Saturday, July 22, 2006

Dale Carnegie Skills

"The only way candidates can win that next coveted job is to distinguish themselves from the other hundreds of job seekers vying for the role," according to Gary Lust, a senior technology recruiter. "Everyone . . . can do the tech stuff. To get to that next level you have to provide both the tech and the business skills necessary today," continues Lust in an interview in Information Week.

Lust suggests technology professionals should consider developing "Dale Carnegie" skills to help distinguish themselves from their equally qualified peers. The most valuable non-technical skill for technology professionals to develop may well be sales skills.

No matter where you are in the life cycle of your career, sales skills can make a difference when attempting to . . .

One of the best ways to learn about sales skills, and begin practicing proven sales techniques, is to follow the lead of business executives who are constantly looking for that competitive advantage. BusinessWeek magazine offers insight each month with the publication of The BusinessWeek Best-Seller List (pdf). Sitting in the four and five positions are the following:

In an earlier blog article I reviewed The World is Flat, the long-standing #1 on this popular list of business books. I outlined why technology professionals should read this book to help understand how to position themselves in today's global economy.

In these companion books sales expert Jeffrey Gitomer provides insight into the sales process. Like many technology professionals I find myself a bit uncomfortable in my current roll as "salesman" as I attempt to advance my career by landing a new job. What I found most refreshing about Gitomer's approach is that many of the manipulative sales techniques we've all been exposed to from time to time (think: used car salesman) are actually counterproductive. Successful long-term sales is more about relationship-building and adding value up front before the sale is made.

If you are looking to land that first job, make more money, or otherwise advance your technology career, then The Little Red Book of Selling and The Little Red Book of Sales Answers might be more valuable than any technology book on your shelf today. Buy them, read them, study them, master them -- profit from them!

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