What is your most important sale? It’s not one of your existing customers. It’s you. Even a slightly higher salary will compound upon itself over the years when you get raises at work. So a lower salary hurts you a lot. Now do you see why you are your most important customer? You need to sell yourself at work.
Don’t be modest when you sell yourself.
Some people think that their manager will know all the good things they’ve been doing to lead to their success. They of course are wrong. Most managers are so busy today managing that they can’t keep an eye on what you’re doing on a day-by-day basis. You have work to do if your salary is a function of your annual review.
Keep a file of everything you accomplish during the year. Did you get a customer compliment? Put that in the folder. Did you get other recognition from a customer? File it in your Annual review folder. You cannot possibly remember all the good work you did at the end of the year. Even worse is if you are working on meeting your goals at the end of the year, but still have to produce your performance results.
Remember, that during a review is not the time to be modest. It’s not bragging if what you did is true. State your results and be sure to get credit for them by asking if you’re getting the most you can for your salary increase.
Get something for it.
You will get asked to do more when you do a good job. The saying, “When you have a job to do, give it to a busy person” does apply to work. Only it’s magnified. There is often a clear line between the doers and the achievers and the do nothings and the underachievers. You can tell if you are an achiever because you will be given more to do when you are an achiever. Just be sure that you are not taken advantage of. You might say yes to a big temporary job because it is challenging and you will learn a needed skill for advancement.
You don’t want to be the doormat that everyone dumps work onto because you will move mountains and sacrifice yourself just to do a good job on a project. There has to be a reward when there are just too many jobs you’re given to do. It’s time to speak up when you realize that you have been given a lot more than anyone else.
Be prepared to say what you want when the work keeps coming. You might have plans for getting a promotion or learning a new skill. Be sure to ask for what you want. You can say, “I think I’ve demonstrated my competence and loyalty to the organization. I want to be considered for X and to do so, I realize that I need more skills in Y. There’s a seminar that I want to enroll in. After this project I want to sign up for it. What do you think?” Managers can’t read your mind. You have to know what you want and ask for it.
Learn to say no.
Just as you might be saying yes a lot so you can learn new skills, you also might have to say no on occasion. Burn out is real when you are an achiever in sales. You tend to believe that you can and should do everything that is asked of you. You don’t have to and you shouldn’t.
What trips up many sales professionals is that they don’t realize they can say no. They also don’t know how. You have to speak up when your manager stretches you with work to the point of breaking. What you can say when you are given additional work is, “OK. I can see this is an important project. Since you’ve given me Project X, Y, and Z to do also, which one of those should I stop working on so I can work on Project X? You are not Superman and you have no more than 24 hours in the day like everyone else. You need your sleep too!
Your selling yourself at work is just as important as selling your products to a customer. Just be sure to remember that you are the product and you are the best person to sell that product at work.