Here’s 3 ways to get a sales job in one of my companies:
1. Do your research before the first interview.
2. Prepare at least 20 questions to ask at the first interview.
3. Avoid saying “I believe everything happens for a reason.”
See? It’s that easy! So why am I constantly meeting people who can’t get these three simple things right?
Let me explain. One of my companies is growing fast and we’ve needed to hire more salespeople to meet the demand.
I’m really picky and brief the recruitment agencies rigorously so they shouldn’t waste my time by sending the wrong people for interview, but I suspect they must all be hard of hearing or unable to read.
Exactly 50% of the people I’ve interviewed this year – experienced salespeople! – have failed to do any research into what we do and who are our customers.
While, of course, I always explain what we’re about at the first interview, I would expect a salesperson to have done his or her homework so that they would know what I’m talking about. I believe they should be ahead of me when it comes to understanding my company, its products and its position in the marketplace. It would make me feel like they cared about the job!
So I explain all about us and sell the job to the applicant. Before wrapping up the interview, I always ask them what questions they have for me.
I love it when they whip out a prepared list of questions. It tells me they have done their research and have thought a bit about the job. It’s also a chance for them to demonstrate their probing skills.
So it’s heart breaking when 35% of candidates don’t bother. They all rely on the same answer to my question, “No, you’ve told me everything I need to know.” Maybe they’re just politely saying they don’t want the job. But 35% in a recession?
When we get to the part where I ask them to tell me something about what’s happened in the past and to flesh out their CV, I hate it when they say, “I believe everything happens for a reason.”
No it doesn’t. You’re an experienced salesperson. Nothing happens until you make it happen.
You create dreams, change lives, make things better for people. You don’t just sit in the office waiting for the phone to ring and an order to drop into your lap.
Being pro-active is the point of being a salesperson. If things (sales) happened for a reason, we wouldn’t need salespeople. Customers would be flocking to enjoy what we do, never thinking about time, money or convenience.
So please, next time I’m hiring, do yourself a favour and do some research, ask some questions and tell me how you think you can make things happen. Just 3 little things that may help you get the job.
Keith Wymer is Sales Director of Holborn Training Ltd, famous for using the Pitman method on its Executive PA course, legal secretarial course, bookkeeping courses etc.
Learn more at www.holborntraining.co.uk or search for Keith Wymer at www.amazon.co.uk.