There's a wonderful selling site called "Rain Today" that I found out about after buying a sales training eBook years ago from Jill Konrath, who's one of the contributors to that site.
She's brilliant at teaching people how to sell to corporations in a consultative, 'truth focused' style. One eBook from this is called "10 Things I Hate About You.*" It's a series of articles based on their research about what prospects HATE about people who try to sell professional services to them.
You, Mr. and Ms. Job Seeker, are a seller of professional services. Whether you want to or not, you're now Chief Everything Officer of "You Inc." So you're in the 'selling you' business. These mistakes are pretty common for the average amateur sales person...and pretty tacky.
See if any ring a bell with you,
1. Did Not Listen to Me (just rattled on with your pitch but never really asked me the questions you need to understand my issues.)
2. Did Not Understand My Needs (so you think I'm just like other people who need the service, no different...You've got me all figured out.)
3. Did Not Respond to My Requests and Correspondences in a Timely Manner (you apply 2 weeks after I post, but are pissed when you're not in the line to interview).
4. Did Not Convince Me of the Value I Would Receive from Using His/Her Services (you expect me to read between the lines on your resume, but still can't state explicitly why I should hire you over someone else.)
5. Did Not Craft a Compelling Solution to My Needs (just data...no solutions...or something that's only a 50% solution rather than something creative and compelling.)
6. Talked Too Much (blah, blah, blah...no good questions, just rattling on with terms you picked up in some resume book.)
7. Had No Personal Chemistry with Me (and didn't even try...you were nervous, anxious and looked really pressured to do well!)
8. Was Overzealous in Trying to Win My Business (riding roughshod over my legitimate concerns and needs).
9. Seemed to Lack Enthusiasm for Winning My Business (remained aloof, like it was my job to come get you.)
10. Lacked Professionalism (expected me to do all the math and make all the connections.) Selling services is difficult mainly because it's not tangible. I know because I do it every day of my life.
I make a LOT of these mistakes...I'm not perfect. I can teach people how to do better because I'm working on it every day too! ######## It requires being a great questioner (something Jill Konrath teaches very well) and listener.
It requires knowing your stuff to the point where you can let go and be a consultant and friend to the prospect.
It's all learnable, and can be done comfortably without selling your soul to the devil of cheap sales tricks...you just have to learn how. Are you making any of these mistakes?
* You can download this great overview of selling mistakes at http://www.raintoday.com/pages/2938_10_things_i_hate_about_you.cfm