After receiving that expected phone call to announce that you have been selected for interview, for the sales job of your dreams, firstly you should take pride in the simple fact that you have already beaten a lot of applicants and the company has already handpicked you from a bunch of eager candidates. But you still have a long way ahead of you. The interview is the first step of the process and the starting point for the real sale, and in this opportunity you are going to sell the most valuable asset that you possess, yourself. So, make sure you put in the preparation and effort to close your most important sale to date.
To achieve this ultimate goal and succeed in a job sales interview, follow the sales techniques you use on a daily basis:
Research: If you were going to approach a sale, you wouldn't attempt it without doing some background research to ensure you understand your prospect. This should be no different when going for an interview. The first thing you have to do is to research the company you are interviewing for, this includes their website, social media channels and their current competitors in the market. Take in all the information about the company’s corporate culture and the key words they use so you can talk to the panel in the same terms. Also read the job description carefully. Highlight those aspects that would be new to you and underline the aspects that you are fully familiar with and prepare examples of past experiences and accomplishments that demonstrate those aspects required.
Dress code: No matter how cliché could sound, the first impression that you give to the interviewers is the one that counts. So an impeccable dress code is essential. Remember that you are the brand and you should be able to deliver it in the most professional way.
Prepare: Although it could seem quite easy to talk about your experience and competencies, you need to be prepared to articulate your sales figures, KPI’s and previous achievements, in order to explain them with confidence. You have to select within the range of your capabilities, the ones that are most likely to capture the interest of your panel. It is important to understand what the employer is looking for, so that you can sell in the skills you have. Prepare an example for every key aspect of the role and the challenges you have come across in your career; always keep in mind that the facts speak by themselves.
When working on examples to demonstrate your competencies, use the SOAR answer model.
Sales technique: Winning the interview is the same as winning a sale from a potential prospect. If you are unable to sell yourself at interview it is most likely that the employer will not believe that you will be able to sell their products or services. One of the biggest blunders at an interview for a sales role, is the candidate’s lack of ability to articulate their how they structure a sale. If you have been successful at selling you will understand what a sales structure is and be able to articulate this when asked.
Close the Sale: Finally as a successful sales person you will always be closing the sales so before you finish the interview let the interviewer know how much you want the position and the benefits they will receive by hiring you instead of your competitors.
• A good exercise you can do is to imagine that you are part of the panel, and then ask yourself: Would you hire you? What are the strengths you identify in your response? What are the opportunity areas? Work on them so you can maximize your skills and minimize your weaknesses.
• If you have no previous sales experience, identify skills and specific accomplishes you have achieved in other areas that would make you a perfect candidate for the position. Think creatively about your background and emphasize your successes in all the examples.