We are blessed. We have access to computers and phones that are capable of doing things thought impossible a mere 50 years ago. We can instantly reach people thousands of miles away, we can instantly search and send information that previously took hours to research in libraries. Most importantly, we can network from the safety of our homes and the comfort of our couch. That’s why, if you are looking to make new connection in order to find a job, using LinkedIn is an absolute must.
The phone interview can be difficult for some, especially for those who don't know how integral it is to express their confidence through their vocabulary and the inflection they use. Those trying to find work with larger corporations and more professional organizations - especially those that operate at a national or international level -will likely be faced with a phone interview. This interview is uniquely different than a video call interview due to the inability of the interviewer to see your face. You will be dealing with a person that spends a significant of their work hours conducting phone interviews and making decisions based solely on the sound of a person's voice. Throughout the course of the day this person may be talking to many candidates, some of which naturally express confidence and integrity at a level that took you some time to attain! These are the people you must stand out from!
At some point in your life you will encounter a job interview that asks you if you have any questions about the position or the company. This is your time to shine! So many people miss this opportunity to make an impression by asking a superfluous question or by simply not asking any question at all! Let’s say for metaphor’s sake that we are warriors and The Interview Question is our sworn enemy. You know it can attack at any moment, and when it does you not only want to be prepared to defend against it…you want to be prepared to defeat it; to conquer it. In order to do that, we must understand our enemy.
Who is Elevated Progression? Sylvester Gittens Co-Owner of Elevated Progression talks briefly about the problems they solve and covers their value add.
According to Nick Morgan a Forbes Contributor, “only about 10% of the population enjoys public speaking. This select group of people apparently experiences no fear and gets a huge buzz as a result of being in front of a large crowd. Another 10% of our population is mortified of public speaking. It’s usually the thought terrifies them, which causes them to avoid public speaking at all cost. This leaves 80% of the population that find themselves sort of “in the middle””. They may get butterflies and lose sleep the night before, but all in all they know they will get through it.
My family preached growing, adapting, and demonstrated kindness. Especially when it came to our family, I witnessed within my household multiple versions of growth. Most importantly, targeted growth, each person focused on their strengths. We are all products of our environment but we can influence our own outcomes by understanding targeted growth.
People sometimes ask me, “What is the value of LinkedIn?”, as to which I often respond saying how that is really a loaded question. I always begin each of these conversations with a couple of questions such as, 1) How do you connect with professionals in your industry? and 2) How do you not only connect, but maintain relationships with your contacts?
When I graduated college, it was one of the happiest days of my life. My dream had finally come true as I walked across the stage to get my degree in Business Administration with concentrations in Marketing and Information Systems. I had also completed two internships and served as the Vice President of the University at Buffalo American Marketing Association. “You may be wondering”, how did I get to where I am?
Written by: Sylvester Gittens Owner of Elevated Progression
I have been in Pre-Sales for 6 years and in Sales for 3 years. Some of my pre-sales roles were: Helpdesk Consultant at the University at Buffalo, System Administrator/ Network Administrator Intern at the Office of Emergency Management, and 3+ years in presales at Ingram Micro. Each opportunity equipped me with different skills such as customer service, critical thinking, effective listening, proficient presenting skills, and working within a team. When I decided to get into sales I quickly realized that I gained several transferable skills (Please read my other blog post: Realizing the Power of Transferable Skills), however, I was still missing a few critical skills.
In the beginning of my career, I was an inbound pre-sales representative; when I took my position as Business Development Representative (BDR) at Ingram Micro, it was a proactive role. My first day on the job the phone did not ring and I did not receive any emails. I was puzzled to say the least! I met with my manager later that day and was given my MBO’s and was told that 30% of my salary would be dependent on how I performed and grew my accounts. After the meeting, I returned to my desk and began putting together a plan to achieve my MBO’s. I needed a mentor who had experience in the role, so I made it a priority to speak with everyone on my team to get advice on creating an impact strategy. Each teammate had different tactics, but they all got similar results. One thing they all had in common was that they had excellent REALTIONSHIPS with their inside internal/outside sales team and customers. The end result was that their phone and email was constantly active with client opportunities.
I knew before I could start building relationships, I needed to find out who needed to be contacted, their role, and their goals. At the time, I was working with 66 sales representative spread across three different teams. I met with every Ingram Micro sales representative (Via phone or in person), sales manager, and director in order to develop relationships. Primary questions I went over with each individual included:
Since I had pre-sales experience, learning the product was easy and I enjoyed talking about how VMware functioned. This allowed the conversation to flow in respect to the technical aspect, but I quickly realized I wasn’t connecting with our customers. I need to understand what was important to our clients and their customers. Understanding how to utilize the Vmware Partner program to its full potential was our clients concerns. I had to educate myself about Marketing Development Funds (MDF), training credits, business development programs, and rebates. In addition to technical content, the marketing allowed our customers to build their pipeline and increase their Vmware revenue. I was able hold value added conversations after consuming the entire VMware program marketing materials.
I was a part of a great team structure that allowed me to flourish. My manger and team gave me autonomy and had patience during the learning process. It would be a lie if I told you I didn’t stumble along the way. I made sure to record my mistakes in order to ensure that I did not make them twice. My teammates encouraged me to create emails and phone scripts to save time and reduce errors. I read a great deal of sales books, audio books, and sales blogs to increase my understanding of the selling process. I became an avid student and a teammate. My customers thanked me by sending Ingram Micro additional business each quarter and sending in positive customer letters regarding the superior service I provided. My sales representatives continued thanking me for helping them hit their goals.
I have obtained the critical skills that I lack prior to taking the BDR position and it has led to my success in climbing the corporate ladder and as the owner of Elevated Progression. I understand relationships are essential for life and they need constant love and attention. One thing my customers know about me is that I will take the time to understand their situation, and then create a plan that helps them achieve their goals. If you enjoy this blog, please like, comment, and share. Thank you for your time and I wish you much success in your career!
Sylvester graduated from SUNY Buffalo with a Bachelor’s in Business Administration, with concentrations in Marketing and MIS. He has six years Marketing and Information Technology experience.
I have been using Linkedin for some time now and I often notice individuals making the same mistake - creating a profile just for the sake of creating a profile. I had assumed that these people never stopped to think about the purpose of their profile and how they planned to benefit from this resource. I needed to know how a successful LinkedIn profile was structured, so I spent hours scanning top rated profiles and reading a vast amount of blogs discussing the ins and outs of networking on LinkedIn.
When I came across the highly rated profiles, I messaged those individuals in hopes of gaining some insight into the meaning behind the structure of their pages. Surprisingly, I found that each of the individuals I spoke with had three things in common that they had established before creating their profiles. Thats right, there are things you should know before you start your LinkedIn page to be most beneficial!
I have thoroughly brainstormed to establish these points pertaining to my profile and as a result, I have significantly increased the amount of connections I have over the course of the past two years.
Whether you’re still in the midst of getting around to creating a profile or you’ve been established on LinkedIn for a while, I guarantee that following these three steps will enhance your profile and grow your network.
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