My advice to anyone in sales who is going to interview for a sales role…don’t overthink what you are doing, don’t overthink the “interview process”. You are a skilled sales professional. This is not an interview…it is a sales call. No different than the thousands of sales calls that you have made in your career. Whether it is in person or on the phone, it is a sales call, not a sales interview. Only, you are not selling your product or service…you are selling YOU!
As a company, AllSearch has been recruiting and placing skilled sales professionals all over the country for the past 15 years. We have placed thousands of Sales Professionals all over the country. I have also hired countless sales related professionals here internally at AllSearch. When I offer up advice on the hiring process, I try to avoid just throwing out random opinions. Instead, I base my guidance and advice off my own personal experience as a sales hiring manager, or from the feedback that I have gathered from hundreds of sales hiring managers, all over the country, working at companies of all sizes.
Imagine that this company, this hiring manager, is your #1 sales prospect. But instead of selling your product or service, you are selling YOU!
5 Quick Tips
Here are 5 Quick Tips to consider as you approach your next interview for your next great Sales position:
#1 – Direct Follow Up – After Your Interview
- Don’t wait for the company to contact you again. You want this job? You want to close this sale? Be aggressive!
- Many times, especially in a Sales interview, this is a test. If you aren’t aggressive to follow up on your own interview, or a job you want…they will consider this as a sign that you also are not aggressive when it comes time to closing sales.
- Again, think of the hiring manager as your sales prospect.
#2 – Speed of Process – Time Kills Deals
- If offered multiple days for an interview, choose the earliest possible day and time. Why wait and let a better candidate sneak in and steal this job from you?
- If asked to follow up…and this this could be to provide references, this could to set up a next meeting, this could be to get more info on your sales numbers…DO IT INSTANTLY! Again…a test of your sales skills and your follow up skills.
- Also, consider this a test. This is something we hear often. A hiring manager will interview a candidate. They will end the interview by telling the candidate to take a few days, think about if they are interested in this job and company, and then get back to them within a few days if they are. This is often a test. The hiring manager wants to see how interested you are, how aggressive you are, how are your follow up and closing skills. If you want this job…DO NOT TAKE THE FEW DAYS OF TIME. Call that hiring manager back the very next morning. Tell them that you don’t need a few days. You already know that this is a great job, you are very interested, and what do you need to do to land this position.
#3 – Commit to the Role & Company, Show Passion!
- There are so many times that I hear of a hiring manager ultimately hiring a lesser skilled candidate over a more skilled candidate…based on the fact that the lesser skilled candidate simply showed more passion and interest in their company.
- Job seekers, take note. By going “all in” on a company that you really want to work for, you are NOT losing your bargaining power. In fact, you are making yourself even more desirable to that company!
- At the end of the day, a hiring manager wants to hire someone who really wants the job. They will happily pass on the extremely talented candidate that is just “playing the field” or “kicking the tires” on this job.
#4 – Thank Everyone
- If sending a thank you would help close a huge sale that would earn you a giant commission, wouldn’t you do the same to land a dream job and a nice pay raise?
- In today’s world, VERY few professional candidates take this step. Surprising, I know, but very true.
- Using e-mail to send these is fine. But if you really want to make an impact with your “prospect” (hiring manager), write a hand written thank you note and put it in the mail. Nothing impresses them more.
#5 – Close!
- This is a no brainer. The top trait a skilled sales professional can have is the ability to close a sales. If you can’t CLOSE the sale, you bring in no revenue to the company…no matter how many sales calls you make or relationships you build.
- So show them that you can close…at the end of each interview, CLOSE on the next step. Ask for the next interview, ask them for the offer. Close them on why they should hire YOU!
You have to remember that in a Job Search, especially a Sales Career search, the way you handle yourself in the pre & post interview process is as important as how you handle yourself in the actual face to face interview. And it may be even more important than your actual resume and sales numbers!
By Jason Connors, Co-Founder of AllSearch Professional Staffing – National Search Firm focused on placing skilled Sales Professionals in North America since 2002.