One of the questions applicants for a sales/marketing role should expect to be asked at interview is whether they can sell, and what sales strategies and techniques they use.
If you’ll be going for a sales/marketing interview anytime soon, be prepared to pitch a product or service, even though you don’t know what you will be asked to sell.
You might be asked to sell the interviewer a pen, a pencil, a stapler, an apple or some other object. As with other hypothetical questions, there will be no right answer, but the employer will be interested in the sales process that you follow, your verbal communication skills, and your enthusiasm and creativity.
Here are a few tips to be at your best if you are asked to sell anything:
Be positive and enthusiastic
Make sure that you are positive and excited about the product as you introduce it. You might say something like “I am so excited to tell you about how this pen can help you to write in a legible, attractive and efficient manner.” The nonverbal elements of your presentation will be as critical as your words, so make sure you pitch the product with an enthusiastic voice and facial expressions.
Emphasize the features the interviewer will value
For example, you might say “To help me to understand better how my product might help you, I would love to learn more about how you use a pen during your daily routine. When do you rely most on a pen during the day? When was the last time you used a pen? What was satisfying about the experience? What was lacking or frustrating?”
Then you can play off the interviewer’s answer to emphasize some features of your pen that might help them with their activities.
Be ready to sell
Some interviewers may not play along with your effort to assess their preferences. So be ready to sell the product without their input.
Emphasize features of the product and benefits that the customer will derive from owning and using it. Think about your own experience with the product and the likely experience of other users.
Probe for reservations
Eliciting and overcoming objections to a product is a critical element of the sales process. After making some statements about the benefit of the product, check back with the interviewer to determine if they have any concerns that would stand in the way of a purchase.
If the interviewer mentions something like the cost, then counter with a statement such as “I have been authorized to provide you with a 20% discount if you order three cases or more of our pens and we have a money back satisfaction guarantee.”
Make an attempt to close
Salespeople who are willing an effective closers are in the highest demand. Don’t hesitate to ask the interviewer for her business at the end of your presentation. Make an enthusiastic final statement that includes a request to serve the customer.
For example, “I would love to be your preferred provider for the highest quality pens. I will work hard to justify the confidence that you would place in me and our product and make sure you are thoroughly satisfied with the product. Can we move forward with your first order?”
Interviewers won’t expect you to be 100% factually correct when coming up with an answer on the spot, so feel free to be creative with your response as long as your assertions are plausible and delivered convincingly.
Remember that confidence about the quality of your product is fundamental to effective sales.
Were these tips helpful? Let us know in the comments!