Selling yourself should be easy. It’s a product you’re passionate, knowledgeable and excited about, plus you’ve got a personal stake in closing the deal. So, why do so many sales professionals forget the fundamentals when it’s time to sell themselves in an interview?
These lessons will sound familiar to anyone working in sales, but if you stick to them you’ll be ready to nail your next sales interview.
Know Your Numbers
Success in a sales interview relies on convincing the hiring manager that you can consistently add value. Specific numbers will always carry more weight than general statements, so make sure you know yours.
This will be obvious to anyone that’s been asked about quota attainment or their biggest deals, but those only tell half of the story. What percentage of your current team hit quota? How long does it take you to close a deal? How much of your quota was net new business? These are just a few of the data points you can use to paint a picture of how you can add value to an organization.
Do Your Homework
The more you know about a prospect, the better you can position your product. The same rule applies when positioning yourself in an interview. You’ll never know everything, but you’re missing an opportunity if you don’t try to learn everything you can.
Visiting the company website should be standard operating procedure before a job interview. Check the news section for recent changes to the company or signs of growth. View the product offerings and consider booking a demo to get a close up view of what you’ll be selling. Check out your hiring manager on LinkedIN to look for common career touchpoints.
Ask Great Questions
As I mentioned earlier, you can’t know everything. It’s true on a sales call and in an interview. What makes a great sales professional is the ability to fill in blanks by asking great questions. When you’ll get to ask them depends on the structure of the interview, but don’t let the opportunity pass you by.
What’s the biggest challenge you face in the market today? What defines the most successful members of your sales team? What do you see as my biggest strengths/weaknesses? Why are you hiring for this position now? These are just a few of the questions you can have in your back pocket to keep the conversation going.
Remember, a sales interview is a presentation and you’re the product. You’re showing off yourself and your skills simultaneously, so stick to the things that made you successful in the first place.