Having an "IN" when getting the job

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May 24, 2005 1:26 am

I have a family friend that is a Branch Manager and has helped me prepare to be a financial consultant and ask the right questions when interviewing with competing companies,etc. I have had little success getting offers, as I am only 24, but ambitious, focused, and an excellent networker. I have an upcoming interview for the first time with the same branchmanager who has been helping me sharpen my skills and understanding. Any opinions on steps I should take, or ways to impress him? I'm starting to believe he could be my way "IN." Does he have the ability to just hire me and give me a chance to prove myself?

May 24, 2005 6:36 am

One wonders why he was helping you hone interviewing skills to use on
others when he could have hired you right off the bat--had he wanted to.



It sounds like what has happened is what should have happened, you're
young and you should not even be interviewing at this point.  But
you were and that is water under the bridge.



I suppose that to his dismay you were not hired by his peers at other
firms and now it's come full circle and he's getting pressure from
youri parents to interview you too--so he is.



What has happened is your family has put him in a difficult spot--he
did what he could most easily do, coach you, and now he is being
"forced" to possibly hire you.



He is probably talking to his wife about his problem with phrases such
as, "How dare they (your folks, his friends) put me in this
position....." and I agree.



Face reality.  If you had what he is looking for he would not have
wanted you to talk to other firms, he would have hired you onto his
team.



That he did not discourage you, that he offered to help with other
interviews, seems to indicate that he does think you have
potential--just not now, not yet.



You owe it to your folks, the friend the manager, and to yourself to go
into what will be your final interview thanking him for all he has done
to date and giving him an opening, a way to get off the hook so to
speak.



What would impress me is if you came into my office and thanked me for
what I had done then sit and talk about the fact that with all you have
going for you it seems you must be too young.  Ask him if he
agrees--the opening.  If he does toss it right back at him with,
"I suppose you're right.  How about this.  How about I go get
some seasoning, hone my selling skills, and meet some people.  If
I come back here in three years with a record of success in selling
something else will you hire me then?"



If he seems receptive to that idea ask him what type of sales he feels
best hones a broker's skills.  Then go to those type of companies
and get a job.



How in the world can he turn you down in a few years after you did exactly what he suggested you should do?



On the other hand--this is the part that makes the whiners go
crazy.  They cannot deal with anything negative.  "Put is
negative, blah, blah, blah......"  But I digress.



On the other hand, if he balks at all you should probably take that as
a sign from the job Gods that you just don't have "it," whatever it
is.  You will have interviewed at several places, including a
ringer, and did not get an offer.  A manager did not even buy the
opportunity to hire you later, after you had proven yourself.



Let that be a clue that this isn't for you.  That does not mean
you're a bad person, it does not mean that you're thought of as a
weirdo or anything negative.  It simply means that we adults know
that this is a very specific type of selling--about as hard a form of
selling as there is--and that even though we give tests and have
multiple interviews nine out of ten of our best tries don't work out.



There are the small minded cretins who think those of us who make decisions are leeches--sucking the income out of the system.



They're fools who do not deserve a moment of your time.

May 24, 2005 7:08 am

Put, the consenus doesn't seem to be that all of those who make decisions are leeches...it seems to be that YOU are a leech.


Have a great day!

May 24, 2005 7:16 am
Starka:

Put, the consenus doesn't seem to be that all of those who make decisions are leeches...it seems to be that YOU are a leech.


Have a great day!





There you go with another intelligent remark from one of the nimrods
who, somehow and against all odds, actually got hired into this
business.  The good news is in a year or so he'll be gone--and
whatever he leaves behind will be tossed in the trash.



Just another wannabe who I wouldn't hire to shine my shoes.

May 24, 2005 7:21 am

OK so if you have 6-7 years of selling experience does that qualify you as "honing" your skills and make you “seasoned?”<?:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

May 24, 2005 8:02 am

When you display more than a rudimentary intelligence, I'll address you with intelligent remarks.  Judging by what you've run on about so far Sonny, you "don't got any".

May 24, 2005 8:04 am
Beach:

OK so if you have 6-7 years of selling experience does that qualify you as "honing" your skills and make you “seasoned?”





That depends.  One of the highly desireable jobs coming out of
college is to get a decent salary and a company car--getting a
territory with P&G, stuff like that.



The reality is that that is not really selling, it's taking orders.



When I first started sharing my experience on this forum there was
somebody who said that they had been selling cellular service as a
college job.  We all know what that's about.  Is it
selling?  Moreso than taking orders in a Target store (P&G)
but not really.



Selling is persuading people to accept something that they don't
want--they may know they need it (life insurance) but they damn sure
don't want it.



There are almost no equivalents to the difficulty of selling investments, which is why many are called but few are chosen.



What we have on this forum is a collection of hopefulls.  They are
one of the ten--nine of them will fail, they just haven't failed yet.



The reason guys like StanWBrown and Joedabrkr are so shrill in their
sneering about management types is because they too are not so
established that their little practice could not get washed away as if
it were hit by a Tsunami.



When you read the sneering about management, or me as an individual,
envison somebody sitting in a dark room, worried about a goblin under
the bed, screaming into the night, "I am OK!  I am OK! I am OK!"
but all the while silently thinking, "It's going to eat me, it's going
to eat me, and that mean man (Put Trader) is not helping me."

May 24, 2005 8:31 am


Here is an example:<?:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />


Joe customer walks into Best Buy.  He walked in wanting to buy just a 27" TV.  After he talks to a "salesman/saleswoman" he then walks out, with a slip stating that his 50" LCD will be in his home within the week. 


Now I know this is retail, but I would consider that person was up-sold, hence that salesman/saleswoman was selling.  I am wrong in this example that this is selling?  Would you say that he was selling or clerking that person? 


May 24, 2005 8:50 am
Beach:


Here is an example:


Joe
customer walks into Best Buy.  He walked in wanting to buy just a
27" TV.  After he talks to a "salesman/saleswoman" he then
walks out, with a slip stating that his 50" LCD will be in his home
within the week. 


Now
I know this is retail, but I would consider that person was up-sold,
hence that salesman/saleswoman was selling.  I am wrong in this
example that this is selling?  Would you say that he was selling or clerking that person? 






Well, he came into the store looking for a TV--so he was predisposed to
being upsold.  That is not the case with investments--not to
mention the fact that you will lose your license if you "upsell."



There is another harsh reality.  People who work in environments
where you swarm on anybody who comes in--car dealers and places like
Best Buy--are considered (for lack of a more gentle term) sleazeballs
by the college educated people who make it to decison maker levels at
Wall Street firms.



It's damn difficult to convince somebody to hire you if they don't even
want to talk to you when they're in the store looking at TVs.

May 24, 2005 9:04 am
Put Trader:
Beach:


Here is an example:


Joe customer walks into Best Buy.  He walked in wanting to buy just a 27" TV.  After he talks to a "salesman/saleswoman" he then walks out, with a slip stating that his 50" LCD will be in his home within the week. 


Now I know this is retail, but I would consider that person was up-sold, hence that salesman/saleswoman was selling.  I am wrong in this example that this is selling?  Would you say that he was selling or clerking that person? 






Well, he came into the store looking for a TV--so he was predisposed to being upsold.  That is not the case with investments--not to mention the fact that you will lose your license if you "upsell."

There is another harsh reality.  People who work in environments where you swarm on anybody who comes in--car dealers and places like Best Buy--are considered (for lack of a more gentle term) sleazeballs by the college educated people who make it to decison maker levels at Wall Street firms.

It's damn difficult to convince somebody to hire you if they don't even want to talk to you when they're in the store looking at TVs.


The question is:  "Would you say that he was selling or clerking that person? "  I just want to know if it is selling or clerking, not that you think this type is a "sleazball" type of job. 

May 24, 2005 9:11 am
Beach:

The question is:  "Would you say that he was
selling or clerking that person? "  I just want to know if it
is selling or clerking, not that you think this type is a "sleazball"
type of job. 





OK, it's sleazeball upselling.  You'll be a great penny stock broker.

May 24, 2005 2:32 pm

Well, can someone try to reread my initial question and give some more feedback? All I got is the usual arguments that seem to takeover.


thanks

May 24, 2005 3:30 pm

mSav, I'll try but it's not much. 


Does he have the ability to hire you? Absolutely, assuming you get sufficient scores on the firm's screening tests (and sometimes managers can over-ride even that).  Is he going to give you a "try" even though your fit for this business may not be the best -- probably not.  By doing so, he's not doing any favors for himself or his branch (because the failure rate is already so high even for the best of those who make it through the process).  More importantly, he's not doing you any favors because you may, in fact, not be suited for this business.


Because he knows you well may be both good & bad.  The good is that he has a more complete understanding of who you are than the other managers who only saw you for one or two interviews.  So, if your other interviews went poorly for some reason, even if your interview skills aren't strong, this friend already knows you.  The bad is the same.  Because he was apparently mentoring you through this process I'm sure you've been candid with him about your strengths & weaknesses and where you're running into problems.  So, while some may be able to hide weaknesses in an interview, you're already more of an open book to him.


So, I'd try to take all that and turn it around to into a positive.  Don't go into the interview thinking you've got it sewn up.  Make it very clear to him how hungry you are to be in this business.  Show strength, energy, and positive determination.  Also, assuming in your talks with him up to this point have included you divulging your doubts and/or personal weaknesses, tell him something like:  "Mr Jones, I've been an open book to you during these times you've been counseling me.  You know me better than any other prospective manager might.  You also know that I have a clear handle on any potential weaknesses that might affect my suitability for this job.  Acknowledging and having the awareness of one's strengths & weaknesses is critical to success in any endeavor.  I know how to leverage off my strengths, and I want to learn from you and the company how I can gain even greater leverage from them to succeed beyond your or anyone's expectations.  I also know how I can minimize any weaknesses and am prepared to do anything further to totally overcome them.  My purpose in being here is to achieve, to succeed, and to prosper.  And I know I will."


I'd also say something to acknowledge his position in this, because being a family friend puts him in a potentially awkward situation, and you need to de-fuse that.  Tell him that you know this must be awkward for him, and that you know he may feel somewhat uncomfortable.  Let him know that the family friend connection should be put aside, that you have every confidence that you can succeed without any consideration of that.


Also, with this or any broker interview, be prepared to tell him your ideas on how you plan to do build you book.  How you plan to succeed. How you know this starts out as a 60-70 hour workweek for the first couple of years.


All you're doing is selling yourself to him.  That's a major factor any manager is looking for in the interview process.  If you can't effectively sell yourself in an interview, then you're not getting hired, because this is a sales job at its essence.


And if he says no, get a clear understanding of the reasons why.  He may want you to have more life experience, other sales experience, etc.  Take this to heart and tell him you'll be back again after addressing his concerns, because this is the business you want to be in.  If you don't get hired now, there's probably good reasons for it.  Accept the reasons and address them, even if that means working in another industry for a few years.  You've got plenty of time ahead of you.

May 24, 2005 8:05 pm

DUke


 Thanks a lot.

May 25, 2005 7:55 am

If the branch manager thought you were suitable, why wouldn't he hire
you himself?  Most companies are recruiting rookies.  Branch
managers make more money with a more profitable office, afterall. 
They have an incentive to hire those they think will succeed.



The only, and I mean only, reason that I can think of why he wouldn't
hire you if he thought you were suitable is because of a pre-existing
relationship with your family.   I wouldn't want to hire my
friend's kid, either.  If, on the off-chance, that things don't
work out and you have to let him go, there can be some resentment that
can poison the relationship.  "How dare you fire my little boy."



Try a gig as a sales assistant.  You learn the business, get your licenses, and learn how to interact with clients.