You may already have a robust network—but you should still make a point of building and maintaining it. The best sales professionals leverage their networks to engage with the right people. Just as these networks can introduce you to clients and mentors, they can also connect you with appealing new career opportunities.
There are a number of ways you can leverage your connections to find your next position:
Identify a shortlist of companies that align with your current skills and interests
See if you already have relationships with any of these companies. Some might even be a part of your client base. Many reps find new jobs by way of their current connections. The sales space can be a particularly robust environment for such networking, since client-facing professionals are always engaging with others and building relationships.
Use social media to your networking advantage
LinkedIn is a seamless way to search for relevant direct, 2nd-, and 3rd-level connections in your field. Keep your profile updated and regularly engage with others on the platform.
Some tactics to keep in mind:
- Use direct connections to inquire about openings or get referrals.
- Be tactful with your 2nd- and 3rd-level connections, but still see if they can potentially introduce you to the company you’ve got your eye on.
- When you’re searching for a new sales role, remember that connections to leadership are ideal.
Referrals are great for sales representatives looking to pivot
Referrals are mutually-beneficial, and your prospective employer likely values them as much as you do. Referrals allow companies to avoid recruitment fees and make new hires directly.
You never know where you might find them. Attend industry events, speaking engagements, learning opportunities and career fairs. By showing that you’re engaged in the industry, eager to learn and sociable, you can position yourself as a top candidate for a current or future opening.
When you do make a new connection, maintain that connection – don’t just make contact when you’re looking for a job six months later.