Are you looking for a much-needed promotion? If so, you may be tempted to put your head down and work hard, hoping that your hard work is noticed and pays off.
While there’s certainly nothing wrong with dedication and working hard, the truth is, there’s usually more to getting a promotion than the work alone. In order to even be considered for a promotion, you’re going to have to put yourself out there and ensure that your hard work is noticed by the right people.
Strategy matters and the same sales strategies that you turn to every day can be put to use when you’re gunning for a promotion, as well. This allows you to sell others on your capabilities, so to speak, increasing your chances of getting promoted.
Self-promotion is difficult for most of us, and asking for a promotion isn’t exactly the easiest thing in the world. But when you consider your experience in medical sales, you will find it a little less intimidating.
If you’d like to move up at your company, here’s a look at a few key points you’ll want to keep in mind to help your request land the right way:
Remember That Timing Is Everything
When it comes to making sales, you already know that timing is everything. In order to close a sale, you need to have a buyer who’s in need of your product and ready to buy. When it comes to pitching yourself for a position, the same principles apply.
Ensure that the timing is right and the company is in a good position to promote you. Gunning for a promotion when sales are down, for example, or people are being laid off, will not go over well. Instead, ask for it after you’ve met your quarterly medical sales goals, early.
It’s no secret that people gravitate toward those they trust. As a salesperson, you most likely have already discovered that if you win the trust of your customer, then you win a customer for life. But the application doesn’t stop there.
If you are hoping for a promotion, you should prove yourself reliable and trustworthy. Prove that you can handle your current position, and look to demonstrate your capabilities by taking on more responsibility, or tackling difficult projects.
This doesn’t mean selling yourself short or consistently working harder without additional compensation, but it does mean rising to the occasion when it’s required, and proving that you’re capable of taking on a more challenging role.
Make an Appointment
Cold calling has a notoriously low success rate. When it comes to a promotion, don’t “cold call,” or make the mistake of bringing up your request for a promotion at the wrong time.
Instead, look to schedule some time with your supervisor for a formal review and inform them that you’d like to discuss your future at the company. Give them time to prepare for the conversation.
Build a Solid Case
Before you try your hand at selling anything, you should be able to make a solid case for it. This means conducting adequate research and ensuring that you understand the ins and outs of the new position, as well as the answers to potential questions that may arise.
Regardless of what you are selling, a supervisor will be able to see through a weak sales pitch, so make sure you take the time to do your research on the position. Then, create a solid case as to how you will be able to add value to the company.
“Sticking around and doing your job isn’t enough to land a promotion,” writes Emilie Aries, speaker and the Founder and CEO of Bossed Up. “Bust out your brag sheet or bring along a full self-evaluation that helps bring attention to your career highlights, emphasizing how your performance has benefited the organization’s bottom line.”
Master the Art of “Persuasion”
Despite the common misconception that salespeople are always “pushing something” on someone, great salespeople are actually genuine problem solvers. They pay attention to what others are saying and look to help them find a solution.
When it comes to seeking out a new promotion, you’ll want to ensure that you have influence — a skill that’s based, not only on what you do but who you are. A genuine interest in helping others will come through in your interactions and can help to set you apart from the other candidates.
Brush Up on Your Presentation Skills
Look to hone your public speaking skills as well.
“It may be in small groups or in large ones, but those who overcome the fear of speaking — and become good at it — are significantly more likely to see promotions than those who don’t,” says Skip Prichard, CEO, keynote speaker, and author. Speaking and presenting your case with confidence and clarity will help you prove your capability for the role.
As medical sales representatives, we’re used to selling products. But in order to get ahead with your career, it’s important to focus on promoting yourself as well. Give yourself the best chance by taking the time to learn everything that you can about the role at hand, and working to demonstrate your capabilities. Then schedule a performance review and get ready to prove to your supervisor why you’re the right candidate for the job.
What strategy has worked best for you when aiming for a sales promotion?
Bio: Eric Czerwonka is an entrepreneur and co-founder of Buddy Punch, an employee time tracking software company founded in 2013 that provides employee management solutions for small and large companies — anyone with employees from startups to corporations and anyone with a remote team to manage.
In the future, Eric hopes to continue to fit each problem with the correct solution through the use of technology as well as innovation. Eric also holds a Bachelor’s of Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.