But if you’re serious about making the right move, it is crucial.

Find Your Opportunities Use every method available to you to find and evaluate the opportunities in the marketplace.  Ask friends and family, business associates, and social contacts—and if appropriate clients—to alert you to any opportunities they become aware of.  Let them know in as much detail as possible exactly what you are looking for and what you bring to the table.

At the same time, scour top on-line sales job sites.  Some will concentrate on specific geographic areas such as the UK and Europe or the US; others may have positions from all over the globe.  And by all means don’t forget the sites of the individual companies you’re most interested in.

Rather than submitting resumes willy nilly, focus your time and attention on those opportunities where the skills you’ve identified as superior will give you a edge in both being hired and working within that company.

Be Prepared to Sell Your Skills As we all know, getting the interview is only a small part of the battle.  Once you’ve got the interview you have to nail the position.  And despite all the great advice about how to try to position your interview (do you want to be first or last?  How do you handle a single interviewer vs. a group interview, etc), you must be prepared to answer the most important question of all—what do you bring to the table that will make a real difference for the company and sets you apart from your competitors for the job?

After you’ve developed your skills, found the great opportunities, gotten the interview, you still aren’t ready to get that great new job until you can communicate to the interviewer(s) how and why you can make a real impact on their sales or to their sales team.

This is probably the most important aspect of the process.  Knowing exactly what you’ve accomplished and what your skills are that allowed you to do that and can communicate that succinctly and in terms that the interviewer can understand and appreciate. . That means having not only studied your past results and understanding what you bring to the table, but being able to communicate that at the drop of a hat. 

And that takes thought.   It takes practice.

It means you can’t wing it and expect to make the impression you want to make.

Any time is a good time to make the change to another opportunity—if you have developed the skills that make you irresistible and know how to communicate that in an interview.

It isn’t easy.

It means that changing jobs isn’t to be taken lightly and demands preparation.

But if you take it seriously, put in the effort, invest the time and money to develop your skills, and then learn how to communicate that value to a new employer, anytime is a great time to look for a new sales or sales leadership opportunity.


I invite you to connect with me on Twitter:  @paul_mccord

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