two sales candidates waiting for an interview

How to apply for a sales function

You have an introductory meeting for a sales position. This job is now at your fingertips and it is up to you to ensure that you issue your business card. We give you some simple tips and advice regarding your preparation for the interview. The most important thing to remember is; approach the conversation as if it were a sales conversation - the product you are selling is you! Do not think you can "hang" a conversation, only good preparation leads to the intended result. Whether this is your dream job or a role for which you are not yet sure whether you want it, you should always prepare well and have the goal of being shortlisted for the position. You can always refuse the job, but you never want to leave a bad first impression.

Your preparation

  1. Know who you will have the conversation with. Study the LinkedIn page of your conversation partner (s). Perhaps you know the same people or companies and it is useful to mention that during your interview.
  2. Make sure you know the time of the conversation and the location where the conversation takes place.
  3. Go through the website of the organization thoroughly to get a good feel for the products, services, culture and how the organization positions itself in the market. Read the reviews, the latest news and company reviews on Glassdoor to get an idea of ​​how (former) employees have experienced the company.
  4. Read the job description thoroughly and make sure you understand very well what your specific tasks and responsibilities are going to be.
  5. Ask your Recruitment Consultant why he / she nominated you and why you fit in well with this position. There may also be some doubts. Then that is good to know so that you can refute this.
  6. Write down the arguments why you think you are suitable for this specific role and substantiate it with success stories.
  7. Also note the possible reasons why you may not be the "ideal" candidate, and at the same time consider what you are compensating for.
  8. Prepare 5 for thoughtful and relevant questions you want to ask during the conversation. Write it down in a notebook. This way you show that you have prepared yourself. It is a doer when, at the end of the conversation, you are asked if you have any questions, you say no, but you can not show that you did at the beginning of the conversation and were already answered. IMPORTANT: know the difference between a relevant / interesting question and an inappropriate question. For example: Which challenges do you face in this role in the first six months? Versus: How soon can I get promotion?
  9. Know your track record: What was your target in your last 2-3 roles? What percentage of the target have you achieved? What percentage was the acquisition of new sales / customers? How does that relate to your colleagues in the same role? Were you responsible for generating your own leads? Note: your conversation partner is looking for proof that you are an excellent sales professional, who sets goals, achieves and exceeds goals. Prepare well for this. If you bring documentation or testimonial that reinforces your story, that is worth a lot.

Do's and don'ts

  1. Do not be late for your conversation. A file is never a good excuse (you look unprepared and sales professionals are NEVER unprepared).
  2. Make sure you have 15 minutes before the call at the location, but walk into the office 5 minutes before your appointment.
  3. If your conversation partner is late, use this time to find out more about the company. Try to start a conversation with the receptionist. He or she will also be asked to provide feedback on you. Otherwise read the magazines or the internal newsletters that are at the reception. See how people within the company interact with you or each other; be friendly to the receptionist and not on your phone.

You're probably nervous and that's fine. In fact, you have to be nervous! If you have too much self-confidence, you are probably not well prepared and you probably think too lightly about the conversation. Take a deep breath, hold a smile on your face and do not let the nerves burden you too much.

Good luck and a lot with your conversation!