Do you have the right skills once you’ve been promoted?

I had a bit of a revelation this week…

Much to my dismay I didn’t get a job that I really wanted but in my heart of hearts I knew I wouldn’t get it, even though they said they liked me, for 2 reasons:

  1. They kept me hanging on for over 2 weeks to make their decision
  2. I admitted in the interview that doing a hard sell wasn’t my thing.  I don’t mind approaching individuals if we had something tangible to talk to them about but I don’t feel comfortable walking the corridors drumming up new business and “cold calling”

Bear in mind that this was for a client services role and not a sales/ new business role.  And I’ve done well in my career, developing my teams and increasing revenue through existing projects; hence why I have been promoted.  But the hiccup seems to appear at the Group Account Director level when you are expected to sell your services to new divisions of your client’s business.

So therein lies the rub…you are promoted to a new level because of your historic successes but there is not the support or training in your new role to ensure your future success.  For me personally this would be around sales techniques but for others it could be for e.g. around team management, technology, financial forecasting or business strategy.

Admittedly in my previous role I probably should have asked for training but to be honest it never occurred to me (call me daft).  It was only once I had my most recent interview feedback and also had a coffee with Jo Wright @ Phoenix Training & Coaching who gave me some invaluable insight into approaching businesses, that it dawned on me.

But why do companies fail to give you the support?  Do they presume you will naturally be good or at least learn as you go along or do they simply not recognise that an individual could do with support to succeed whatever their level within a company?  I acknowledge they have finite training resources but from my experience this is usually spent on more junior members of the team and not mid-senior management who are the driving force of the business.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not bitter about losing out on the job but it’s made me realize that I need to:

1) Reframe my thinking from “sales” to “nuturing relationships” and “solving problems”. I’m know I’m good at the last 2 but at the word sales; I freeze

2) Swot up on good new business techniques to futureproof myself

3) Darn well ask if I need additional training and support in a role

I’d love to hear of your experiences and what you think…..