Every day sales job offers are being lost because candidates are failing to prepare properly for their sales interview. When looking for a job in sales, you, as a salesperson, really have to sell yourself as someone who has real sales talent. If you can’t sell yourself, how can you sell the company’s products or services?
Here are some tips that may help you give a winning sales performance about you – the product and service you are selling – to the hiring manager in a sales interview.
Prior to the Interview
- Do research about the company via the Internet — visit the company’s website.
- Have a typed list of 5-10 questions that you are prepared to ask the hiring manager or other people who may be involved in your interview experience.
- Organize your sales accomplishments and be prepared to give specific examples of what you have actually sold and the benefits they provided your company.
The Sales Interview
- Wear a jacket or a suit … it increases your professional first impression.
- Body language is important — develop good eye contact, smile, relax, and be confident.
- Sell yourself. Identify three benefits you provide and how they will help the company.
- Practice the 3 Cs of interviewing: be CALM, be CONFIDENT and be CONVERSATIONAL.
- Talk about accomplishments/results — not about your “activities”.
- Use a pro-active/solution approach — become really involved in the interviewing process — be “fired-up” about yourself and the company.
- Bring a “brag book” about yourself that would include reference letters, achievements and awards, contests won, etc. This provides a great source of proof for your accomplishments – it gives them a reason to believe you.
- Thank the interviewer(s) for his/her time and consideration. Mention what you enjoyed about the interview and ask for some type of commitment before you leave — the next step. You can increase your chances by about 50% by asking for the position.
After the Interview
- Immediately after the interview, send a handwritten note or email to the hiring manager, thanking them for their time.
- If you want the position, follow up by phone within 24-48 hours asking for a second interview. Companies want people with good follow-up skills and you have just shown that!