One of the items you will be asked to provide the hiring company when you get near the hiring decision will be your sales job references. It is important to prepare the sales job references ahead of time so that you can have it readily available when asked, to move you quickly towards being hired.
This article will help you learn how to ask for your sales job references and to help you start putting yours together. Once you begin your job search and are busy interviewing with multiple hiring companies, it could be harder for you to find the time, later in the process. It is also much more polite to ask the people who will be giving you the referrals some time to get back with you.
SALES JOB REFERENCES- WHO TO ASK?
Sales Job References are usually selected by the candidate to provide their hiring company and consist of current supervisor/manager, co-workers, customers, past managers/colleagues and anyone who can provide the hiring company insight to your character and work ethics. It is important to select the sales job references that will provide you with a positive reference but also make it relevant for the sales job you are applying for.
Titles of your sales job references can be impressive, such as VP of Sales, Director of Sales, etc. Just be sure that these sales job references know who you are and have enough exposure to you so that can provide a meaningful sales job reference for you . Having your current manager is a tough one to get, especially if you are currently working for him/her, so maybe reaching out to your previous manager is a much better solution here. You definetly want to provide a mix of references so that the hiring company can gain a good picture of you as a candidate.
The first thing you want to do is to create a list of potential sales job references and begin gathering their contact information. You will need this, once you create your sales job reference proposal to them. Don't just simply pick up the phone and call without having anything prepared. Make a list, select your targets and move on to the next step.
Before you start contacting your sales job references that you have identified, you will want to get your resume updated and ready to provide your sales job references, also make a sample reference letter for them highlighting the key traits and skills you want communicated to the hiring company. It would also be nice to jot down a bullet pointed tip sheet for your sales job references to let them know what you are pursuing and what you would like communicated to the hiring company. Nothing fancy or long, just a brief direction to provide your references to prepare them for the call.
ASK FOR PERMISSION
Be courteous and smart, ask for permission from your sales job references if it would be OK for your to list them as a reference. You want a strong reference given, so ask them if they are willing to provide one for you. Also, allow them the option to not give you the reference and to make it easy for them to opt out as well. I have been asked in the past from individuals for a reference, but I did not feel that I would be able to give them a positive one. You want to ensure that the person is enthusiastically willing to give you a glowing reference.
INFORM YOUR SALES JOB REFERENCES
Once your sales job references agree to be a reference for you, send them your resume, linkedin profile link, the bullet pointed list as mentioned above, the job you are interviewing for and a short suggestion on how you would like them to focus their communication to the hiring company.
Remember to thank your sales job references for their time and a lot of the time, strong references can give a candidate a competitive edge over other candidates. Choose wisely and prepare them accordingly to give you the best shot!