Robert J. Gerberg Jr.

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Some of Our Clients Accept Jobs Created for Them Pt. 4

4 – Take strong initiatives in your first interview

The fourth principle is to take strong initiatives in your first inter- view. Remember, your initial communication held out the promise of a benefit. What are your ideas? Why do you think they’ll work? Do you understand the company’s problems and opportunities?

Address these areas, but always remember to convey humility. Acknowledge that the interviewer has a better grasp of the problems facing the company than you could possibly have; this will help build positive rapport. There are any number of simple phrases you might use. For example, you might say:

“I hope you didn’t find my letter too presumptuous. No doubt you’ve already given a lot of consideration to these areas.” Or… “I took a calculated risk in telling you I could cut manufacturing costs. I recognize that every company is unique, and what works well in one may not work so easily in another.” Or… “I’m sure you’ve talked to many people who thought they knew your business better than you do. I don’t mean to come across that way. I have a number of ideas, but let me first pay you the courtesy of listening to your opinion on these areas.”

Comments like these set the stage for a cordial exchange of ideas. They can allow you to do the three things you need to accomplish in your first meeting: learn what the employer really wants, build rapport and focus the employer’s attention on the areas where you can help.

Your first goal is to find out how the employer views the problem. What does he see as the key challenges? What is the “hot button”? What are the priorities as the employer sees them? Have attempts been made in the past? And how much progress has already been made? By asking a few questions and listening carefully, you will find out what the employer really wants. You will also be building rapport. Make sure you maintain a balanced conversation. Ask questions and make positive comments in response to the interviewer’s remarks.

Most important, try to get the employer to share his innermost thoughts. Try to surface his vision for the organization. Only when he starts to think about this and the significant achievements he might realize, would he consider the possibility of creating a job. If you are able to accomplish the above in the first interview, that is enough. State that you would like to give things some further thought and then clarify the benefits you might bring to the situation.

Show your enthusiasm and get agreement that a second interview would be worthwhile. If you’ve done these things, you’re well on your way to having a job created for you. Remember, in your second interview you must reinforce your value by drawing an unusually clear picture of the benefits you can bring. Then you need to build enough enthusiasm to get an offer or be asked to speak with others.

For more helpful advice and tips, be sure to check out the blogs for both ERI Personal Marketing and SET Personal Marketing.

Oct 6

Some of Our Clients Accept Jobs Created for Them Pt. 3

3 – Prepare a brief description of benefits you can bring

The third principle is to get across your benefit proposition. It must be an accurate, concise and easily understood description of what you can do.

“Some years ago, I hired a football coach from a little known California university. The only reason I saw him was that he wrote such a good letter outlining what he thought he could do for us.”—owner, NFL football team

Your message has to hold the promise of tangible value on a scale large enough to warrant an investment in you. In that initial communication, you will also need to establish your credentials. Mention specific results you achieved in the past. They are the best indicators of what you can do in the future.

If you’re a VP Finance, you will obviously want to talk about how you can save money by cutting expenses. But if you want someone to get interested enough to create a job for you, you’ll stand a much better chance if you cite tangible results.

For example, your cost cutting efforts led directly to a 5% increase in profits for your present employer; or your studies showed the firm was losing a million dollars a year on three product lines they could easily drop.

When you hold out the promise for potential benefits of that size, it is obvious to the reader that you might well be worth the investment.

Likewise, if you’ve developed many successful products, that is all well and good. However, if you expect someone to create a job, you’ll stand a much better chance if you can state that you spearheaded development of three products now representing 20% of sales or that one now commands a 40% market share.

Achievements don’t have to be large, but they do have to be significant. For instance, if you are an administrative executive, you might state that you managed a smooth introduction of new systems that lifted productivity 40%.

One key point to remember is that if you have an exciting idea to communicate, it may help if you can show how someone else has al- ready used that idea successfully. Dealing with opportunities is a key job for many executives. Most don’t have enough time in the day and are predisposed to positive news from people who can help them. They will want to believe your message, so all you need do is make sure you provide positive reinforcement.

By the way, you can get your message across by phone or with a letter. Either way, make sure your “benefit proposition” is clear, easy to measure and significant; and be prepared to quickly establish your credentials.

For more helpful advice and tips, be sure to check out the blogs for both ERI Personal Marketing and SET Personal Marketing.

Some of Our Clients Accept Jobs Created for Them Pt. 2

1 - Target the right organizations
The first principle to understand is that to have your best chance at creating a job, your highest probability targets are likely to be small to medium sized companies. This includes firms that are growing rap- idly, bringing out new products, forming new divisions, acquiring other companies or reorganizing.

These are the firms that need good people, often from other industries. They are free to move quickly. Large corporations are the least likely to respond to this approach. Budgets are usually allocated far in advance, and hiring practices tend to be relatively slow and methodical.

Of course, there are exceptions. All you need to do is assess your talents and contact the firms most likely to need you, regardless of their size. And if you know a market well or have talents in a particular function, just consider the industries where they would apply.

2 - Reach the right decision makers…
The second principle involves your reaching the appropriate high level people. For example, you must be able to communicate directly with the person you would most likely work for, or that person’s boss.

In small and medium sized companies, it would be someone at the senior vice presidential level or the president who would likely be involved. Entrepreneurs, of course, can create jobs. So can affluent individuals who often have large staffs and interests in many organizations. In a larger company, be sure to choose the person who has ultimate responsibility for the area in which you can contribute.

When selecting the person to contact, aim on the high side. If you’re not sure who to contact, start with the president. When you make contact at this level, you must be ready to communicate a benefit proposition.

For more helpful advice and tips, be sure to check out the blogs for both ERI Personal Marketing and SET Personal Marketing.

Some of Our Clients Accept Jobs Created for Them Pt. 1

This chapter will be important for executives to review. You probably realize that you can get a job created for yourself… one that is shaped to your talents… and you may have done this in the past. We’ve found that the higher you go as a professional or executive, the more likely that the next position you accept will actually be created for you. In some cases, it will be an existing opportunity that is revised to fit what you bring to the table.

Keep in mind this simple thought. We all hire top people when we are persuaded that the benefits of having them on board will sufficiently outweigh the dollar cost.

You can get offers, even if no job openings are said to exist. You simply need to present yourself as a solution to a problem. The “create a job” approach is for executives who want a job tailored to their best abilities. A few examples might include an executive who can develop new products for a company, a sales executive with contacts in particular markets or a general manager who can start up a division in a specific industry.

Aside from executives, the “create a job” approach can also be considered by anyone who may have difficulty winning offers through other means. This includes those who have a narrow market for their talents, people who wish to change industries, or those who have been unemployed for a while or who want to stay in a specific geographic or industry area.

In these situations, to win the job you want, you may have to create it by making an employer aware of your ability to make contributions.

The following pages will give you some guiding principles as you consider this approach. You must focus on small to medium sized firms, go directly to people with the authority to create jobs, have a clear benefit proposition, take strong initiatives in your first meetings, and stir the employer’s imagination.

For more helpful advice and tips, be sure to check out the blogs for both ERI Personal Marketing and SET Personal Marketing.

Sep 1

How Telephone Power Can Play a Significant Role Pt. 7

“I need your understanding”

Was it correct to send my letter to the president in the first place? Does the Personnel Department really handle recruitment at my level and in my discipline? It is important for me to know this, because I may well have approached the company incorrectly.

How should I go about reaching the right decision maker?

A young person should request information or assistance in reaching the right person by talking with lower levels of management. Executives should get into the upper levels by asking who handles specific responsibilities. Here’s another example:

Mary, I need your help and I can sense that you would like to help me if you could. But what I must find out is this: how do I get to talk to Harry Smith for a few minutes at a time when he can listen to me or arrange to meet me? Charm is the watchword. Patience in building relationships, careful listening and projecting a positive attitude will all help create a warm response.

“Acting very assertive”

Mary, I was surprised to learn this morning that you had sent my letter addressed to Mr. Jones to your Personnel Department. What happened? My note simply suggested a meeting with Mr. Jones. By now it may be all over the company that I am looking for a job.

This could sound too strong if not said with a smile. If you don’t get the response you need, go on. For example… What we ought to do is this: I need your help to recover the letter from Personnel and have Mr. Jones look at it himself. Obviously, he is the man I must see. Can we do something about that?

Should I write to him again and mention what has happened? Perhaps I could send you a copy with a note to give it to him? Another way of using this style is to say… I must speak to Mr. Jones right away, Mary. This is serious. Someone has sent a confidential letter that I addressed to him to other people in your organization, and that worries me very much. This frequently makes the breakthrough, so be ready with your telephone script for him or her.

For more helpful advice and tips, be sure to check out the blogs for both ERI Personal Marketing and SET Personal Marketing.

How Telephone Power Can Play a Significant Role Pt. 6

“Acting puzzled & helpless”

This does not call for much acting ability for many of us, because it is the way we feel when we receive those politely worded notes that give us the bad news that our services are not required. We are puzzled because we cannot understand how they can’t recognize our qualities, and we are helpless to do much about it.

One way to follow up is to call and thank the sender of the letter for their reply. Then try to engage them in a frank discussion about your failure to understand what is going on. The usual explanation is that there are no vacancies available at the present time.

However, you must not let this reply end the conversation. You must try to keep it going. What almost everyone in a job search needs is a preliminary, non-obligatory talk with a person who is qualified to explain what the company does and how it goes about meeting its employment needs.

This is what you should ask for, because as a puzzled and helpless person, you do not know what to do next. Here is how this might work.

“Mr. Jones, I got your letter this morning and it tells me that you are going to keep my resume on file against further openings. I’m a bit puzzled at that because I only sent a short note to the company suggesting a meeting to talk about what I might be able to do for you.”

This must be delivered without a trace of sarcasm because that could kill your relationship. Then, keep quiet and see what the answer may be. Silence is powerful. Carrying on from here, find out how the organization goes about recruiting. People enjoy giving advice, especially when sincerely asked by someone who really needs it. For example, you might ask… does the company ever employ people with my disciplines and experience? Do they advertise jobs, or do they place people in the company from other sources? If so, which recruiters do they use?

These questions are asked because you do not know the answers, not because you are trying to be “smart.” There is still enough warm feeling in even the most harassed executive for you to get some very useful information from them. What you are seeking is specific information, such as the names of heads of departments, plans for expansion, ideas for approaching personalities, the real “stuff ” that the company is made of. With that information you can then approach someone else or keep it on file for follow-up next month.

For more helpful advice and tips, be sure to check out the blogs for both ERI Personal Marketing and SET Personal Marketing.

How Telephone Power Can Play a Significant Role Pt. 5

Some openers for after you reach the right person

Considering what is happening to the technology of our business, I know I can be very useful to you because of my training and experience in _______.

From your annual report, I read that the company’s expanding in the _______ area. That’s an area where I could help, and I’d like to schedule an appointment.

My friend _______ suggested that I make a point of contacting you. You may recall from my letter that I have experience in _______ that might be of help to you.

With my background in _______ and the recent news about _______, I thought it would be a good idea to get in touch with you. Could you suggest a convenient time? Do you have 20 minutes before you get started some morning next week?

Mr. _______, your company has a tremendous reputation for mar- keting leading products. I’d like very much to visit with you to explain how I could contribute to that reputation through my work in _______. Do you have a half hour free this Tuesday?

How you can turn rejection into an interview

Less than 1% of all job hunters ever follow up a rejection letter. Follow-up requires a special tenacity, a certain “thickness of skin,” and an ability to accept rejection as a challenge. A person who has arrived at the perfect company and met with rejection should be prepared to do the following.

Find out all about the firm from every source available; call, write, visit, speak to as many people as necessary; go through third-party channels; and depart from conventional approaches. Here are three approaches that might fit your circumstance.

For more helpful advice and tips, be sure to check out the blogs for both ERI Personal Marketing and SET Personal Marketing.

How Telephone Power Can Play a Significant Role Pt. 4

Tips for handling people who screen your call

- As previously mentioned, start by using the name of the person who is the “screener.” Once a person knows he or she has been identified, their manner will become more personal.

- When asked your name, identify yourself with an organization if possible. If you don’t get through on your first attempt and you can’t get a suitable time to call back, suggest a time when you will call the screener back. Don’t leave a message.

- When you call back, use the screener’s name with the receptionist. Try this procedure: “Since he (or she) is so hard to reach, would you do me a small favor? May I call back to see if he would be interested in speaking with me for a few minutes?” If you must leave a message, leave one of potential benefit.

- Consider reversing your attempt to speak with the decision maker by asking for an internal referral to another line manager in the area in which you might want to work for the company.

- If the screener refers you to HR, get the name of the person to whom you will be speaking. Call back later for that person or request a transfer to the person you are looking for.

- After a few minutes of discussion, ask two or three penetrating questions about the company’s needs. When asked difficult questions, those who don’t know the answer are more inclined to refer you to an appropriate line manager.

- After a few days, you can also call back the screener and explain that while the personnel people were helpful, they were not really able to answer the questions you had in mind.

- You may encounter the question: “Are you looking for a job?” The answer might be: “Yes, I am; do you think you could help me? Though I’m employed, a friend suggested your firm to me.”

- Or, you may encounter the comment, “We don’t have any openings at the present time.” The response: “I appreciate a person who is direct; how- ever, I have such a strong interest in the firm. I really believe that with your recent growth, I could be a great asset. Will you allow me to tell you why?”

For more helpful advice and tips, be sure to check out the blogs for both ERI Personal Marketing and SET Personal Marketing.

How Telephone Power Can Play a Significant Role Pt. 3

Approaches for opening your conversations

The “good news” approach. Here you build a positive relationship based on specific “good news.” Everyone likes to have good things hap- pen and to hear from others who are enthusiastic about their good fortune. You can be sure that your message will immediately help to build a feeling of friendliness and warmth over the phone. This kind of approach can play an important role in winning extra interviews and getting people to help you.

The “third-party” approach. If you mention the name of a third party who knows the person you’re calling, it helps to establish rapport, but it’s also helpful even when they don’t know each other. The approach is simple. It might go like this: “Bill Regan, a partner with Ernst & Young, thought I should get in touch with you. He felt your growth not only suggests a good investment but might indicate a good employment possibility. His insights prompted me to follow up with you personally. Do you have a moment?”

The “specific reason” approach. Anyone who has experience in get- ting things done can consider using this “specific reason” approach. It’s straightforward and can go like this: “Mr. Franklin, I have a ‘specific reason’ for calling you. I know the line of business you are in and some- thing of the processes you use. During the past 15 months, I have been able to save a company like yours approximately $850,000. I would like to share the details with you. Does your calendar permit a meeting later this week?”

“Perhaps you can help me” approach. If a specific opening has already been filled, someone can help you meet a hiring official in another part of the company. If the individual you contact does not have a precise fit in his department, perhaps he could help you meet a person in another division. If you are told that the person you want to speak to is out, the best response is, “Thanks. Perhaps you can help me. When is a good time to call back?”

For more helpful advice and tips, be sure to check out the blogs for both ERI Personal Marketing and SET Personal Marketing.

How Telephone Power Can Play a Significant Role Pt. 2

Proven telephone guidelines that work

•Standing will give you a power assist.

•Do your phone work in batches. You need only one success each time to sustain your morale.

•Make sure you know how you will be answering your phone. List questions you may be asked and write out the answers.

•Prepare a 30 second commercial of your most important selling points. Rehearse it. Tape it and critique it.

•One of the best times to reach executives is before 7:30 a.m. or after 5:30 p.m. Use their directories to go direct.

•Smile while speaking over the phone and your voice will sound more pleasant. Be friendly, enthusiastic and positive.

•Project a natural, confident tone—as you would when talking with a friend. Lower your voice. Speak slowly.

•Be prepared for rejection. This is a numbers game. You can easily make 15 calls an hour.

•Be sure your phone is answered properly. No clever answering machine messages.

•The screener doesn’t know who you are or your purpose. Focus on advice and information. No one has a reason to shy away from you. When speaking with the screener, get her name and use it. Be confident, positive and polite.

•When following up, do not discuss your business other than to say the executive is expecting your call. Or use your job title.

•If you begin to generate interest, do not reveal too much of your story. Remember, you want to press only for an interview, and it should be a request for just 20 minutes, even if it ends up being much longer.

For more helpful advice and tips, be sure to check out the blogs for both ERI Personal Marketing and SET Personal Marketing.