If you’ve ever worked sales, you know that even the most casual encounters can be carefully planned to captivate the buyer — and capture that sale!
But even if you’ve got selling something down to a science, it can still be worrisome when it comes to selling your most valuable asset: yourself!
That’s why today we’re going to look at 6 approaches to seal the deal with the hiring manager at your next sales job interview. Soon you’ll be able to sell so well you’ll wonder why you were ever worried about it in the first place!
Pitch your unique value
You may have heard the term “UVP” in sales. It means “Unique Value Proposition”, and it refers to what sets your product or service apart from its competitors.
Take a moment and consider what YOUR UVP would be.
Are you a B2B expert? Or do you prefer going straight to the end client?
Do you do best when you go out and meet clients face to face, or do you prefer setting up ads and other inroads to bring the clients to you?
Do you relish the risk of make-or-break deals, or do you crush quotas in a more production-focused environment?
Whoever you are, your pitch should describe you specifically. Don’t just describe yourself as a generic salesperson — by honing in on what makes you special you’ll appear more special to recruiters!
Example: “My passion in sales is to help secure early investors for tech startups to help bring big ideas to life.”
Tug on their heartstrings
Marketers know this trick inside and out: if you want to sell a brand, you have to tie it to an emotion.
Think of inspirational ads for giants like Coca-Cola or Nike.
See how they show you a gathering of friends, full of smiles and happy moments, just before they show you the latest flavour of soda. Or how they show you a montage of an athlete putting in the work and, just as they finally cross the finish line, their feeling of victory is tied to a close up shot of branded sneakers.
So when you want to sell “you” as a brand, it can help to find an inspirational angle in your pitch.
Example: “I have been helping traditional artists in my community by selling their crafts across the globe. I want to support the people who raised me and shine a light on our community’s culture.”
Remember that sales is all about speed
It’s not just whether you can close a deal, but whether you can close it quickly.
When discussing your approach to selling, be sure to indicate how you emphasize urgency in the sales cycle.
Some common ways people speed up the selling process are by focusing on the client experience (making it as easy as possible for them to buy), or by juggling multiple leads simultaneously (to avoid delays).
Example: “I believe that in order to expedite a sale, it is important to stay on top of a potential client so they don’t forget or lose focus on the benefits. That’s why I am always sure to follow up after sales meetings, and provide them with simple steps to complete their purchase.”
You’ve got to accentuate the positive
As the song goes: “You’ve got to accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative”
And the same is true with discussing your sales approach.
Sales clients are humans, and humans can be easily embarrassed by our shortcomings. So if you’re pitching a product that is going to make their business more successful, or fix a big problem they currently have, then do just that — focus on the positive outcome, not the less-than-ideal situation the client is currently in.
It’s ok to compare where they are with where they’ll be after buying your product or service, but it’s NOT ok to shame them for being where they are now.
Example: “I avoid discussing ‘pain points’ with potential clients, and instead focus on the positive outcome that I can provide. I find that by discussing how they can solve their problems, instead of discussing the problems themselves, I can keep them much more engaged.”
Show that you want to buy into the company culture
The best deals are the ones where both parties get what they want.
So when you’re asking a potential employer to invest in you, show that you’re invested in them, too!
Discuss how you believe that you will both fit in with and add to their company culture.
In many cases, your industry should be less important than the culture at your specific company. You might be the best at selling cars, but if your team doesn’t help you then you can’t help your team regardless of what they’re selling. You’d be better off selling hot dogs at a baseball game, as long as that environment syncs up with your personality.
Example: “When I was looking at potential companies during my job search, it was important to me to find a business like yours whose company culture aligns with my values and mindset. I believe that I perform best in this type of environment, and that enables me to help my team perform at their best as well.”
Don’t just succeed, exceed!
Never forget that you are trying to make yourself seem exceptional. You need to stand out from the pack; there could be hundreds of other applicants in line for this job.
So don’t focus on how you met quotas, instead talk about how you blew them out of the water.
And more importantly, talk about how you figured out how to go above and beyond. Show your recruiter that you were not only a high performer, but that you understand how to drive higher performance in any sales environment.
Example: “I wanted to go above and beyond when it came to my quotas, and I was able to do so consistently by diversifying my outreach and personalizing my pitch to individual clients. I kept track of what methods worked best in what contexts, and was able to increase my numbers by following the patterns that showed the most promise.”
Sales is one of the most challenging and yet rewarding professions in the world. And as long as there are products and services to sell, there will be salespeople to sell them.
And as long as you are looking for a career in sales, you should take these different approaches to heart! Because the first sale of any job is selling “you” at your interview!