Those that know me, or have been following my blog, have heard this regularly. Simply put, it means the most effective way to accomplish anything is to make certain the person you are talking with (selling to?) understands how they will benefit based upon what is important to them. View the relationship as 90% helping the other person accomplish what they want, and 10% toward yourself. If you have prepared well, when the other person gets what they want, you will accomplish what you want – selling the product, service – or in a job search, selling yourself.
This is the opposite of how many people approach a job search. One of the most frequent statements I hear from people is “I have X, Y and Z skills that will help that organization, and I want to go to work for them.” This type of thinking results in “selling what we want to sell” – not understanding what the other person wants. You want a job! You probably can be a strong contributor. Have you taken the time to understand what the company really wants? If you do so, you can present yourself in “their terms” – you can show how you can help them accomplish what they want. This is their 90%.
Of course, an effective job search does not begin with what someone else wants. You initially must spend the time to determine what YOU want. What are your priorities? What’s important to you? Then define your assets – what you offer organizations – not only in personal characteristics (hard worker, smart, etc.) but in meaningful terms of specific skills, knowledge and experience.
With your assets identified, and your goals established, develop a “marketing plan” for yourself. Do research. Understand which organizations could really benefit from what you offer. Determine how to reach out to them. When you have the opportunity to interview, show the person you are talking with how you will add value to WHAT THEY WANT TO ACCOMPLISH.
Throughout this entire process, work in the other person’s 90%.
- Have a resume that makes it easy for someone to QUICKLY see what you offer.
- Be as accommodating as possible – in everything – telephone conversations, meeting schedules, response times, following up, or any of the myriad of things that happen in a well-orchestrated job search.
- Be respectful of the other person’s time.
- Make communications uncomplicated and timely.
- Recognize that everything you do impacts the other person.
Make it easy for the other person to visualize how you can be an effective member of their organization; how you will help them attain their goals. You will be considered a viable candidate by being prepared, then selling yourself effectively.