Applying for a sales job is not easy. You will be responsible for selling the products of a company, and the organization’s growth will directly depend on the salesperson’s performance. This is why companies are very particular when hiring salespeople. If you want to crack the interview with ease, then you have to prepare yourself in a unique manner. This is because sales interviews are not like any other interviews.
The employers will want to know more about you than your educational qualifications, and your professional experience will depend on how many deals you have successfully closed in the past.
Moreover, the biggest challenge here is the ability to sell yourself. Because if you are unable to convince your prospective employer about why they should hire you, how will you convince the clients to buy the company’s products? So yes, you need all the help you can get when you appear for the interview, and here are some salesman interview tips to help you with.
Tips To Help You Perform Better At a Sales Job Interview
Unlike other jobs, you are going to be evaluated based on your performance during the interview itself. Here are some tips to help you crack it.
1. Striking a Conversation
This might seem intimidating at first, but striking up a conversation with your employer during the interview can make the process a lot easier. Wait for them to ask you questions, and you will also detect cues where the hiring managers will encourage you to talk. Take those opportunities and express yourself because this is how you will also have to speak to the clients.
Your employers will not just hear the answers to those questions but also see how well you communicate. You will also get an idea about who you are dealing with, which will help you navigate the rest of the interview.
2. Do Not Speak About the Salary Too Early
While salesperson interviews are meant to sell yourself, and it is a given that you should not sell yourself short, it is still not a good idea to start speaking about salary too early. It will just give the impression to your employer that you are in it for the money alone. If the employer feels you have the potential to make it big as a salesperson for the company, then they will themselves speak to you about your basic pay, commissions, and other perks.
For the right candidate, the salary hike can be as much as 40% compared to their previous job. However, you need to earn it, and it is best to wait for the later part of the interview for it.
3. Show Your Ability to Solve Problems
As a salesperson, you need to show that you can solve problems that are impediments to selling the products and services that the company has to offer. You should show that you are not just able to attract new customers but also retain old ones.
In addition, you will develop strategies that will help you beat your rivals and come out on top amidst the stiff competition. It would be best if you tried to convey that you are aware of the different strategies it takes to make a successful sales pitch, and researching them in advance can work in your favor.
4. Be Prepared to Discuss Your Sales History
Your prospective employer will be very interested to know about what you have sold before and how it has resulted in the growth of your erstwhile company. So be prepared to talk about who your previous clients were and how successful you were in meeting your targets.
Were your clients successful with the products and services, and what strategies did you apply to prevent them from going to your rival companies. It is vital that you remain honest and upfront about your sales figures at this point.
5. Talk About Your Plan of Action
You must convey to your prospective employers what plan of action you follow to bring in clients. You can prepare a pitch or have a plan of action in place that you usually use, and you can customize those ideas based on the profile you are applying for.
Show your boss what plans you have in mind to drive the sales up between the first thirty and ninety days of your job. It will also help you showcase that you have a method in place and how you prioritize your tasks.
Tips to Help You Answer Sales Job Interview Questions
There are specific common questions that are asked during sales job interviews, and although they come across as quite clichéd, you would do well to prepare for them well in advance. This is because all the applicants will be asked similar questions to a large extent, and you need to perform better than them to land the job.
However, no matter how much you prepare for the interview, a lot will depend on your instincts and manner of handling questions. Here are some sales interview tips to help you.
1. Preparing for Common Questions
You might think of concentrating more on the difficult questions you can be faced with during an interview, but you will be amazed to find that it is the easier and the more common questions that are somehow trickier to answer. Questions like your strengths as a salesperson or why you want to make it big in the sales industry need an in-depth evaluation of yourself as a sales professional.
Be prepared to face and answer these questions by preparing well in advance. Fumbling in front of the interviewers while answering these fundamental questions about yourself would have an adverse effect. You should also prepare an answer for common questions like “How would you sell this pen?“
2. Talking About Ethical Values
Many large corporations today are mindful of their corporate social responsibilities and aware of their impact on the environment. Hence, they also want employees who share these visions and will not resort to unethical or detrimental means to make a sale.
Hence, you might be asked questions like what are the values of a salesperson, or how far would you go to make a sale. These questions are designed to test your sales acumen but also who you are as a person. It is important to have values, and organizations cherish an ethical workforce.
3. Carry Proof of Your Achievements
While it is not essential to carry actual awards and certificates to your interview, you can carry your portfolio listing all the critical milestones in your career. If you have ever made an exponential sale or won accolades for the highest sales made in a quarter, then you should mention it to your prospective employers when they ask about your achievements.
Of course, the highest achievement for any salesperson is to meet targets regularly, and even if you are relatively new to the industry and have not won any major accolades, even this would be enough for your prospective employer.
4. Ask Pertinent Questions
You must not just answer but also ask pertinent questions during your sales interview that can help you come up with better responses. You can ask them about:
- the structure of the sales team,
- how flexible can you be,
- can you rely on your own decisions while making a sale,
- how many salespersons in the team manage to hit the target and,
- What are some of the recurring problems that the sales team faces while selling certain products
- or services of the company and so forth?
Bonus Read: The Best Questions To Ask An Interviewer.
5. Show That You Have Contacts
It is vital to show your prospective employers that you have enough contacts and a database that you can use to sell the products. Even if you are new to sales and this is one of your first job interviews, you still must be able to provide a small list of potential clients, who could also be your friends and family, provided the products and services cater to them.
Having a list of contacts shows that you also know enough people in the industry, and this will bolster your employer’s confidence in you. You must also be prepared to answer how you got your list of contacts if asked.
Doing well in a sales job interview is not tough- you have to have your eye on the target, quite literally! Treat the interview as another sales meeting, where you have to sell your skills. Showcase the right amount of confidence and humility, as this is precisely what you would need while dealing with a new client.
It is imperative to research the company and get a thorough idea of the products and services they sell, and you can come up with ideas to sell them even better. What you need to do at this point is to show that you are focused and driven, and all will be well.