The Herman Trend Alert’s topic this week is the future of social networking.  An excerpt for you (my bolding):

“Social networking is in its infancy”, says David Nour, Relationship Economics CEO and Web 2.0 guru. “We’re on the upward swing of the hype cycle”. Lots of people are discovering the power of Social Networking and investing their time and energy to make it work for them.

“The real power and promise of Social Networking is a mass collaboration platform, accelerating one’s ability to get things done”, adds Nour. Enlightened individuals are shifting from “not invented here” to “invented everywhere.” It gives us the opportunity to extend our reach beyond any geographic, functional roles, or even industry sectors to learn and grow from others.

That bolded point is an excellent one, is it not?  I have found myself conversing with people from industries I would never have expected.  That is one truth about sales – the fundamentals of it are consistent across industries.  You wouldn’t suspect that truth by looking at sales employment ads which is disappointing.

Sales always comes down to prospecting, qualifying and closing.  The challenges of this work is surprisingly consistent in product sales, service sales, distribution sales, OEM sales…the fundamentals are the same.  This fact is why it is important to measure a sales candidate’s skills and talents with as much, or more, weight than their previous experience.

A relatively new aspect of sales hiring will be an understanding of a candidate’s network.  More sales are moving to this channel and candidates who bring an expansive social network will have an inherent leg up on less-connected candidates.

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