”Sales people should interview really well surely? After all, isn’t that what they do every day all day – sell themselves?”
Fair question I think (In fact the question came from a colleague of mine who does psychometric testing across all professions)
The truth is, the question is a fair summation of what SHOULD be.
What ACTUALLY happens is a different matter…
- Sales people can forget that it’s an interview and revert to their version of a counselling session
- They can also forget that in order to secure an opportunity to impress the client they first need to impress the interviewer
Here are questions I ask sales interviewees – these questions tell me how serious the prospect is about their career in sales, it tells me how serious they are in investing in themselves for their own development, and it gives me an insight into how they feel about personal development and staying informed – all key attributes to being successful in sales
1. What has the last personal development activity you engaged in, why did you choose that activity and what did you hope to gain from it?
2. When was the last time you attended any formal learning associated with developing your skills in sales? Tell me about what information you picked up there and how you have applied it.
3. How do you ensure you maintain an up to date and working knowledge on sales best practice and sales performance improvement?
4. What was the last thing your learnt that you used to improve your sales performance, by how much did it improve your performance and how did you use what you had learnt?
5. In your next development session to help you further improve your sales performance, what skills or information will you be looking to build on, develop and why?
6. What is you preferred method for continually developing your own sales skills?
7. It’s 1 week to the end of the month and you are behind on target – step by step, tell me what do you do to make sure you bring in your target?
These questions won’t tell you everything – but they will tell you enough and are great questions to screen out the people who are in sales by default, particularly at the start of the sales process.
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