Selling Myself

Woke up this morning to an email from the sales manager at Mark’s company.

Hi John,

Mark sent me your resume. Thanks for your interest! Can you tell me a little bit more about how your work experience or education will help you in a sales position? Do you have any sales specific skills?

I’m working on my reply right now, but it’s a bit daunting.  It’s hard to sell yourself when you’re not sure of what someone else is looking for.  Mark agreed to review my reply before I send it.  He’s really trying to help me out, which I need.

I also got up and went to the Brewery today.  While walking up to the brew works I ran into a lady with a total lesbian vibe, which obviously I’m cool with.  But she also has the vibe of being somewhat important to this place.  She’s not dressed like a server or brewer.  She’s carrying a clip board and walking with intention.  She catches my eye.

Lady: Can I help you.

Me: Yes, I’m looking for [owner].

Lady: Oooo, you know, I know he’s in a meeting right now. Is there a reason why you want to see him?

Me: Yes, I’ve been emailing with him about working here and so I figured I drop by and meet him.

Lady: Ok let me see if I can get him.  What’s your name?

Me: John.

Lady: Ok, I’ll go tell him you’re here.

Enough time passes where I think it’s possible he’s coming out.

Nope.

Lady: So, there’s no way he can leave that meeting.

Me: I keep hearing how busy he is.

Lady: Tell me about.  I don’t even get to see him.  Your best bet might be to send him an email and give him a specific time and date where you can meet for like, 20 mins.

How long have you been emailing him?

Me: We’ve only exchanged about 4 emails.  But I sent him one about a month ago asking if he had a sales position open.  He replied he didn’t but that I should apply for the brewery.

Lady: Oh, what do you do now?

Aaaannnnnd…this is why I mention she’s probably a lesbian.  Fuck.  I’ve got to tell her what I do now and hope to the FSM it doesn’t bite me in the ass.

Me: Actually I’m a pastor, but I’m looking to transition out of that. This is the kind of place I’d love to be a part of.

Lady: Ok, well like I said, send him an email with a specific time/date.  That is your best chance of nailing him down.

Seriously having to tell her I’m a pastor was nerve racking.  I really hope she doesn’t judge me for it, because I can totally understand why she would.

What’s really been impressed to me is that the owner is one busy dude.  4 out of 4 employees mention that with great emphasis.  I think I’m going to try to sell myself to him as an un-busier.  I know what it’s like to run an organization… yada yada yada.

I sent him an email asking for Friday at 8 or 9am.  I’m hoping he’ll want to get it done and out of his schedule as soon as possible.

No time to edit.  Gotta get back to writing the email to Mark’s sales manager.

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10 thoughts on “Selling Myself

  1. I think marketing yourself as an un-busier is a great approach. Businesses hire people because they have a problem or pain, and it’s a cheaper alternative to pay someone else to deal with that pain than it is to keep putting up with it under their current circumstances. You’ve got a very clearly observed problem for him, and you’d definitely have a lot of skills that can help with that. Organization, project management, social skills, these are all things that would be highly valued and would be demonstrated in your current position.

    From one of the people I follow on Linked-In, they recommend the best way to approach a meeting or interview is to break out of the traditional format, get the person talking about themselves and their business pain, and once they’ve laid out exactly what issues they’re facing that are most important to them, swoop in and show how you and your skills can take care of each of them (or as many as possible).

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Your sales experience is that you’ve sold Christianity for most of your life. (Of course, you probably can’t say that without knowing his feelings toward Christianity/organized religion 😉)

    Liked by 3 people

  3. You might want to come up with 3 or 4 semi-prepared responses to the “what do you do now?” question.

    “Preacher” carries a lot of baggage and assumptions.

    There must be some ways to answer that question that communicate open mindedness, flexibility and ability. Like “I keep X hundred people heading the same direction even though they all think I’m wrong. And once a week I preach.”

    Good luck.

    Like

  4. I think you’re underestimating what your role as a pastor entails. You’ve got to have amazing public speaking skills. Management skills. Finance. Logistics. Etc. You’ve had to study material to the point where you know it inside out and backwards and can answer questions from all sides regarding the issue, and do it with the appearance of perfect confidence. You’re a perfect fit for a sales position. Seriously, like Sushi said above, you’ve been selling your entire career.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Hi John,
    Great update! As to sales experience for Mark’s company – this is a company selling products to churches, as I recall. You have been a pastor for many years now, selling people on the gospel. Not only that, but the gospel requires you to sell that someone is flawed, broken, sinful, and bound for eternal punishment. You have to sell that to them before you can sell them that you have the cure, the solution. And you have to re-sell this every week. You have to take those with questions, doubts, anger and frustration at god, and turn it into praise, joy and love for him. And that’s no small feat.

    As to the title of “preacher”…I’m disabled and I HATE being asked, “So, what do you do?” I am usually honest, but sometimes I get creative. I have ferrets, for example. A group of ferrets is a “business of ferrets”, so I have referred to myself as a “small business owner”, or said that I am retired, or a teacher (I teach Sunday School at the local UU church).

    Now, churches are non-profit organizations under the tax code, right? Why not refer to yourself as “The director of a small non-profit organization”? I’m sure you can think of several other euphemisms.

    Good luck on the job hunt!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I always use the phrase “Executive for a Non Profit” unless I get the Christian vibe…then I use the phrase “Minister” to my advantage. Most people think of “Pastors” and “Ministers” differently. One sounds fly by night and casual, and one sounds like a formal profession. Just my two cents.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Specific sales skills: you bring empathy to the table. You understand that every customer is different, and your job is to find out what that customer’s specific needs are (within the context of whatever you’re selling) and meet those needs as much as possible. You also have a history of building relationships with your customers based on honesty and trust, and those relationships become solid and last. You understand the value of having a customer that can rely on you.

    But as regards the brewery, you really do have a lot to sell as an unburdener. The trick is to get this owner to see that you’re the answer to prayers he didn’t even know how to pray. Alas, easier said than done!

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