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The Sales Buzz Issue 49-Sales job interview tips for new job success
October 27, 2009

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In this Issue of The Sales Buzz

Sales Job Interview Tips

Sales job interview tips is for anyone considering changing jobs, has a sales interview scheduled, or wants to know a possible reason they failed their last interview. There is a very common mistake sales people make when preparing for job interviews and in the actual interview with a potential employer. Make sure you are not making this one error that could cost you the job without you knowing what you have done. See sales job interview tips...

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Sales Job Interview Tips

These sales job interview tips are for anyone thinking of changing jobs, has an interview planned, or preparing for job interviews.

I’ve recently been interviewing to recruit field sales staff for new business sales. Some of the candidates blew any chance of success as soon as I asked interview questions on their experience and sales skills. You can learn from their mistakes.

There was one mistake that many of the interviewees made and they were not even aware they were making it. Even some of the very experienced candidates, that I would have expected to know better, made this fundamental error and it meant they were unsuccessful.

So what’s this common mistake

The error they made was that they didn’t understand the massive difference between sales people that hunt and prospect for new business, and sales people that farm existing customers and repeat sales.

I clearly explained throughout the selection process that the job interview was for a position that looked for, and sold to, new customers. No account management, no repeat business. You prospect, you close the deal, you pass that account to someone else, and you move on to the next sales prospect.

Use these sales interview tips to your advantage

Before you prepare for a sales job interview make sure you know whether the role is for new business or account management. There are some roles that combine both new business sales and repeat sales or account management. The job interview tip is to find out how much of each type of sale will make up the sales activity.

Think of it as a sliding scale from pure account management at one end, to only new business sales at the other. Then get an accurate picture of where the sales job is on this scale before you prepare for your job interview.

Why some people fail at sales job interviews

Some of the applicants I recently interviewed knew I was looking for a new business sales person, but still gave me the wrong answers to the interview questions.

I can only assume that they didn’t know there was a difference between the two types of sales, and thought selling was selling.

I know people outside of sales think that all types of sales are the same, but for experienced sales people to make such a mistake is really amateurish.

Use these sales interview tips:

Learn the difference between Hunting - New business sales, and Farming – Gaining repeat sales from existing customers.

Think about what evidence you would present in a sales job interview for both roles.

Farming – Existing customers and account management

In a sales job interview you would want to be seen as a relationship builder. Someone that has great people skills, isn’t too pushy, and has the temperament for dealing with negative issues and then making a sale.

Good interview preparation would be to identify accounts that you have grown and print out brief information to prove your success.

When answering interview questions you want to prove your ability to get repeat sales and leave customers feeling good about dealing with you.

Hunting – New business sales

In a sales job interview for a new business role you want to show your resilience, persistence, and sales closing skills. The interviewer is looking for self motivation and high levels of prospecting activity.

Your interview preparation should include records of target achievement, bonus, commission, and incentive achievement. In the sales job interview show details of the best new accounts you have signed up and what that meant for your company.

Don’t make the same mistake and lose the job

In your sales job interview show you know the difference between hunting and farming. You can discuss it with the interviewer and they will be impressed that you know the difference.

Give yourself the best chance of success in yours sales job interview and prepare fully for the interview questions so you can present your best evidence.

See more on sales job interview tips and give yourself an advantage over the other candidates.

Short and to the point - Easy to read - Simple to put into action

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The Sales Buzz

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Wishing you the very best with your sales career.

Stephen Craine

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