It's not always easy when you're interviewing for a sales job. Before you make it to the interview phase of the hiring process, you will need to quantify your skills in your resume i.e. Increased sales volume 28% year over year, contributing to unprecedented growth. You will also need to write a compelling cover letter that highlights your sales achievements, qualifications, and experience.
In addition, it is important to take the time to carefully research the company and its products and/or services. Candidates for sales positions need to be sure they are comfortable selling the product or service the company is marketing because if you wouldn't buy it, you're going to have difficulty selling it.
It's also important to be able to use the job interview to convincingly sell your most important product - yourself - to an employer who is well-versed in sales strategies.
Kenneth Sundheim, President of sales and marketing search firm KAS Placement, shares his tips on how to successfully get hired for a sales job.
Sales Job Interview Tips
Would you buy it? Prior to interviewing for sales job, always ask yourself if you would buy the product or service. In sales just as in life, you can't sell something that you don't believe in. Also, never take a sales job if you don't believe in the marketing department (if applicable) or the current marketing structure. A poorly written, poorly programmed website makes for a hard sale… especially if your competitors have new ones.
Be prepared for rejection. Understand that in sales, just like in job searching there is going to be rejection. This point is especially aimed at the younger employment seeker who is thinking about a career in sales. If you want to do sales, do it. Once you get past your first few rejections and your first few botched cold-calls, it becomes second nature. When younger, I was exceedingly sensitive and would often get down on myself when I made an ill-fated sales call. Don’t let shyness or fear of rejection stop you from entering the field. It’s an amazing way to begin your career.
Always be closing. Remember that sales employers always want somebody who has what is most commonly referred to as a "consultative selling" approach. More or less, the term refers to a sales style that aims to uncover the client's needs as opposed to the infamous sales style portrayed in the film Glengarry Glen Ross which most famously known for the mentality that, regardless of what the client wants or is best for them, close the deal. To express this unethical sales methodology in both an entertaining and theatrical manner, playwright David Mamet scripted the infamous "A.B.C." or always be closing" line.
The employer is your partner. Salary negotiation is the #1 most difficult aspect of the job search for many applicants in the sales and marketing arena. If you are not trained at negotiation, use what I refer to as the "work with" method. This means having the mentality that the employer is your partner, not your adversary and, together your job is to work towards a solution that will have you employed by the firm. If you think of negotiation in the terms of winners and losers, you're going to end up the latter.
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