The media sales teams I have coached through the years have always been centered on a consultative sales approach that features a top notch client needs analysis (CNA). The most recent version of my media sales training has included an acronym for the salient points of the CNA called COMMIT.
The COMMIT system involves questions/topics that include: Crystal Ball; unique Offers; Market Segment; Marketing & Advertising; Ideal Customer; Tell Them a Story. This strategy has worked extremely well in creating the basis for building tremendous trust between seller and client and in uncovering very valuable information that will help close the deal later in the process.
Not only does my company help to create and build high performance sales teams, improve managerial focus and communication, but we also do a lot of work with job seekers. Specifically, we focus on helping people find what they were built to do and get them into their perfect job. (see my book “Improve Your VOWELS, Improve Your Career!”).
I have counseled thousands of job seekers in the past few years and I have stressed to them that one of the most important parts of the interview process is what I call “The Question” – the point in the discussion where the interviewer says: “Do you have any questions for me?” At that moment it is vital to have intelligent, important and impactful questions to ask. I have always taught job seekers that they need at least 15-20 great questions to ask.
It occurred to me recently that the COMMIT CNA idea could work very well in the job seeker space. Therefore, I have revised the question topics to fit the interview process and to give job seekers a real roadmap to finding out key information about the company they are considering. Remember, interview the hiring manager as much as he or she is interviewing you. You want to make an informed and inspired decision to join the company – you need pertinent facts to help you make that call.
Here’s the COMMIT CNA that I recommend highly for job seekers:
C- Crystal Ball – ask questions about the future of the company, new divisions, new products, etc
O – Organizational Structure – ask questions about the hierarchy and culture of the company
M – Managerial Style – you want to know about the company’s philosophies, decision making and the personal style of your department head and direct report
M – Market Rank – ask about the competition and how the company differentiates itself in their market segment
I – Ideal Employee – ask the hiring manager to specifically describe the ideal qualities he or she is looking for in their next hire
T – Training – don’t forget to ask in depth questions about the training program during on boarding and especially the ongoing training opportunities for the future (tuition reimbursement, online classes, etc).
Within each of these topics you might have 2-3 questions, which puts you right on track to the 15-20 great questions goal. To have that many terrific questions you must first do meticulous research – not cursory drive-bys of the company website, but deep research of the company including blogs, industry related articles, stock data, info on company leaders from LinkedIn or other online sources, etc.
The goal of this job seeker CNA is for you to be able to COMMIT to the company and feel confident in your decision to join their organization. If you need help crafting your COMMIT questions, reach out – I’m here to help!