By Leanne Rea
Landing a great job requires selling your number one product: yourself. Joe Himelfarb knows about selling: a business, a car, oneself. He understands that the art of the deal is actually much more than the sale; it is a combination of art and science, but as Joe is always quick to point out, “It is not rocket science.”
Joe has created his own opportunities by strategically using his upbeat personality and polite persistence. He insists that everyone is a salesman; they are just not aware of it. We sell ourselves every day—in interviews, networking events, corporate functions, etc. As Joe says, “salesperson” is more than just a title; it is a function that creates a “positive impact to customers’ lives.” Sales people are problem solvers who take the customers from where they are, to where they want to be, and in the process, if the sale goes well, they go along for the ride.
Joe is quick to connect the science of selling to the art of selling: “There are proven methodologies to selling which involve the numerous ways to connect to the customers and how the customer responds. The art of the sale comes with knowing when to connect with your customers and in what way. For example, if you call your customer every day for a solid week, you run the risk of creating a negative impression. There is a difference between being irritating and being politely persistent. Consider your customers’ needs and hiring processes. The art, then, is in the intuition. Mistakes are bound to be made. Most of the time, you will lose the sale.” But as Joe instructs us, “It’s okay to lose. It’s not okay to not learn from the experience.”
Joe’s advice when you lose a sale:
- Get feedback; the information will prove to be invaluable. Follow up with a phone call when you get a rejection letter. Ask the hiring manager to share one or two reasons why you were not hired.
- Put in the time to research not only your targeted companies but your own brand—how you are being perceived by others out there. The more information you gather, the more opportunity you create to believe in your skills and abilities. Once you have all of your information, make changes where necessary.
- Ask friends and family for an evaluation of your strengths and weaknesses.
- Tap into your networking organizations for further opportunities for self-evaluation.
- Do all the things you need to do to create opportunity. Become a risk-taker in your job search. “People that make stuff happen take the chance. By doing so, you elevate yourself from where you are to where you want to be.”
A PSGCNJ graduate, Joe is an occasional contributing author of the PSGCNJ newsletter, http://psgcnjnewsletter.wordpress.com/2011/03/01/hired-learning-home-sweet-home-not/. You can read more about Joe Himelfarb and his journey to becoming an experienced salesman and career counselor by visiting: http://www.princetoninfo.com/index.php?option=com_us1more&Itemid=6&key=5-11-2011%20you