Getting Hired During a Recession

Sam Manfer
October 28, 2008 — 2,539 views  
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Getting a job is a sale and requires the skills of a top sales person. Unfortunately most people never learned how to sell, even most sales people. To complicate the matter further this sale is about you, which is very emotional. The good news is that your product knowledge is second to none.

So to make the sale of yourself happen faster follow these strategies, tactics, techniques, reasoning's and examples and you'll land the job of your dreams 1 - Sell Yourself To You First.

Become Confident.

You know you will get a job and a paycheck, but you now have the opportunity to get the job of your dreams. You deserve it. You are capable. You have strengths that people want.

So then, why are you depressed and low? It's because of fear created from your internal voices and social feedback. Therefore you have to be very careful because water seeks it's own level. What you think of yourself will set your water level.

Set that level high by rallying your spirit. Then command the parent within you to huge and support you. Otherwise you will settle for low tide and the child in you will be miserable.

Be Your Own Person.

Assess the social feedback others lay on you. Some people have a tendency to tell you all the things you do wrong or what you should do differently. Be careful with these. It is usually this person's interpretation of what s/he doesn't like or is sensitive to. If a lot of people say the same thing, it may be real, and you might consider some changes.

More damaging, however, are your internal demons. Become extremely conscious of what you say and think of yourself. These messages were created from childhood and will destroy you if you don't recognize and confront them. You have to be a loving nurturing parent to yourself. You have to be full of accolades and encouragement. Without this you will always be second-guessing yourself which will block any chance of being confident.

A sales person's biggest asset is confidence. It is contagious and exudes credibility.

Interview Yourself

Put yourself in control. What is it that you really want to do? Wave a magic wand. What is the perfect kind of job for you? Forget about the money. Do what you like and the money will come. If you know your passion, you can create ways to integrate it into something to support your life style. For example I would love to be a professional golfer, but I am a 20 handicapper and old. It's not going to happen, but I could get into the profession of golf as an equipment sales person or work for a golf club or other golf related jobs that would keep me associated with my passion. Look at your strengths - what you've done successfully as a professional and look at your passion. Ask yourself how you can tie the two together. Sleep on it. That is, take some time to listen to yourself for the answer.

Make a Presentation to Yourself

Now that you know what you want do some research. Prepare a presentation of what you will do. How you will do it. What investments (time, money, relationships, etc.) are required and the overall game plan for moving forward. Get information and ideas from people, but don't ask if they think it's a good idea, yet. Put together the package. Then, give yourself the presentation.

Get Commitment from Yourself

Ask yourself how you feel about your presentation. If you don't feel good, ask yourself, "how come" and listen. Capture those feelings (usually fear) and ask yourself what to do about it? If you listen, strategies will emerge. Keep reworking your presentation until you feel good, happy and excited.

The fear you're feeling is about negative projection - thinking that something bad will happen. Actually you don't know what will happen. You're not psychic. So to eliminate fear, project positively. Say to yourself, "This will work beautifully" and you will create your own positive destiny.

After you're sold, you can share your plan with others. Ask them for suggestions to improve it and ways or ideas to help you accomplish it. Don't ask for their approval or what they think of it. Remember this is all about you and your life. Yes, you may be responsible for others, but you will be no good to anyone unless you are happy with yourself.

2 - Target the Right Prospects.

Now that you know what you want you have to target your search for the right company, with the right people so that you can do the kind of work you like. You must develop a profile to gauge opportunities as good to bad. It's not just about money. It is the happiness package you have to give to yourself. Remember only you can nurture and support yourself. Don't expect it from others. They are worried about themselves. Look for those that want what you have, in the fullest sense of the term, rather than who you want. There are certain types of companies, people, environments, styles, etc. where you fit that are better than others. If your targets fit the characteristics where you fit best, then all is OK. If your target doesn't then either you have to change or change your target. You have characteristics that attract certain types and you will do well there. These will be easy targets for you.

Develop Your Company/Job Profile Characteristics

List the companies where you did well. These are the ones where you probably enjoyed working. Success and enjoyment are usually linked. What were the characteristics about that company? What were the characteristics about the job/position? Purge your brain and write these down. Then think of the companies you didn't like and the positions where you didn't do well. What characteristics were in play here?

You'll start to see a trend in the ones where you did well and the opposite of the characteristics where you struggled. These trends are your profile for success. Maybe you've done well where the boss left you alone, and you did poorly with a dominant boss. See the characteristic trend?

Judge each opportunity that you go after against this profile. More importantly, seek opportunities that have these characteristics. If you've done well in small companies, don't pursue Fortune 500's or even 1000's. If you've done better working remote, don't pursue local companies.

Once again, this is about putting yourself in charge. You have to select what is good for you, not what is available.

3 - Use your Golden Network

These are people with whom you have developed professional credibility. You have to ask for their help and they will be happy to give it to you. Why, because you helped them at some point. That's how you got the credibility initially, even if they don't remember how it came about.

The technique is to tell them what you want them to do. That is get you an introduction to someone you've identified or get you an introduction to someone who can help you get to the type of person you eventually have to meet. Your message is there are people s/he knows in her/his associations that s/he can call and arrange an interview for you. Don't just get a name. Have your contact introduce you and make the appointment.

4 - Interview The People You Meet.

Establish Credibility

You have to establish credibility with this new person. Your Golden Network person who set-up the interview transferred her/his credibility over to you. That got you in the door. Now when you first speak, it is yours to lose and you want to keep it.

In 25 words or less you want to thank them for seeing you. Mention the person that referred you and give some of your credentials that are relevant to this person. For example; Thanks for meeting me today. John Smith and I worked successfully on many healthcare projects. My medical training and 10 years of experience have helped. (25 words) More credibility will develop as you follow this process

Take Charge by Making Her/Him Talk You want to get this person to tell you about what you want to know. This way you can be in control to see if you would like it there and if you could fit. Develop some questions to get this person to tell you what they or s/he does. What works and what doesn't. What are the challenges? How come they do it that way? ??? As long as this person is talking you have control. You will be doing the judging.

So you have to have to have a transition to get this person to start talking. Get this person to believe that you are interested in her/him. Don't start with why you are there. Start with the word "you" or "your". "Your company has been doing really well ..." or "Your position must be exciting and challenging. What are some of the heathcare issues you face?"

Lead them to the topic you want to discuss - healthcare. However, keep it about them and this will hold her/his attention. Once you start talking about you, the session is almost over. This is especially true as you move to senior managers. Even if s/he says, "So tell me about you." Turn it around by saying, "I'd be happy to, but I don't want to bore you with a lot of details that are not relevant to you. So can I ask you a few questions first?"

Gathering Your Ammunition

Become genuinely interested in what s/he is saying and listen to understand. Take notes. It's OK and it shows you really are listening and involved. Although you set it up, this interview is not about you. It is about learning if you can do something for this person or this organization. You have to know what s/he or they do and how you can help them do it better. You may see that it is not the kind of place that's good for you. Then you can be in charge and walk away with pride. Your purpose is to see if you belong there, not to convince. If you feel you do, then you need information to write the specification for your perfect job. Every sales person knows that if they can write the specification that's used s/he has a tremendous advantage in making the sale.

Assess the Fit

Don't take a resume. Until you interview, you are not ready to submit a resume. With a resume they get to judge. You want them to judge once you show them you can do what they want.

Finally, if this feels right for you, you will have to learn the decision-making process. This first visit may not be the right time, but you want to be listening for hiring type information. Don't let budgets or headcount freezes or all the other stuff dissuade you. It is all fluff. If senior management finds someone to help them, they will find the money with or without a freeze. So ask, "What would the perfect employee look like to you?"

Strategy 5 - Fit Your Presentation To The Individual.

Now that you've decided this is worth pursuing, fit your presentation to this individual. Even if you won't be working with this individual, you have to win this person over if you want to get to the next level. Therefore, your discharge of information has to appeal to this person. It will incorporate how others will benefit, but it has to really excite this person. That's why that interview above is so critical. A good technique is to ask what others' perfect world situation would look like. The response will be her/his perception of others, which will be about the one speaking. It's called transference. People can't think or feel in the minds and hearts of others. So they project themselves into the answer.

Win One Vote at a Time

Structure your resume for this person. This is why you may want to come back another time to present. Just say that you want some time to review your notes and create some helpful ideas. If so, could you possibly come back for a short presentation within a week?

You will also have to show that you are better than the alternatives of hiring no one or hiring someone else. You will have to address the effort involved and risk. Help them make hiring you effortless. You will have to get to the decision-maker - probably a senior manager. The person you meet may not be that person. This person will not want to do the work to get the position approved. That's your job. You have to get this person to introduce you to the next level. The only way that happens is if this person sees the benefit for her/himself with you. Additionally, you will have to mitigate any possibility of you failing. Be prepared with testimonials and references, and success stories that will relieve any fear of you failing.

6 - Get Commitment to Move Forward

After the presentation, ask the individual how they feel about what you've said. If s/he feels good, ask if you can meet the next person in the chain of command or ask if s/he would submit a request for a new hire. Ask for something tangible and tie a date to it. Don't ask them to think about it. This is a good out for her/him. The date gives it a meaningful boundary.

Handling Resistance

If s/he doesn't feel good about your presentation, thank her/him for their honesty and ask her/him to elaborate on the issue. Sit back and listen, but do not argue. Do not try to justify, rebut, or say anything. Just nod and let them talk. Finally say you want to analyze what they have said and if appropriate offer up some suggestions to deal with the issues at later date. Then say, "What do you suggest I do?"

If s/he feels good, but says no to the commitment to go further, ask what the issue is. Say, "Obviously there is a problem. Please share your thoughts with me." Once again, don't argue. Listen and get commitment to come back with suggestions of how to address the issue. Then say, "What do you suggest we do?"


These strategies, tactics and techniques will get you the position that will help you become successful. Success is relative to you and you have to be in charge of where you will work. It requires being proactive. You can't just answer want ads. It requires confidence. You have to believe in yourself and be confident enough to know you can get what you want. However, it takes work and time, but the harder you work using the above strategy the sooner and better it will be.

Getting a job is a proactive initiative where you are hired to solve problems. It is not about filling a position. That is reactive. People hire you because they want you to perform miracles. Otherwise, they can do it themselves. You've got to learn what miracle they want you to perform and how they want you to perform it.

And now I invite you to learn more

About the Author

Bonus Tip: FREE E-Book "Getting Past Gatekeepers and Handling Blockers". Just click this C-Level Relationship Selling Link Sam Manfer makes it easy for any sales person to be effective and feel comfortable connecting with and relationship selling C-Level leaders.

Sam Manfer