It amazes me how many great sales people struggle to perform at interview. These individuals are more often than not carving out successful careers selling a variety of products and services but when it comes to an interview and selling themselves they crumble.
If they treated their next interview like a sales meeting I guarantee more success. The interview process when broken down is very similar to any sales process. You source the jobs (sales leads), sending the CV (marketing material) and secure the interview (appointment). The interviewee - well that is your customer and they are seeking to hire a salesperson to solve a problem or help them capitalise on an opportunity. You – well you are the product or service and the potential solution to their problem/opportunity and obviously the seller with the task of communicating this to the customer and helping them see this. You must:
Know your product /service – You have to understand yourself and know your product/service inside out. Know your strengths and weaknesses, your CV including dates, work history, hobbies and education. Identify key achievement and quantifiable data to compliment your duties and responsibilities and tell the story. Identify your USP and what makes you different from your competitors. The only difference is that you have exposure to this product/service all your life and don’t need to bury your head in any technical manual.
Know your customer – Research the company as you would any client. Knowledge is power. Analyse the job specification as this is making your sales job easier. The customer is telling you what they want before they buy and you don’t even have to ask open probing questions.
And Sell – Ok I know selling may not be the buzz word at the minute but it’s all I know. Now all you have to do is what you do best. Tell the interviewee (customer) how your product/service (you) can solve their problem or help them capitalise on their potential opportunities.
If you want help with your CV and Interview skills come to our workshop on 29th September.
Paul Mullan is Director of Measurability. Measurability offers career coaching (Career Direction, CV Design & Interview Coaching) and also offers assessment solutions to organisations to enhance and improve recruitment process and decisions.