Social media is definitely making it easier for consultants to prospect potential clients. Nonetheless, consultants should have Zig Ziglar sales proficiency in order to close deals offline. A job hunter should be just as proficient as positioning him or herself as the ideal candidate to the position for which he or she is applying.

Knowing how to customize each cover letter and resume to target each position for which the job hunter is applying; preparing to respond to difficult interview questions by memorizing success stories; knowing your elevator pitch by heart to communicate it articulately and expeditiously when he or she is asked questions like, “Why should I hire You?” and “Tell me about yourself;” constitute skills in which both a consultant or a job hunter should have developed a mastery.

A job, however, only requires you to close one sale. A consultant typically has to close multiple deals a month to stay in business, unless he or she has one or a few well paying contacts. Thus the consultant will typically find herself consistently having to persuade people to take their services, whereas some full-time employees will not have to negotiate new rates, or persuade her employer to do any proposed projects; some full-time employees do have to convince their employers to explore distinct strategy, however, even if they don’t execute on an employee’s suggestions the employees still gets paid unless she gets fired. An employer can just tell a consultant that the company will not be pursuing such suggestions, and the consultant wont get paid.

As a consultant I have found that my communication skills must be at their best, for if you don’t close new clients you don’t eat. The advantage is that I get more talking practice, and I only get better for it. I have worked as an employee in organizations where the pressure is not always on to make new suggestions and persuade people to whom I answer to authorize their execution; however, if I have to look for a new job, I am just as pressured. I enhance my communication skills by memorizing my responses to typical interviewing questions and objections even while I am employed.

In an economic environment that is deteriorated by a 8.1% unemployment rate, full-time employees should be just as persuasive and articulate as a consultant. Working individuals should have their lines memorized and prospecting materials – resume, cover letter, networks – updated and ready to be distributed if continued employment is not promised due to impending layoffs or a termination.