Your First Sales Job: A Trip to the Past, Present, & Future
An acquaintance of mine recently shared about her first ever sales job interview. The meeting was scheduled outside the upscale home furnishing store chain at the local mall. After the nicitese and opening questions, she was asked to sell the interviewer the lovely, yet dusty ficus next to the table at which they were seated. Stumbling over words, and grasping at anything that sounded remotely professional, she managed to “sell” the ficus. And land the job. I am sure we all have a story about our first sales job interview. Some dramatic, some embarrassing and some triumphant. And I hope we can all agree that our technique and knowledge have grown and refined over the years.
A sales technique or selling method is used by a salesperson or sales team to create revenue and help sell more effectively. The technique is often refined through trial and error based on past experiences. Understanding your selling methods is vital when interviewing for a sales position. When asked questions about your sales technique, be clear and concise. But, also be honest if you are open to learning and adapting. Technique isn’t one-size-fits-all. The right company will appreciate your selling methods and view them as an asset. But will also see areas that they can offer you for improvement. Before you sit down with a hiring manager or for a final interview with the boss, ask yourself a few of these questions to prepare. These seven questions will get you thinking about your past, present and future sales techniques.
- Can you tell me about any new management theories or approaches that have intrigued you in the past year? Tell me about any you have recently investigated in some depth. What was of particular interest to you in these theories? What did you learn?
- Describe the most challenging sale you ever made. How did you win their business?
- Describe three or four methods you use in scouring new business. Could you tell me about a lead that you opened up recently?
- In your opinion, what is the major reason that a customer hesitates to buy? How do you eliminate that hesitation?
- Now that you know more about the company/position, what traits or characteristics do you possess that would help make you successful here?
- Two people of essentially equal talent join the same company about the same time. What do you think will determine which of the two will be most successful?
- What about sales appeals to you?