The #1 rule of selling in business and the job market is the same – sell the results, not the product.
Buying a car is a significant investment, and one you are likely very thoughtful about. Imagine if you went to a car lot and the salesperson told you all about the individual components of the engine. The names of them, their function, and all the numbers about how efficiently they perform their functions. With only that information, you are probably not likely to purchase the car, even if those components are the best of the best. This is an example of trying to sell the product, when what we really want is results.
Now imagine a salesperson telling you about the gas mileage and longevity of the car. About the comfort and technology features that will make owning this car enjoyable and functional. This is selling the results.
The result we want in buying a car is a functional vehicle that serves the purpose we need it to and that we can enjoy being in, so the successful sales person knows this and sells us what we really want. Of course we need all those efficient components in the engine to get the results we want, but they are not what will compel us to buy.
The results are what we want, and the products are what we need to get them, and a successful sales pitch is always about the results.
In the job market you are the product, and what you can do is the result. When you are hired for a job, you’re not hired because of who you are, but rather, for the results you can bring.
So, your sales pitch needs to be focused on the results, not the product.
A self sales pitch focused on the product looks like a resume talking about personal characteristics such as hard-working and ambitious. It has titles and job duties and a lot of words like leadership, passionate, and driven.
Now there is nothing inherently wrong with any of those words or inclusions on a resume. But on their own, they are only selling the person/product, not the result.
When those words and experience history are combined with specific examples about work that has been done and results achieved, then it is a sales pitch for the results, which is what companies really want.
Of course they want to hire hard-working, ambitious people. But if you are truly hard-working and ambitious, then you have results to show for it, and that’s what they need to see on paper and in person in your interview.
So as you work on your resume and applications and prepare for interviews, occasionally ask yourself “Am I selling the product, or the results?”