Today’s post is by a special friend, Graeme Roberts. I hope you enjoy and learn from his marketing expertise!
At GrowMotor™, we help businesses and non-profits to do great marketing, through a strategic approach called Planned Marketing Performance™. We work to make our clients smarter and better marketers, through commitment to a disciplined process, clear articulation of the target customer, the product, and the value it brings, and adherence to the Golden Rule.
Marketing yourself effectively is no different.
What’s in It for Me?
One of the first things we ask our clients is what they would answer when their customers ask, “What’s in it for me?” We remind them that people always look out for themselves and their organization first. Fair enough too!
Never ask for a job because you need the money or the experience, or because you think it would be cool, or you always wanted to be in advertising. Tell the employer specifically what you are going to do to make her life better. It is never about you!
What is Marketing, Anyway?
One young psychology major we interviewed for an internship told us that he really needed money and that working for us in marketing sounded great. “What is marketing, anyway?” he asked politely.
Sometimes we think that the passion and enthusiasm that we feel for a job will be enough to make the employer love us. But those things are really about you. And passion has been known to wane, once or twice.
What Does the Employer Need?
Just as in marketing products or services, you need to understand the target employer, to find her real needs, complaints, problems, and challenges. What is she missing that you can provide? Call the employer and ask her. Don’t ask, “What problems will I solve for you if I get the job?” She will say, “Have you read the job description?” and mutter something about spoon-feeding.
Good Listeners Get Jobs
Ask her to tell you about a problem she faces in the job (obviously not people-related) and she will tell you three. Ask her one thing that the team could do to perform superbly. She will tell you eight. Be smart and be specific, but don’t cross the line from intensely interested to the two ob’s—obsequious or obnoxious. Look under the covers to see what is really happening, and how you can help. That is exactly what a good sales person does. Bad sales people walk in and start talking. You can’t listen with your mouth. Good listeners make sales and good listeners get jobs.
He Listened Carefully
One of the finest employees that I ever hired was shy, nervous, and diffident in our first interview. But he stood apart from all competitors because he asked smart, insightful questions and he listened carefully to our answers. He never once told us how wonderful he was (and is!) or about his amazing successes. He just matched our needs with his experience, in a quiet, low-key way. We have never regretted hiring him.
Have a List of Questions
Now some employers specifically forbid telephone calls or any contact prior to an interview. How ridiculous! Could the person reasonably request a meeting with a salesperson to talk about her need for a new computer system, but then refuse to tell the salesperson anything about the problem she is trying to solve? Never!
But remember, if you can’t speak to the employer before the interview make sure that you have a small list of smart, insightful questions that pertain directly to her needs and yours.
Make It Easy to Choose You
Hiring a new employee is big, tough, high-risk decision, and the cost of failure is very high. Your job is to make it easy for an employer to choose you and to be right. Listen up!
Hannah Morgan speaks and writes about job search and career strategies. She founded CareerSherpa.net to educate professionals on how to maneuver through today’s job search process. Hannah was nominated as a LinkedIn Top Voice in Job Search and Careers and is a regular contributor to US News & World Report. She has been quoted by media outlets, including Forbes, USA Today, Money Magazine, Huffington Post, as well as many other publications. She is also author of The Infographic Resume and co-author of Social Networking for Business Success.