If you’re looking for a job that is challenging and very rewarding, sales is going to fulfill both of those things. It’s a tough world trying to sell something to someone, especially when they 1) definitely don’t want it or 2) have no idea they want it. Your job? Make them feel like they can’t live without it. I’m not going to lie, sometimes working in the sales department will make you want to cry. (I only speak from experience.) But come payday, you’ll be thanking the universe and all those stars that you landed this job. First, you’ve got to make it through the interview. Let’s go over some tactics to make you stand out to your potential employer!
Here’s some questions I remember getting asked during my first sales job interview. Eight sales skills you should know to impress your customers – and your employer.
What interests you most about this position in the sales department?
This is your generic interview question adapted for sales. Basically, why did you apply to this job and why do you think you’re someone to be considered. If you have sales experience and love to travel and you’re applying to a travel agency, then the obvious answer would be something like: The opportunity to travel and use my expertise in sales is a winning combination for me. I love a challenge and I love to learn which makes this company a prime place of employment.
How do you feel about making cold calls?
Most people don’t love making cold calls. I mean, do you like receiving cold calls? But you don’t want to say this. So think about the things that you truly do appreciate about spending time on the phone with these customers. Some answers could be: I enjoy making cold calls because it offers me the opportunity to show the product to someone who wouldn’t have normally been exposed to it. Or, I definitely don’t mind making cold calls, but I would prefer to begin with a generated lead to get my feet wet.
What motivates you?
Does money motivate you? Are you competitive? Do you like to learn? Like a challenge? For me, it was money. I’m highly motivated by money and this was a good thing in the eyes of my employer. The harder and better I work – the more money I would make. If you’re competitive and like to be at the top of the list all the time, say that. In the sales department these are sought after qualities because it means you’re driven to work hard.
How do you handle objections?
Even without sales experience you’ve probably had to counter some objections in your life. Maybe you wanted to do something one way for a group presentation in school and you had to overcome the objections of your classmates. In sales, objections shouldn’t be seen as a negative thing – it means the potential customer is at the very least interested in learning a little more about what you have to offer. Think of a time you successfully overcame an objection and reference it.
What about rejection?
We’ve all been there. At some point in your life you’ve been rejected. How did you handle it? I’m not talking about being rejected by a woeful lover, that’s a little different than being told “no, I don’t want to buy your energy saving windows”. It’s possible at the job you have now you offered up an idea to your co-workers or employer and they shot it down. Did you continue to pursue it? Or, did you give up right away and crawl under your desk to weep? Trust me when I say you’ll be yelled at, cursed at, hung up on and told you’re scum (well, this happened to me and others I know at least). You have to be able to handle this gracefully and with professionalism. Tell your future employer that you won’t give up until you feel like the time and resources being spent to convince the customer are no longer profitable for the company.
What is your favorite thing about sales?
You: “I prefer working in sales over any other department because there’s always room to move up. With commission based plans the money you can make is endless which motivates me to work the hardest and be the best I can be.” You can change this to fit your needs, but make sure you address what your favorite thing is, why it’s your favorite and how it’s going to benefit the company.
Sell me this pen.
This “question” will most certainly be a part of your interview. It may not be about a pen, but the interviewer will more than likely have you role play a sale with them. They want to see you in action, hear how you overcome objections, see how personable you can be, your tone of voice, your body language and if you’re methods are effective. Don’t worry if you’ve never been in sales before, just be yourself, smile and try your best. They will be able to see through your lack of training and know that you’ll be a good fit with a little bit of guidance. Become a better sales person by taking this sales skills online course.
What do you consider the key to closing a sale?
Closing a sale is making the sale. When you’re getting close to a sale, you’ll feel it. So what do you do to ensure you seal the deal?
Recognize the verbal and non-verbal cues of a potential buyer
After making the sale – stop selling. Don’t beat a dead horse.
Have a reservoir of alternative closing techniques. Remember, being in sales is like being a chameleon on the phone (or in person). You need to match the tone and desires of your potential client.
Don’t try to close the deal too early. Wait for the appropriate time or you’ll sound too pushy and it probably won’t be received well.
To prepare yourself even further, learn what seven skills you need to get that sales wow factor.