Successful sales professionals know that what a product or service does is important. Features of a product or service provide a checklist for a customer. Does it fill this need? Yes. Does it come in blue? Yes. Does it get over 30 miles to the gallon? Yes. Customers have their own list of features they look for in a product or service. Those are the “what’s.”
If you’re looking for a job in sales, your resume should have an impressive list of what's as well. Things like your education, work experience and responsibilities. What you did in each position. It makes it easy for an employer to determine whether you meet the requirements of a job. If you have the right qualifications—what’s—an employer can be relatively certain you have the right background and can do the job.
Inc. Magazine agrees that presenting an impressive list of “what’s” is important in sales. But a list of what’s may not set your product or service apart from the competition. Take hotels for instance. Hotels provide beds and bathrooms for rent for the night. That may be taking it down to the bare bones, but basically, every hotel or motel offers the same basic necessities. There are other what’s that people feel are standard—a business center, Wi-Fi in the rooms and maybe an exercise room or pool. Restaurant cuisine may vary, but restaurants sell food. Grocery stores have different names, but most carry the same items.
What’s are important in sales and job seeking. But customers and employers make decisions on the whys. Whys are the reasons one product is better than the other. Why’s meet a customer’s particular needs or solves a problem. They put emotion into an otherwise static product or service. They point out the difference in results or value that makes a customer choose one grocery store, hotel or restaurant over another.
Employers want to know the whys for candidates as well. A resume with a lot of what’s is important, but the whys are the decision-makers. Accomplishment statements are the whys on a resume. In sales, whys come with numbers, sales figures and contracts. Percentage increase from one year to the next. Serious candidates will have the same credentials--the what’s. What a person has accomplished in the past, over and above expectations, will convince an employer why they should choose a particular candidate.
When putting together your sales resume, focus on the why's. After all, an interview is a sales call. You want to convince the buyer that you have the features and benefits he is looking for. How well you are able to sell yourself is an indication of how successful you’ll be selling for the company. Past performance is the best indicator of future success. Sell a prospective employer on why they should hire you, how you can add value to the company and improve the bottom line. Your interview may end up being your most important sales call.
Photo Source: stock.xchng: immrchris
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