Archive: Oct 2018
How to perfect your CV ahead of job interviews
Posted: October 24, 2018 9:28 amA concise, well-structured and informative CV is absolutely crucial for ensuring you make it through to the interview stage of a recruitment process. Most employers make decisions about CVs in a matter of seconds and it takes just a few errors or a lack of information for yours to end up in the wrong pile. So, how do you perfect your CV ahead of job interviews to ensure that you make it through to a face-to-face?
Be conciseYour CV has roughly eight seconds to work its magic on the person viewing it, so a lengthy tome is going to be almost useless. In terms of your career, focus on the best bits and the headlines, ensuring that everything is relevant to the role you’re applying for – you don’t need to tell your entire career history.
Say why you’re the best person for the jobYou may think that the skills and experience in your CV make it clear why you’re the best person for the job but a potential employer may not make the same links. A personal statement is a short, direct paragraph that sets out exactly why you are the ideal candidate, making the connection in case the employer hasn’t.
Make sure your CV is up to dateYou’re wasting a huge opportunity if your CV doesn’t have all your most recent experience on. Employers tend to be suspicious if all the experience listed is old and out of date so take the time to keep your CV up to date. You’ll also need to explain any gaps in your career timeline – find a positive way to illustrate time spent on something that wasn’t work and why this has been valuable to your development and growth in the long run.
Never lieYes you should always use your CV to reflect the best possible version of everything you’ve achieved. However, embellishing or lying about what you’ve done and what you’re capable of just means you’re likely to get caught out at interview or when your references are checked.
Don’t be that person…… who ends up in the “no” pile simply because they didn’t check the spelling. Employers will always be put off by spelling and grammar errors so it’s just not worth letting such unnecessary mistakes slip through the net.
If your CV is online, include keywordsIf your CV contains keywords that are relevant to the sector you work in and the role that you’re looking for then you’re much more likely to get employers coming to you.
Make your CV stand outThere are a number of ways you can do this, including identifying any statistics, figures or other ways of quantifying what you’ve achieved to give your CV more credibility. Remember that the CV needs to look good and flow easily so pay attention to paragraphing, use bullet points and apply a little bit of graphic design so the end result is professional and easy to understand. Your CV is the key to the door of the interview room so don’t neglect it. With a great CV you’ll be able to increase the opportunities that are available to you and find that dream role. Take a look at our Half Day Masterclass in Brushing up your CV Writing and Interview Skills for more tips.
How to improve your consultative selling style
Posted: October 18, 2018 1:04 pmAccording to Gallup, less than half of customers feel that their needs are adequately addressed by sellers. This is a big issue for sellers, not just with respect to customer satisfaction levels but also whether the best use is being made of resources and effort in terms of results achieved. If you want to be more effective at selling then it’s crucial to understand how to meet the needs of the customer – and there is no better way to do that than with a consultative selling approach.
Why use consultative selling?Consultative selling focuses first and foremost on building a relationship with the customer. It’s from that relationship that insights and trust can be built so that it becomes possible to position more compelling solutions for the customer. A consultative approach works best for everyone, as the customer gets what they need and the seller achieves results. While it’s not always the easiest approach to master there are lots of ways to improve your consultative selling style.
Don’t overdo the questionsYes, it is crucial to question the customer so that you can understand what their problems are, which will enable you to position the best solution. However, a barrage of questions will quickly make a customer disengage. The key is to pick your questions carefully, don’t waste them, and balance those questions with insights so that you come across as credible and the questions feel like a logical next step from your insight sharing.
The value of knowledgeConsultative selling is much more of a conversation, which means that knowledge gaps or a lack of industry understanding can be easily revealed. So, it’s important to ensure that you have done plenty of research about the business and the sector in advance – the conversation may be short so you need to be ready to impress.
Establish reliabilityIf you’re selling over the phone then building credibility can be a challenge. However, if you can establish yourself as reliable and knowledgeable then you are half way there. An easy way to demonstrate this is to ensure that you achieve at least one follow-up after the call. The important element here is not the follow-up itself but the fact that you deliver on it. This will establish credibility, reliability and give the customer reason to believe you can deliver.
Learn how to communicate without being dominantIf you’re dominating the conversation, customers can quickly switch off. Moments of silence can provide emphasis and it’s crucial to listen as well as speak. Ideally, a consultative selling conversation is one that is guided by a seller who is concise and well-informed.
View every piece of feedback as valuable, even the negativeAlthough you might hear an obstacle when someone articulates negative feedback, what is actually being communicated is a need. Effectively, even negative feedback is useful when it comes to refining customer need and identifying how the relationship could progress. Our Consultative Selling course is ideal for those who are looking to develop a selling style that achieves both better results and stronger relationships. Get in touch for more advice and course options today.
How can you improve your key account management?
Posted: October 11, 2018 11:44 amKey accounts are those that are the most valuable to the business. These are the clients whose loss would make a significant impact, whether that’s purely financial or reputational too. Given their importance to any enterprise, it makes sense to invest time and resources in key account management that nurtures these critical contacts. But how do you make sure that key account management is generating more sales and entrenching longer-lasting relationships, as opposed to increasing cost and lowering margins?
Key account management – the when and howWhen you adopt key account management – if you haven’t already – depends on your particular business. You may choose to wait until you have a dedicated key account team or until it’s obvious that your competitors are reaping the rewards of this kind of investment. For key account management to be really beneficial, a relatively long sales cycle is required and this type of programme often works best where there is upselling and cross-selling potential. It’s important to make the distinction between key account management and selling – sales is often a very short-term perspective whereas key account management is all about prioritising the future. Identifying key accounts isn’t just about revenue. Other criteria may also be important, such as cultural fit, solvency, the possibility of becoming a channel partner and product fit.
Improving key account management
Make sure your team has the right skillsEffective key account management is all about the people who you assign to do it. They should have an in-depth understanding of the client company, from strategy to market position, and able to provide custom services, offers and products, as well as handling both short and long term planning. The right training can make all the difference when it comes to generating real ROI on key account management investment.
Delegate different responsibilitiesSeparate your key account management team from your sales team. As already noted, the two are not the same thing.
Create a customised key account management planThe purpose of the plan is to help you identify where the opportunities lie when it comes to growth, what the potential obstacles are to that growth, as well as where competitors present a threat. Key information for the plan includes account targets and strategy, as well as information about the customer, such as business plan and financial health.
Be selective in terms of the accounts that you focus onDefine your key accounts using a set of established selection criteria and regularly review whether these are providing the right foundation. You’ll also need to review the accounts you define as key accounts fairly frequently, as relationships can change over time.
Have an infrastructureA CRM is essential to ensure that you can keep track of interactions with key accounts and make sure every opportunity for growth is taken.
Track and measureWhat you’re looking for is a constant upward trend in terms of the account’s engagement and loyalty. Part of the process will be regularly checking in with the client to get their feedback about their experience with you. A sound key account management process is essential for any business – our Developing Major Accounts course can help any of your salespeople currently trying to develop skills in this area to deliver more to the business overall.
5 personal skills that every successful administrator needs
Posted: October 4, 2018 2:37 pmAdministrators are the unseen heroes of almost every business. They not only keep the wheels of the business ticking over but have the knowledge and insight to suggest innovative change within an organisation. With the right combination of experience, ability and personal skills, an administrator can become crucial to the future success of the business.