Writing A Great Cover Letter

Writing a cover letter might seem pretty straightforward, but there’s a lot more to it than, “Hi I’m Joe and I’d like to apply for this job.”

Here are some tips to help you write a great one.

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Help Your Prospects Feel At Ease

Help Your Prospects Feel At Ease

 

If you’re in sales, you spend a lot of time talking to strangers, building quick relationships and (hopefully) an easy rapport. If you can help people feel more at ease when you start talking to them, you’re going to have a much easier time of it. Here are a few tricks to help you with that.

 

“I’ve only got a minute.”

If people think you’ve only got a limited time to talk to them, they’ll relax because they don’t feel trapped. Even if they’re not initially interested in what you have to say, giving you a minute of their time doesn’t seem like a big deal.

 

Is now a good time?

Just asking people if it’s a good time will increase the chances they’ll listen to you. Studies have shown that people are more likely to give you their time if you ask about their availability and wait for a response rather than just push ahead with what you have to say. It helps them feel in control of the situation.

 

Keep your body on the same page as your words

Saying all the right things won’t help if your body language is contradicting your words. Sometimes we’re so intent on what we’re saying we forget to notice what our bodies, starting with our faces are doing. A smiling face is the beginning.

 

When trying to get our point across we’ll often point our chin at the person we’re talking to in our earnestness. What we don’t realize is, from the other person’s perspective it looks like we’re pointing our nose down at them, so make a point of lowering your chin just a little.

 

Now that your chin is down, have a look at your hands. What are you palms doing? Keeping your palms up while you’re talking conveys the message that you’re interested in the other person, in hearing what they have to say and open to their ideas.

 

Nodding your head up and down as the other person speaks, raising your eyebrows are both non-verbal cues that you are open to them and at ease. Anything squashed down, like eyebrows or pursed lips conveys stress and a closed off attitude.

 

Dump the judgments and preconceptions

Approach every person with a completely open mind. Regardless of what they look like, what you expect they might say or think, give them your full, non-judgmental focus. Talk to the person, not the potential sale.

30 Days To Consistency

 

Everybody knows the key to accomplishing anything is consistency. It’s easy to talk about goals and it’s just as easy to set them. The real work comes along when you decide to follow through.

 

Everyone starts with the greatest of intentions and many get off to a great start but then the enthusiasm wanes. “I’m not inspired today,” they tell themselves. “I’ll wait until tomorrow when I’m inspired again.” What people don’t realize is that every day they don’t get back to work makes getting back to work harder and harder.

 

Consistent effort creates inspiration. It creates enthusiasm.

 

Inspired consistency

To help people create consistency in their efforts, writer and artist Austin Kleon has created a 30-day challenge, “an easy, low-fi way to keep track of your progress.”

 

Decide on your goal. Promise to work on it in some capacity every day, create a reward to inspire you to keep going, then print this 30-day challenge calendar. Austin Kleon’s 30-Day Challenge PDF

 

Every day that you follow through on your commitment you get to put a big X in the box. By the end of 30 days you’ll have tangible verifiable evidence of your efforts. You’ll be in the consistent groove and a personally chosen reward.

 

I’m going to choose singing lessons, so I can sing about my success!

 

 

Iceberg Career Advice – Motivation Monday

Iceberg Career Advice - Motivation Monday

 

What you may wonder, do icebergs have to do with career advice? Well it’s all about that whole faking it to you’re making it thing.

 

No one can see what’s going on below the surface

As an iceberg, the only thing anyone can see of you is the tiniest tip at the top. No one can read your mind, no one saw how flustered you were on the bus this morning. All they see is you right now in the moment you are interacting with them.

 

Show your best face

So don’t worry about how you spilled coffee on your shirt when you were running late this morning. Change the shirt and act like you woke up with plenty of time to spare and you’re having a great morning when you get to work.

 

Don’t worry if you’re having a meltdown internally. It doesn’t matter if you want to cry bitterly into your desk because you’re so stressed out. So long as you are not actually crying bitterly into your desk, you are successfully faking and making it.

 

Ask questions when you need help and anytime you’re feeling overwhelmed, or under-qualified, take a deep breath, and remember you are an iceberg and all anyone can see is that kickass professional tip and none of the insecure beginner stuff underneath.

 

You’ll be great.

Sales Pitches That Deliver

SALES PITCHES THAT DELIVER

 

The term sales pitch is sort of misleading because it assumes the action is entirely dependent on the salesperson. Like the salesperson has a stock of pitches, the fastball, the curveball, the grounder and he or she chooses the one that best suits the circumstances and throws.

 

With baseball, where the pitcher’s intention is to strike out, that might work, but with sales where you’re looking for the hits, each pitch is going to have to be customized for the person you’re talking to. A strong pitch isn’t something thrown at a customer, it’s part of a conversation, a relationship you’re building where two people talk to each other, discuss benefits and questions and how the product being discussed could be a solution.

 

Pre-pitch homework

Of course to get into that conversation you’re going to have to do your homework. Knowing everything about your product is only the beginning. Equally important is knowing how it can benefit different people with different lifestyles and sensibilities. You will discuss the benefits differently when you’re talking to a busy professional than you will if you’re talking to a stay at home parent. You need to know exactly how to appeal to the person you’re talking to, exactly how this product is going to impact them. Discuss specific features about the product that will address their situation.

 

Targeted, specific questions

By asking lots of specific questions to determine the life circumstances and sensibilities of the person you’re speaking to, you’ll be able to tailor the rest of your pitch accordingly. With the right questions you’ll be able to figure out if the person is a good fit for the product and what you can say to make it more attractive to them. Remember, questions are no good if you’re not paying close attention to the answers, so listen carefully to what the person is saying and respond accordingly. A strong sales pitch is a conversation between two people about the product at hand, not a one-way list of benefits and features.

 

BANT

In a perfect world, a dialogue about a product is a smooth direct line from introduction to interest to sale. In the real world there will be objections. If you’re a strong salesperson who’s done your homework those objections can work to your advantage as you overturn them and make the product even more appealing in the process. That means you need to have figured out every objection in advance and have the response appropriate to the person you’re speaking with ready.

 

Sales professionals at IBM realized that most objections fall into four categories, Budget, Authority, Needs, Time or BANT 

 

Budget: Can they afford your product? Will this product save them time or money in the long run or improve their life in some way that makes the expenditure worthwhile?

 

Authority: Can this person make the buying decision? Do they need to speak with anyone else first?

 

Need: Will this product improve their life in some way?

 

Time: If they’re in a hurry to get somewhere else they won’t be able to pay attention to you or your product. Do they have the time to listen to what you have to say?

 

The final push

Your conversation has come to an end. You’ve answered all the questions and have an interested, invested person in front of you. Encourage them into action while they’re still excited and motivated. If you are the point of sale, great. If they need to follow through at the cash register, explain what they need to do. If they need to follow through with someone else and get back to you then set a time for that.

 

By making yourself an expert salespitcher you can turn your strike-outs into homeruns!

 

Are you a visual learner? Here’s a detailed explanation of How To Deliver a Good Sales Pitch from wikiHow – with pictures!

Motivating Millennials

Motivating Millennials

 

Up until ten or fifteen years ago, corporate work structure hadn’t changed much. People came in, moved through the ranks, got promoted based on seniority, communicated through hierarchical structures. However millennials are not like the workers that came before them. They’re a generation who’ve grown up in a world of instant access to everything. They share information and tips, ideas and thoughts. They’re about crowd sourcing and putting themselves out there on You Tube or Instagram and making a name for themselves based on their own initiative.

 

They’re inspired and creative and hungry to make their mark. How do you entice them to make their mark with you?

 

Encourage communication

Millennials come in with fresh eyes and fresh perspectives. They’re eager and motivated. By having an open communication policy where ideas are welcome regardless of how long someone has been part of the organization or how much responsibility they may have, millennials will feel heard and appreciated. They’ll be more likely to give you their full attention and enthusiasm.

 

Provide opportunities for professional growth

Because millennials are so determined to make their mark without having to go through an arbitrary twenty years in the system, give them opportunities to expand themselves. Offer workshops, training sessions, conference calls with people who can help and inspire them. The more you give them, the more they’ll give you back.

 

Fulfillment through side projects

There’s nothing like the pride of accomplishing something from start to finish to motivate someone. That something doesn’t have to be huge, but trusting someone with a side project they can make their own, giving them recognition for their efforts, privately and publicly is just the sort of boost that will encourage millennials to strive even harder.

 

Millennials may not be willing to follow in the footsteps of those who came before them, but with the right kind of encouragement, oh the places they’ll go!