If you’re in sales, namely business-to-business, you might appreciate this “very candid cover letter” I drafted a few months back.
Note also: This is way outside the intended content for this blog, but it’s the only blog I have and I wanted to post it somewhere since I wrote it more for personal satisfaction than actually sending to prospective employers. A time will come when I’m able to place pieces like this off to the side in the “Personal, Inspired & Inspiring” category — but as things are at this early stage, it’s right out front on the homepage with the rest of my posts.
I’m currently on the market for a new b2b sales opportunity with a great team that has or wants to have a national presence. My situation is unique because I’m currently living in New York City but will be moving to Minnesota in 2016. (My wife is pursuing her own career dream which has commanded several short-term moves and I’m proud to support.) I’m thus looking for something I can start today in NYC and take with me later when we move to Minnesota.
With that on the table, let’s discuss weaknesses…
No matter how convinced some are that it’s “in the best interest of the client/prospect,” I won’t use tricks or tactics to make a sale. Instead I’ll typically smile, nod, say “That’s a great idea and I can’t wait to go try it!”…and then go back to doing what I know needs to be done as the person closest to it and with the most at stake. My foremost currency in the field is credibility, and I won’t throw away professional capital for one sale today that could otherwise be invested in many sales tomorrow.
Unless the team is stacked with thoughtful conservatarians, morality-inspired action leaders, and/or not-yet-entirely-reformed rock stars…I probably won’t do a lot of socializing outside of the office. I’m an introvert and few and far between are the people I spend time with socially who don’t exhaust rather than recharge my battery.
I’ll rarely if ever tell you how I really feel. My relationships with clients will be uniquely authentic, but the one I have with most bosses is usually sustained primarily by my having mastered the capitulated smile. But for a very elusive few, most bosses are used to everyone saying “Yes” to them always and no matter what – and I don’t have a track record of being an exception to that rule.
If the salary is less than $150K/year, I’m being under-valued and a large part of my job responsibility will be pretending I don’t know it.
Still with me?
Well alright then.
Let’s talk about strengths…
I will meet and exceed expectations, stated and otherwise, with regard to hitting my own numbers and helping your business grow.
And this exercise in candor notwithstanding (above and below), I’ll be among the most sincerely pleasant and convincingly agreeable of happy warriors on your team while doing it.
I’ll craft substantive, compelling and typically entirely uncharted messaging for your business relative to highlighting value, overcoming objections and inspiring action. (Some call this “marketing.”)
I’ll communicate that messaging with unparalleled polish, persistence and presence culminating in revenue and GP derived from integrity-based relationship building. (Some call this “sales.”)
I’ll be constantly mindful of the metrics set for my role and – if history is the guide – will likely set several additional metrics for myself that will serve as the architecture for achieving goals.
If you have a CRM tool (not to be confused with an ATS pretending to be a CRM), I’ll exercise extraordinarily disciplined usage of it allowing you to track everything I do without those tedious, time-sucking end-of-week reports. If you don’t have a CRM tool, I have a personal Salesforce account I’ll use and will gladly create automated reports, help you understand how to view them, and give you login/export access.
If you have someone on the team who enjoys tearing others down, I’ll find and humble that person.
If you have someone on the team who needs to be lifted up, I’ll find and inspire them.
If there are people on your team who quietly carry the success of the organization day in and day out but rarely get the credit they’re due…I’ll put them at the top of my org chart and personally credit them every chance I get.
If anyone I report to has a penchant for micro-managing, I’ll over-communicate with him/her days, nights and weekends – effectively helping to alleviate what everyone else already knows is a likely well-intended but still distracting, distracted, control-hungry affliction.
If there are accounts or markets you’re not in but want to be, I’ll a) ask the right questions, b) assert the right viability-pending solutions and c) all but automate that success so it can be replicated across other accounts or markets.
“Execute” is my word of the day, every day.
Here’s my resume…
1991: The day after I turned 14 years old I got my worker’s permit so I could start earning real paychecks.
1991-1999: Carried 2-3 jobs at a time while barely scraping by as a C student.
1999: Shocked the world by graduating from college on time and under budget with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications.
1999-2002: Woefully under-performed in various sales roles at multiple companies.
2002: Evolved from being a part-time contributor to a full-time leader.
2002-Present: Identify viable prospects, forge credible relationships with those prospects, and sell solutions at a 20-30%+ GP with a consistent track record of exceeding quotas.
I’ve not yet achieved nearly the success I’m capable of or committed to, in large part because I’ve not yet asserted myself in a way that will allow me to meet my full potential. That’s my fault and as a function of ongoing development, I own that.
Polish? Sure. Professional courtesy? Militantly so. Credibility and professional capital in the office and among clients and the competition? More so than revenue and GP. But 15 years in to my career and not only still willing to make cold calls but excited about doing so because my best successes are derived organically – I have a lot to offer, and having been thrust in to a tremendously difficult situation fraught with both urgency and distrust, it’s time for me to assert some honesty about my value very early in the conversation.
This above, is that assertion.
I’m not okay with the status quo and as I grow personally and professionally, am increasingly comfortable saying so out loud.
And while you can certainly judge me based solely on what I’ve laid out here…
…I’d still much prefer that we speak out loud before receiving an offer letter.
As a next step, let’s have a conversation. There is no worst case scenario from what will be an off-the-record and confidential discussion driven by a mutual interest in exploring opportunities to grow your business.