Imagine the situation: You have beaten off stiff competition and have been short-listed for the Key Account sales job you’ve always wanted. The role is challenging. The company is a leader in its field. What’s more, the package is great and there are excellent promotional opportunities. You’re really excited about your prospects!
You’re minutes away from jumping that last hurdle to success: that final interview. You’re well prepared; even better than the last time. You’ve thoroughly researched the company and have Googled Jim, the Sales Director, who will now join the interview panel for the first time. Jim is key; because he’ll make the final decision. After all, you don’t want to leave anything to chance!
You mentally affirm how good you are and that your sales skills got you on the shortlist. You think “I’m a winner; I can’t loose”
In you go………
Mind games commence: “Have I thought about everything that might come up? What will the Sales Director really look for from me? What’s he passionate about? What hot buttons do I need to press? Why didn’t I think about this stuff before this?”, Too late. Panic sets in!
The interview doesn’t go well. Your focus was on demonstrating your charisma, while Jim’s was on your fit, your skills and on what you can actually deliver. After all, Jim is also a salesman and he can spot waffle a mile off! In your attempts to talk your way into the job, you’ve missed all Jim’s signals.
Sure, you did some good advance preparation, but what else could you have done to land the business? Well, for starters, you could have flipped yourself over to Jim’s side of the fence to see things more from his perspective. Pre-interview you should have mentally asked and answered those questions that Jim would want you to address:
· “These are our top accounts; can I really see him getting on with them?”
· “I need this guy to hit the ground running; has he demonstrated the ability to self manage and generate new business?”
· “Does he listen well and understand the significance of some of my questions; what might he miss in customer conversations?
As in all sales, the next time you have to sell yourself, make sure you concentrate on the right things:
· Adopt the buyer’s perspective and anticipate what they might actually want
· Predict their likely questions and pre-plan optimal replies
· Really listen to what your being asked and clarify to truly understand
· Watch out for buyer signals and tailor your tactics accordingly
· Deal properly with their “So What factor” and ensure your responses are meaty and relevant
The next time you have to make an important pitch ask yourself “did I deal with the So What factor?” Put yourself in the other person’s shoes and address the key question “What will they look for from me?”. In devising your answers always think: ‘so what’?
“Seek first to understand, and then to be understood”
For more information on how you can find ways “To fit in and stand out” at interviews or at sales calls see below
Director Harvest Resources
(01) 497 4622