In this article, I’m going to tell you how to get promoted and promoted fast. I’m writing this article with the corporate world in mind and not the public sector.
Here’s the secret to getting promoted fast in the corporate world.
Drum rolls, please.
The secret is: “The ability to bring in new business and increase sales”.
If you can bring in new business / new clients / increase sales you are an invaluable asset to your company. You are an investment, meaning you bring in more money than you cost the business. As a result of this indispensable skill you’ll be well looked after and that usually means promotion. If they don’t promote you they run the risk of losing you and you skills to a competitor. They definitely wouldn’t want that to happen.
So the secret to fast promotion is the ability to bring in new business. Now it’s clearly not the only way to be promoted, but in my experience and observation it’s the fastest. Sorry, actually, the fastest way to get promoted is to start your own company and be at the very top. However, in the corporate world of climbing the career ladder, bringing in new business is the fastest way.
I also think it’s the easiest way to promotion. Let’s compare and explore a “typical” route that people take. One of these routes is further education, such as an MBA. To do an MBA in the UK it will cost you on average between £10,000 - £15,000, with top universities such as Cambridge and Oxford charging around £55,000. Even at the lower end of £10,000 that’s a huge financial investment. Not to mention the time and commitment involved attending lectures, writing assignments, revising and doing tests. There are a couple of ways to do an MBA. Full time, which means taking a break from work, so that would mean losing salary and paying for the degree. Or part-time, so working fulltime and studying in your spare time. Therefore, in my opinion and experience, it is much easier to win business.
It’s also financially better for, as you’re very likely be given bonuses for increasing sales. It goes without saying, but earning a bonus for your work is much better than spending money to do work.
For the record, I’m not knocking MBA’s or further academic education. I understand further academic education is needed in some industries. I also strongly believe you should be constantly learning. However, in the corporate world, ability beats certificates. If you have an MBA along with many other qualifications, but your competition is someone who can significantly increase sales. They’re going to get promoted faster.
Now I do realise selling isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, and it’s also a difficult skill to do. However, it’s an easy skill to learn.
There are many ways that you can learn sales. You could ask if you could spend some time with the sales department, or work overtime with the sales department. You can attend internal or external sales training courses. You can read books and watch videos on the subject, there’s plenty of them. You could ask any friends in sales roles if they’d teach you.
You should then apply what you’re learning inside your workplace. If that’s not possible for whatever reason, you can apply your new skills outside of work. For example, for face-to-face sales you could attend or set up a car boot sale. If you’re in the world of retail you could set up an eBay account.
The truth is, we’re always selling. We’re constantly selling people our ideas whether it’s to colleagues in work or to your friends over which restaurant you should choose. If you can take this mindset, do what you can to improve your selling skills and then use it to bring more sales for your employers, you’ll get promoted fast.