Top 10 Essential Selling Tips

 

Top 10 Essential Selling Tips 
By  Alison Brattle     

Sales is, and always has been, a fast-paced profession, with new competitors and new products emerging constantly. Keeping up, and staying ahead, means constantly refining and improving your sales tactics, and there's always room for improvement.  The following points also apply extremely well to the job hunt and advancing one's career.

1) Define Your Objective

Understand your business niche, your target customers, and how you can most effectively approach them. Don't be afraid to ask for guidance when you need it.

2) Then Break it Down

Break your objective down into specific actionable goals that you can control; for example, calls made per day or per week, or proposals made per month. Set goals to measure your results; for example, sales per month, or amount per sale. Track your progress and increase the size of your goals as you improve.

3) Sell to Your Customers' Needs

One of the basic concepts in sales training is that any given customer will only buy what they need; your job as a sales rep is to convince a customer that they need what you have to sell. That means finding out what problems they have, and emphasising the ways in which your product or service can help solve those problems.

4) Generate Positive Attention

Great sales skills, effective marketing, and generating referrals, all help you garner positive attention. Be diligent with customer follow-up and provide excellent customer service to maintain it.

5) Sell With Purpose

When you sell with purpose, you know what you're doing, and why, at every point of the process. Who is your customer, and why? What is your sales pitch, and why? What questions will you ask, and why? When will you ask for the sale, and why? If you're not sure of the answer, if you're not sure of yourself, you need to ask for guidance.

6) Ask and Listen, then Act

Ask questions that are relevant, direct, and creative. Plan the questions you want to ask, and listen actively so you can ask new questions as they arise. Develop strong listening skills that allow you to absorb information and allow people to feel heard. When you take action, it should prove that you listened to the customer, and you want their business.

7) Cover the Basics

Everyone, no matter who they are and how successful they are, has room to make improvements. Take a good look at your weaknesses, and set goals that will help you conquer them. Be more creative, more adventurous, more thorough.

8) Develop the Right Attitude

You're not at the mercy of your beliefs. If you have beliefs that are limiting your success, making the commitment to change them can open up countless new opportunities.

9) For Team Leaders: Take Responsibility, Give Credit

As a team leader, people look to you for support and direction. Building a strong team that's willing and able to put extra effort in when you need it is about more than sales coaching; it's also about trust. Part of generating trustworthy relationships with team members is being willing to take the responsibility when problems arise, and giving them credit when they've done a great job.

10) Make Every Minute Count

Using your time productively means using it with intent and purpose. Do you have a schedule that you're not sticking to? Pinpoint the problem areas where your schedule breaks down, and approach those parts of the day with the intention of using them productively. If you can add an extra productive hour per day to your schedule, you're adding six weeks of productive time each year.

Author Bio:

Alison is a marketing manager of global sales training firm AchieveGlobal (UK) Limited, specialises in providing exceptional Sales Training courses and helps organisations develop business strategies to achieve sales success. Alison enjoys sharing her insight and thoughts to provide better sales and leadership. Feel free to connect with her on LinkedIn

Following the above advice will lead you to the Smooth Sale!

Read Additional Sales Strategies:

Nice Girls DO Get the Sale: Relationship Building That Gets ResultsSourcebooks

HIRED! How to Use Sales Techniques to Sell Yourself On InterviewsCareer Press

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You Have to Take Action to Sell Well

 

Attract the Right Job or Clientele:  You have to take action to sell well

Time efficiencies, goals listed with specific timelines for each, and a prioritized list, empower salespeople to find extra hours in the day.  It is a forever cycle of learning, implementing, trial and error, and trying again in order to make the sale.  Sometimes it seems as if 36 hours are spent in a 24- hour day.

Seize the Day

The good news about having to accomplish so much in so little time is that there is no room to second guess or allow fear to enter one’s mind. Your mindset is focused on positive results.   For example, if you are a job seeker, and a name and number were provided to potentially get you into one door, it’s advisable to pick up the phone to call and introduce yourself immediately.  If you are an entrepreneur who is told about an interesting event in passing, ask for the details and push yourself out the door to attend.

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Extra Points

Another technique taught to beginning salespeople is to make ten extra phone calls per day.  These were referred to as cold calls.  Many newbies froze in their tracks, but those who picked up the phone to ask for an appointment were able to improve their skills upon making repeated calls.  Eventually they learned how to get in the door for an appointment. 8

Connecting

Today, social media makes the introductions far easier.  First, read the profile page of the person with whom you are about to connect.  Next, write a brief message, point out what caught your attention, and then ask permission to connect further by phone.  This is how relationships begin to build.

A great conversation starter, upon connecting with people both in-person and online, is to ask if they would be interested in exploring ways in which to help one another.  Very few will turn that offer down.  The next step is to offer a range of dates and times, nail one specific time down, and then show up for the meeting.

Follow-Up

After in-person meetings, interviews, and online meetings, write a thoughtful sentence or two about how much you enjoyed the conversation.  If you found ideas to explore together, express your enthusiasm for doing so.

Initiating action, pursuing actionable goals, and following up on the action taken is what drives sales and long-term relationships for a returning and referring clientele. 

Taking action transforms into the Smooth Sale!

Read Additional Sales Strategies:

Nice Girls DO Get the Sale: Relationship Building That Gets ResultsSourcebooks

HIRED! How to Use Sales Techniques to Sell Yourself On InterviewsCareer Press

 

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Ask a friend to replace you for improved results

Attract the Right Job or Clientele:  Ask a friend to replace you for improved results

Disagreements have been plentiful among peers and their associates this past week.  For the most part it wasn’t too serious, but one incident was an eye-opener.

We all hear about business being dependent upon a well-defined personal brand given it is the basis for our developing reputation.  In the area of disagreement, it is a wise move to separate the unimportant from the important.  Looking at the bigger picture first enables one to make an improved decision regarding which details to forgive or to walk away.

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In one case, a long held date needed to be rescheduled.  With apology included in the message, a choice of new dates was provided.  Unfortunately, the attitude was “whatever” without any selection or acknowledgement of apology.  The response made the person apologizing feeling as if it were all a grand waste of time.  The bigger picture is that on occasion, life interrupts and rescheduling is needed. Unfortunately, the original purpose was to meet to exchange ideas for business, but that appears to be lost.  And it was lost simply due to a bad attitude.

On occasion the same may happen on a job or for a long awaited interview.  Looking at the bigger scheme of things, acknowledge that "things happen" and that you are willing to find a better time to speak.

Another story was more troubling.  George set out to help remove another from a very poor situation.   Ann re-established herself with life and meaningful work.  After all of the help received, Ann misjudged an action George took; the worst part was she refused to hear the explanation of why she was in error and not George. All communication stopped.  Hearing about the transaction, I came back to the sales motto of “qualify and match” all interactions.  Walk away from those that do not hold the same values or appreciation.   It was suggested to George that he find someone to substitute for him to make the desired contacts and share them afterward.

When life throws you curve balls in business or career, there is almost always a way around the situation.  At worst case, the hurt may go deep enough that you recognize it’s time to move on.  The moving on instructs you how to once again, qualify and match the better connections for greatly improved results.  Know who your best friends are, and take the time to frequently update one another.  Sharing your history and progress empowers those friends to advise you well when the going gets tough so that you may keep on going.

Ending with humor, I'll repeat my story.  One client was so rude to me, I told her another person would be able to help her better.  I was referring to the most egotistical salesperson I ever encountered.  A month later, they both got on the phone to call and thank me.  It was obvious they were dating!  This goes to the point, "Qualify and Match".

Maintaining a positive mindset at all times, even when disappointment strikes, will gradually lead you to the Smooth Sale!

Read Additional Sales Strategies:

Nice Girls DO Get the Sale: Relationship Building That Gets ResultsSourcebooks

HIRED! How to Use Sales Techniques to Sell Yourself On InterviewsCareer Press

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The Woman’s Advantage in Business Speaks Loudly

 

Attract the Right Job or Clientele:  The Woman's Advantage in Business Speaks Loudly

Over time, attitude toward working women has changed dramatically.  In the 1990’s women were not wanted on sales teams.  The belief back then was that women would not be able to withstand hearing “no”.  They certainly didn’t know how to negotiate, and therefore, they would make awful salespeople.  

You can imagine that entering an office atmosphere of that magnitude was not easy.  Many of us decided to put one foot forward in front of another in order to prove the conventional wisdom wrong.  It was far from easy, but it worked.   Refusing to give up, we became the top producers of our respective companies. 

What was learned from this lesson was, when you set your mind to anything you want in life, and persevere, you have a far better chance of becoming successful.  Don’t ever let anyone talk you out of your belief that you are able to succeed whether for business, the job hunt or career advancement.

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And female advantages were discovered:

Some women love to negotiate; cars are my personal favorite because the sales managers don’t see this cheerful female for what she can accomplish! And because women ask for directions, they openly asked their perspective clientele how they buy.  They asked for directions on how to proceed and to present a proposal that would win over those of the competition. 

Women aren’t afraid to make the personal connection in getting to know about families, interests and hobbies of their clientele.  In succeeding meetings they inquired as to how the client’s personal and special event turned out.  Where this all leads to is the fact that women excel in building relationships.  This is exactly what is required for successful sales. 

Very smartly, Mary Cantando chose to name her company, The Women’s Advantage.  Her next brilliant move was to develop a yearly calendar featuring wisdom of female entrepreneurs.   One chosen quote is featured for each day of the year.  What Cantando recognized is that women like to share their best, to help and inspire other women to be their best.  Together we all succeed.

I’m pleased to announce that my advice was selected to appear tomorrow in The 2015 Woman’s Advantage Calendar 

Over 5,000 quotes submitted, my advice was selected for today’s page of the calendar. My quote is:

Find the Joy in Your Work

Joy increases motivation to find success;

Success further feeds the motivation

And joy.

 

Take the time to check out the website, visit the forum and learn more about what is offered.  You just might make some fantastic connections!

Working with Mary epitomizes the Smooth Sale!

Read Additional Sales Strategies:

Nice Girls DO Get the Sale: Relationship Building That Gets ResultsSourcebooks

HIRED! How to Use Sales Techniques to Sell Yourself On InterviewsCareer Press

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Embrace waves to experience the Smooth Sale

 

Attract the Right Job or Clientele:  Embrace waves to experience the Smooth Sale

Invariably each of us experiences high and lows in life and career.  The hard part for most is when faced with being at the low point it becomes very difficult to rise once again to hit a new high.

Sales Perspective

Early in my sales career, I was solemnly advised to never let my pipeline of prospective clients dwindle; be certain to maintain activity to keep it full.  Otherwise, once all of the expected sales are made, it will be more difficult than ever to recapture the high.  In fact, most salespeople become so discouraged upon facing a low that they quit.

Low Point

The same concept holds true for any endeavor you might undertake.  Goals and milestones are achieved, and then the wonderment of what to do next has us not wanting to attempt anything new.   

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Rising Once Again

Should you in fact be at a miserable low where you feel emotional in a sad way, it’s time to call a good friend.  Listen and truly hear encouraging words.  After the call, reflect on the best of what you heard, and on the best of what you know to be true.  Begin to contemplate a new plan of action. 

As you give serious consideration to a new plan over the following week, begin writing out specific milestones to be achieved along with specific completion dates.  Next, figure out which steps will be the easiest to accomplish.  As small goals are quickly achieved, the motivation to attempt the more challenging steps kicks in and pretty soon, you are formulating the next wave. 

This time, include milestones and far off goals to keep that wave growing with increased possibilities.  And never ever stop thinking of new ideas to include mentoring communities.  Always keep your pipeline filled to set the wave higher than ever before.

Maintain High Points

It is the sales philosophy of always keeping the pipeline full that saves the day.  Although you may seriously work on one endeavor at a time, as you can see the finish line approaching, that is the exact time to create complementary tracks to make the results of the first endeavor more robust.  It is the act of always having a new adventure to look forward to that keeps the excitement flowing.  The excitement instills motivation to do our best, and by implementing our best, the success and thrill of it all moves us to new heights.

Following these guidelines you will be navigating the waves while enjoying the Smooth Sale!

Read Additional Sales Strategies:

Nice Girls DO Get the Sale: Relationship Building That Gets ResultsSourcebooks

HIRED! How to Use Sales Techniques to Sell Yourself On InterviewsCareer Press

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Creativity gets you in the door relationships seal the deal

 

Attract the Right Job or Clientele:  Creativity gets you in the door relationships seal the deal

Your creative style markets your candidacy for the job or the sale.  While times have changed with security tighter than ever in office parks and large corporations, a few strategies listed below that won the day may generate new ones for today’s world.

  • Greeted administrative staff with candy bars and asked, “I was wondering if you could help me?”
  • Set up a picnic lunch as one would expect, but in a demo room
  • Sent 3 monthly humorous fliers and then called to set the appointment

Motivate

All of the above spoke to the prospective client’s emotional side.  They were so surprised by the unusual approach and gesture of friendship, that everyone scrambled to help however they could.  Motivation was theirs to provide the names of the decision makers, provide insight of working with the company, and further the conversations.  The executives were astounded that I found my way into their offices. This motivated them to learn how I was different and increased interest in what I was selling.

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ProActive Job Seeker

Seeking work today requires creativity too.  An article stated that on average, in the U.S., it takes six months to find work, and that the competition is stronger than ever in our recorded history.  Focusing on your strengths and interests to find the better-matched job will greatly increase your chances for securing something more to your liking.  The opportunity often missed, is to potentially create a new position tailored to your desires.

For example, due to Charlene’s entrepreneurial experience, her resume continued to attract insurance, financial management and real estate companies.  At her stage in life, studying to obtain a new license is not something to her liking.  Frustrated by so many such requests, Charlene suggested to one recruiter that she be reconsidered as a mentor for the new people coming into the company.  The idea was well received and Charlene is very close to receiving a job offer.

Inspire

Creativity turns heads to help get you in the door.  The bigger picture of attaining a sale or a job is to get into the mindset of the other party. 

  • Why is help needed?
  • What is it about your credentials that is of interest?
  • How may you apply your talent to help them solve their problems?  

Once you are able to speak to those issues all the while building trust and the relationship, you will be far more successful in earning the job or the sale. 

Practice makes perfect to become the Smooth Sale!

Read Additional Sales Strategies:

Nice Girls DO Get the Sale: Relationship Building That Gets ResultsSourcebooks

HIRED! How to Use Sales Techniques to Sell Yourself On InterviewsCareer Press

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Automate Your Marketing And Get More Sales

 

Attract the Right Job or Clientele:  Automate Your Marketing And Get More Sales

Even owners of small businesses don't have to feel overwhelmed by marketing automation. Sure, the concept conjures images of cold, impersonal robots writing emails on your behalf. But the reality is that your marketing strategy doesn't have to sacrifice its personal, human touch to speed up processes that are better handled by software than by humans. Follow these tips for marketing automation that works.  These insights also apply to seeking work, keeping track of companies and people contacted, and remaining in touch.


Marketing automation can make many core processes run faster and smoother – but it needs clean data to work.

Marketing Automation is Not a Silver Bullet or a Quick Fix

As discussed in the article "Top Tips for Increasing Marketing Automation ROI," it is true that automation can speed up and streamline many manual functions. But you can't just buy software, purchase email lists and sit back if you want to see results. In order to move from lead generation to sales, and recoup your investment in the automated system, you'll have to steer the ship.

Your Automation Strategy is Only as Good as Your Data

Data should be integrated instead of being isolated in silos. But perhaps more important than department-wide integration is data cleanliness. Data should be cleaned regularly to ensure:

  • Data is accurate
  • Data is complete
  • Data is non-redundant

New contacts, address changes and job changes can all corrupt data, so data must be cleansed regularly.

Pay Special Attention to CRM Data

Customer relationship management data is likely to be the focal point of your marketing automation strategy. The same rules apply regarding vigilance against redundancy and incomplete or inaccurate data. But this is especially crucial when it comes to CRM because CRM is synced with marketing automation software. If your CRM data is dirty, you're almost certain to see a diminished automation ROI.

Don't Forget the Basics of Marketing

Automation doesn't change the foundational marketing principles. First, lists you cultivated yourself are always better than lists you purchased. Also, it is easier to start small and leave room to scale up instead of diving in to more than you can handle. Remember that your overall goal is to build and nurture relationships, which software can't do for you. Yes, marketing automation usually begins with an email campaign, but don't neglect your other channels. If your strategy doesn't incorporate all of your channels, you're going to lose the part of your audience that puts email on the back burner.


Marketing automation sounds cold and remote, but it requires the same human touch as any successful strategy.

Marketing automation is a deceiving title. Even if you install automation software, the process is still driven by you, the actual human being. Marketing automation can streamline core processes, but it is up to you to feed your software clean, accurate data. It is also up to you to develop a strategy and to make sure that strategy is applied across all your channels.

Andrew Lisa is a freelance marketing writer. He covers CRM software and automated marketing.

Following Lisa's guidelines will lead you to the Smooth Sale!

Read Additional Sales Strategies:

Nice Girls DO Get the Sale: Relationship Building That Gets ResultsSourcebooks

HIRED! How to Use Sales Techniques to Sell Yourself On InterviewsCareer Press

 

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Old Problems Require Creative Thought

 

Attract the Right Job or Clientele:  Old Problems Require Creative Thought

We are all familiar with the saying that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again never seeing improved results.  For example, targeting an audience that has no interest in your offered services hardly holds likelihood that circumstances will change. 

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Job Search

An interesting example is that of a recent job search.  Jolene was annoyed that ridiculously lowball offers for salary were coming her way given her highly successful career experience.  One day she decided to respond differently than to put out the same rote response of “I’m not interested”.  Instead, Jolene decided a clever response was in order. 

Jolene wrote the recruiter that her time has come to mentor new people entering the industry.  If the company would be interested in creating a new position for her, then she would welcome the conversation.  The President was impressed and scheduled a time to meet.  The initial annoyance Jolene felt transformed into a new and exciting career opportunity.

Newer Entrepreneur

Have you ever joined a networking group where you repeatedly attended events, met and spoke with dozens of people but never made in-roads for what you have to offer?  People new to business often feel a sense of guilt even thinking of leaving their group.  Other members keep advising to not quit but to keep trying.  The reality is, not only does the activity cost money, but, with no interest in one’s offerings, there isn’t money to be made either.  It would be wise to drop out, potentially seek out a better- matched group or to implement other strategies for locating your desired clientele.

Clarity

Seriously contemplate everything currently in place that is not working well enough to be worthwhile to continue.  Then answer these questions:

  • If money were no issue, what would you rather be doing?
  • Do you know of anyone who can help you get on the right track?
  • How can you budget for getting the help you need to make the change?

Improved Results

Working with the person you believe to hold similar values and who has the expertise you desire will do wonders for moving business or career in the right direction.  Any class, coaching, or self-education you may employ will help you to achieve far better results and in a fraction of the time. 

Once you are on the right path, it will seem as if it were a  Smooth Sale!

Read Additional Sales Strategies:

Nice Girls DO Get the Sale: Relationship Building That Gets ResultsSourcebooks

HIRED! How to Use Sales Techniques to Sell Yourself On InterviewsCareer Press

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Out of ideas – review past conversations

 

Attract the Right Job or Clientele:  Out of ideas review past conversations

We frequently hear of writers becoming “brain dead” as they can’t think of another sentence to write.  But on occasion, we are the ones who need to write a document for work only to find it’s close to impossible to get started. 

One technique around this dilemma to get you back on track is very similar to turning off the computer to reboot, or disrupt an event. Simply remove yourself from your desk to go to either a quiet spot to meditate or find an invigorating trail to refresh your mind and let the creative thought take over. 

The only caution upon implementing any of the suggestions below, is to have a means of capturing the new ideas as they begin to flow again.

Recent Conversation

Many times a friendly conversation will produce an interesting insight or idea that hadn’t previously occurred to us.  Mentally review the people with whom you met and some of their ideas that were discussed.  It might even have been a disagreement on which you may summarize the opposing viewpoints for the reader to decide which way is best.  

Movies and Television

We find escape in movies and television, and the writing is so clever today, that the storylines are very thought provoking.    Consider if there was a particular phrase or a poignant point made that applies to what you wish to communicate. 

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Exercise

Going to the gym, walking outdoors or another physical activity will relax the mind and also allow the creative juices to flow.  New ideas and related activities will seem to gel all at once.   

Meet

One enjoyable form of finding new ideas is to meet a peer for coffee to exchange news of the day.  Invariably the best material comes from these relaxed conversations.  Ask how they are keeping busy and what is new in their life.  Get them to share stories with you.  Not only will you walk away as solid friends, but you will also have stimulated new ideas for yourself.

Host an Event

The ultimate way to find new ideas and have fun in the process is to invite a number of people to your home for a party.  Dialogue will kick into high gear with everyone contributing to the conversation to witness ideas blossoming.

Revisit

Feeling rejuvenated after time away will allow you to return to the computer to write what needed to be written all along. The relationships built in the process and creative work serve to attract the work or clientele you desire.  The process will be far more enjoyable and seeming as if it were a  Smooth Sale!

Read Additional Sales Strategies:

Nice Girls DO Get the Sale: Relationship Building That Gets ResultsSourcebooks

HIRED! How to Use Sales Techniques to Sell Yourself On InterviewsCareer Press

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Gift giving and television embody sales strategy success

 

Attract the Right Job or Clientele:  Gift giving and television embody sales strategy success

Perspective

The road to sales success depends upon recognizing the fact that, first and foremost, it is the other person’s perspective upfront that matter’s most. You could be selling the best technology in the entire world, but unless it is understood why a client is interested, and everything associated, it will be a very tough sell. Likewise, you may be the all time best candidate for the job, but speaking directly to the problems the company is facing, even if it's just the vacancy in questions, is essential.

The Gift

Have you ever received a gift that annoyed you due to it not resembling anything you ever desired?  And how did you feel when a gift was given to you that was exactly what you had wished for?

In actuality, the conversation with a prospective client resembles a gift.  It should be seen as the gift of understanding, with a huge thank you of appreciation at the end that culminates into a sale. 

The Detective

The line heard repeated in the new show, Backstrom, is, “I’m you…” In the moment, Backstrom envisions himself in the person’s predicament. He then thinks back to circumstances and how he would have proceeded, as that person, in order to solve the crime in question.

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Sales Implications

All relationships, whether personal or business, require attention and understanding.  The next time you are meeting with a new prospective client try asking some of these questions but in your own vocabulary?

  • You must be very busy, why did you agree to see me today?
  •   How are you currently handling…?
  • Where do you see improvement to be made, and why?
  • What do you believe the results will be using your idea?
  • Have you ever thought about…?
  • What has been your experience in this area?
  • Technology has changed since your last attempt, would you like to learn more?

In a sense you are a detective getting into the mindset of your prospective client.  This is a priority given it sets the tone of the conversation, the honesty of the dialogue, and will gradually get the individual to open up to new ideas. 

It’s through the questions and answers received that you become one, in order to move forward together.  By finding the meeting of the minds, it may be considered a form of negotiation but in a relaxed and meaningful style. 

Adhering to giving the gift of a meaningful dialogue, and getting into the mindset of the other person as if you are a detective, will have you earning more sales with greater ease.  This process is the key to the Smooth Sale!

Read Additional Sales Strategies:

Nice Girls DO Get the Sale: Relationship Building That Gets ResultsSourcebooks

HIRED! How to Use Sales Techniques to Sell Yourself On InterviewsCareer Press

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