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Sales Interview Notes

Sales Interview Notes

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Published by Mrigendra Singh

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Published by: Mrigendra Singh on Jan 11, 2012
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1.How to focus Imagine the incredible results you¶d have if you and your team really focusedon a consistent basis. You¶d likely«
y y y y y y

contribute more waste less time ramping back up serve customers better (internally and externally) find more customers come up with more ideas plan better

y y y

be less frustrated and stressed help others focus more (by interrupting them less) make more money (for everyone« including you)

Nothing¶s guaranteed, of course. But it¶s a better bet. (And in the long run, you¶ll enjoy more.) If you like these ideas, you might also like the author¶s message on commitment called Cross The Line. Use this link to watch the quick little video. ____________________ 4 ways to knock out the bulk of distractions 1. Establish focus hours with your team (or company-wide) ± chunks of time each day where everyone will allow everyone else to focus (that includes you). No inter-office communications unless it truly can¶t wait. At JustSell, ours are from 9 am ± 11 am and 2 pm ± 4 pm (4 total hours a day). You¶ll make mistakes occasionally and break focus hours but with commitment and reinforcement, everyone will benefit. If you¶re really SalesTough (see below if you don¶t know what this is) in order to minimize outside distractions, let your family and friends know your focus hours (and turn off your cell). 2. Turn off email alerts and commit to checking it at the most minimal level you feel is possible for your particular sales world without having a negative impact on service. If you¶re SalesTough, most of your inbound emails are probably important but still don¶t need attention for at least an hour (if not longer). Be truthful with yourself and set your interval so everyone wins. If you can set only two or three specific times a day to respond to email, do it. (See below for what we learned by checking it only 3 times a day.) Consider having an auto-responder that let¶s people know when you address your email (e.g., "Thanks for your note. I usually check my email three times daily (8:30 am, 11:30 am, 4:30 pm). If you need me immediately, please call my cell/ assistant/ office line.)." 3. Turn off instant messaging services unless your work absolutely requires it to get the job done. Having to phone someone or talk with them live (by visiting them) will make you more aware and respectful of someone else¶s time (and yours). 4. Avoid the web during money hours unless you absolutely need it for your work. The distractions are endlessly wonderful for those who¶d prefer to avoid making things happen

(which of course. Managers: Depending on your team. make others want you as a part of their team? .). isn¶t your goal). More on this topic from others (great stuff)« The Web Shatters Focus. If you like these ideas. If you must open a browser during the money hours (or focus hours). Questions? Email Sam Parker. asking them for ideas on how to improve internal focus and minimize distractions. etc. create a positive buzz about you and your work? 2.g. might be a good first step. do it.. news or email sites. consistently helping people remember the purpose behind what it is you do for customers can help gain commitment to your reasons for focusing. Learn what being SalesTough is. If you¶re looking for a way to encourage people to push it. Rewires Brains by Nicholas Carr (Wired Magazine) ± This one inspired us to start migrating our links out of our posts.take a look at 212. __________ # are you valuable Do your actions« 1. (Why would you want to be anything else?) See what we learned by checking email only 3 times daily. Involving people in a discussion. make sure your home page is something that doesn¶t have the potential to encourage you down destruction distraction road (e. some or all of these ideas might not go over well (we know firsthand). personalized pages. so you can focus. 1 more« If you¶re in an office setting that allows you to face away from distraction (the door or other people ± not customers. Search and discover outside your money hours or at lunch. you might also like the author¶s message on commitment called Cross The Line. Use this link to watch the quick little video. Also. of course). Solitude and Leadership by William Deresiewicz (The American Scholar) ± This one makes us want to be smarter people.

Your level of expertise on your own product/ service and industry (evaluating your personal sales value is the 8th principle of being SalesToughŒ . When you have the opportunity over the next few days. inspiring. Meeting & exceeding activity goals 3. Easier said than done« still needs to be done.) 4. The Fundamentals of Sales Value Many issues contribute to your professional value. The level to which your customers & prospects enjoy working with you Internally (within your company) 1. The fundamentals for salespeople begin with the following: Externally (among your prospects & customers) 1.3. give yourself a little attention by reviewing them and creating an action plan to improve in each area where you feel you should. Your intangible contribution to your team (attitude-based: do others find you helpful. Then. make your employer cringe at the thought of losing you to a competitor? 4. This is what creates true economic and job security ± the value you and your team create for others. How well you and your product/ service help them meet their perceived need 2. etc. Meeting & exceeding sales goals (dollars & units) 2. a pleasure to work with. This is care (what it¶s all about). This is where you want to be ± with those in your company and industry ± and with those to whom you¶re selling. set a reminder to review these four questions at the end of each month. make your customers excited about referring you to their colleagues? You want your actions to scream value without the need for you to say a word.

Write down the ones you find valuable. Memorize them with your team. here are some of our favorites. No leading. and establish rapport. Post them near your phone. but these¶ll get you more than started. It¶s all about sales®. No prompting. Practice them on your drive in or on the way to your next appointment. trust and credibility. Pass them on to your team. The key here« Ask the question and let the prospect/ customer give you their answer. qualify sales opportunities. Just in case you¶ve not had the opportunity to put yours down in writing. ____________________ Information gathering What prompted you/ your company to look into this? What are your expectations/ requirements for this product/ service? . They help you gather information.#Top 30 open ended questions Open-ended questions are one of the most important tools for those who sell (as long as you listen). If you consider yourself a professional. own (absolutely know) a repertoire of powerful openended questions« questions that are answered by more than a simple yes or no« questions where the prospect/ customer gets directly involved in the sales discussion. Use this link to watch the quick little video. You should have several additional questions specific to your industry. No interrupting. you might also like the author¶s message on commitment called Cross The Line. If you like these questions. Print them out.

trust & credibility How did you get involved in«? What kind of challenges are you facing? What¶s the most important priority to you with this? Why? What other issues are important to you? What would you like to see improved? How do you measure that? .What process did you go through to determine your needs? How do you see this happening? What is it that you¶d like to see accomplished? With whom have you had success in the past? With whom have you had difficulties in the past? Can you help me understand that a little better? What does that mean? How does that process work now? What challenges does that process create? What challenges has that created in the past? What are the best things about that process? What other items should we discuss? Qualifying What do you see as the next action steps? What is your timeline for implementing/ purchasing this type of service/ product? What other data points should we know before moving forward? What budget has been established for this? What are your thoughts? Who else is involved in this decision? What could make this no longer a priority? What¶s changed since we last talked? What concerns do you have? Establishing rapport.

____________________ The questions 1. 10. 2. If you¶re in the hunt for a new sales position. If you¶re interviewing candidates. use them as a prep tool and work your way through. (please comment below if you have one to add) If you like these questions. What do you like and dislike about your sales process and why? 4. How many first appointments do you have each week? 3.#sales interview questions nterviewing your next superstar? Looking for your next sales position? Here¶s a list of 31 interview questions in no particular order. When you come out the other side. What do you do personally for your professional development? 8. Tell me about your last three days at work ± beginning to end. you¶ll be completely tuned and ready for action. What are your favorite selling books? 9. what do you see as your primary and secondary roles within a company? . What do you like and dislike about the products or services you¶re selling now and why? 5. What type of sales cycle is most rewarding to you? A long cycle for a big ticket item or a series of smaller. you might also like the author¶s message on commitment called Cross The Line. use what you like and improve what you don¶t. more frequent sales. What attracts you to the industry? 6. What are your long-term professional goals? 7. As a sales professional. Use this link to watch the quick little video.

describe the process you go through to qualify your prospects? 18. What do you see as the key skills in closing? 23. How do you organize a presentation? 20. How do you move forward from a string of rejections? 28. What sales skills do you think are most important to having success in sales? 16. In your current position. How would your present prospects and customers describe you as their sales representative? 24. Describe a situation with a client or prospect where you made a mistake. What would you say your one or two biggest failures or mistakes were? What did you learn from them? .11. where you took a different tack in achieving an objective than was the company standard? 14. Describe a time where a creative approach to meeting an objective didn¶t work and what you did next? 15. What are your top three open-ended questions for initial sales calls? 17. What do you see as the key issues in negotiating? 22. big or small. Describe one or two of the most difficult challenges and/ or rejections you¶ve faced in the past and how you responded? 26. What is the largest group you¶ve presented to (externally/ internally)? 19. how much time would you say you spend directly with prospects and customers throughout the sales day and what specifically do you do with them? 12. Describe a time your company did not deliver on its product or service and how you responded? 25. Describe a couple of instances. What do you like and dislike about presentations and why? 21. In your current sales environment. How did you handle the error? 13. How many rejections do you take in a typical week? 27.

Prospect 2. Build from it.29. How would those with whom you work now. Print it out. Negotiate . Describe a time you led a group of people. Depending on what you sell. ____________________ The sales process Assuming you¶ve identified the features & benefits of your product/ service ± and you¶ve identified and defined your target market ± the sales process begins« 1. don¶t you?) Focus on one area each week or month. Use it as a guide for the in-house sales development of your team or for your personal sales skill development (you do work on your most valuable asset. sales can be distilled to its very simple laws and principles. Here¶s the bottom line for your records ± fluff removed. across all areas of the company. parts of the process may not be needed and some parts might need repeating. What are some of the challenges you see that are facing this industry? 30. While branded selling "systems" and "approaches" serve several purposes (they help differentiate sales books and training material in order to sell them better as well as assist in articulating a message so it¶s easily learned and/ or implemented) the simple laws and principles underlying them all have remained relatively unchanged since the beginning of time. the primary challenges you faced and how you handled them? #sales process defined Sales is rocket science. Send it out. Interview 3. Present 5. Analyze needs 4. describe you and the work you do? 31. And just as rocket science is built from a foundation of physical and mathematical laws and principles.

.6. Close 7. Service & follow-up Throughout the sales process. the salesperson should be continually« y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y positively expectant enthusiastic asking questions listening qualifying the opportunity (for both parties) discovering hot buttons (what¶s in it for them) building rapport establishing trust developing credibility developing a valuable relationship addressing objections planning next action steps confirming understanding asking for referrals seeking additional opportunities to serve & sell evaluating responses & results (positive/ negative) affirming decisions (minimizing buyer¶s remorse) #opening statements Nothing is more important to prospecting (other than actually doing it) than the quality of your opening statement.

opening statements can be prepared and practiced before a sales opportunity is ever pursued. If you sell to businesses. windows of attention are typically slammed shut in less than 10 seconds. be sure to include the emotional benefits to the buyer/ decision maker in addition to the more specific benefits realized by the company (a good buy or product . ____________________ Your opening statement Objective: create immediate interest for further discussion ± engage the prospect (be sure to work through this using pen to paper or fingers to keyboard) What do I sell? Answer this using as few words as possible. Fortunately. you might also like the author¶s message on commitment called Cross The Line. If you like this tool. Remember.In person or over the phone. etc.. They need to be works of art ± compelling to the extreme degree. fluffy corporate communication language. respected. This means you have to maximize the impact of every word. Below are some guidelines and thoughts for creating your opening statement(s) as well as some samples for you to rework into your particular sales world.). and practiced opening statement can launch many sales opportunities for you where a competitor¶s lack of preparation can leave them standing still. syllable. To minimize the importance of preparing a solid opening statement is to potentially short circuit your entire sales effort. industry acronyms. etc. A powerful. Use this link to watch the quick little video. How do my customers benefit when they buy my product/ service? If you sell to consumers. compelling. it¶s likely the people you¶re trying to reach are also being approached by many others each day (competitors of yours and not). (if they exist). include the potential emotional added benefits of being liked. more attractive.g. Avoid words or phrases that mean nothing to outsiders (e. and pause in your lead off statements.

).g.. catching a decision maker without a screen or gatekeeper. for voice mail. delivering the opening statement to a screener or gatekeeper who insists on knowing ³what it is in reference to?´. You¶re looking for several true benefits. and pause. Address each of the following in whatever order seems most appropriate for your particular sales world (just make sure the benefit to your prospect is mentioned within the first 10 seconds and it¶s real« not fluff). y y y y y Who you are Who you¶re with (company name) What you sell (in very simple terms) How your prospect will benefit from your product or service A question to gauge interest of the prospect Keep in mind« y Opening statements aren¶t meant to close a prospect (they¶re meant to get attention and engage someone). catching a decision maker ³on their way out the door´.implementation can be the road to promotion or status within an organization). Now« Build several opening statements for the different scenarios you might face (e. Never leave a misleading or vague voice mail message ± hit them with your complete and prepared opening (it should be short enough). Avoid being vague. syllable. You will not trick someone into buying something because you ³caught them. If it was worth dialing the phone. etc. y y Maximize every word. Words to consider using« . it¶s worth leaving your opening statement.´ y y Never use industry jargon or unnecessary thousand dollar words. not simply features.

etc. y y y y y y y How are you today? I¶d like to learn a little more about your business to determine« We¶re the leading provider of« We work with several of your competitors. customer service challenges. increase. eliminate [expenses.y y maximize. customer retention. I¶d like to see if there are some ways we might work together. decrease. specifically save.] y y y y y y y profit from specific. Is now a good time to talk? Did I catch you at a bad time? Sample opening statements . now Phrases to avoid« These phrases may be used at other times during the sales process but they have no place in the opening statement. productivity. acquire prevent fully immediate. diversions. They don¶t create immediate attention or encourage the prospect to engage with you and therefore can take away from the initial attention allotted to you by the prospect.] minimize. grow [sales. etc. conserve accumulate. reduce.

minimize. etc. We provide [product/ service] in order to help people [take advantage of. The variables that can impact your success as a leader are tremendous. This is [sales name] with [company name]. prevent. these are the sales management fundamentals that¶ll put you and your team in front of the pack« and keep you there. Would you be interested in discussing how it might fit into your environment? #sales management checklist Leading a sales team is a complex pursuit with a single objective: to meet and exceed the sales objectives for the area you¶re managing. [first name]. Your particular sales world will likely involve a few more points or slight changes that are specific to you and your team/ company/ industry. [first name]. Below is your sales management checklist.] [something of importance]« I¶m calling to see if this might be helpful to [you/ and of your clients]. Hi. [first name]. [company name]. [sales name]. We provide [product/ service] in order to help companies minimize their [whatever] expenses and maximize monthly sales revenue. and to avoid letting the important success factors slip through the cracks. We deliver [product/ service] which might be able to save you more than [specific percentage] on your [whatever] expenses. (download the complete guide to the left) ____________________ Your people . Its purpose is to help you stay on top of the primary issues that should have your attention on a regular basis. [first name]. I¶m calling to see if this might be valuable to you and your team. Consistently addressed. [sales name] with [company name]« We help companies fully profit from their existing resources through our [product/ service] that [does/ has/ have whatever differentiating point or feature]« I¶m calling to see if you¶d be interested in discussing how it might help your [whatever] efforts/ initiatives« Hi. Hi. maximize.Hi.

y y y y y y y y y General periodic discussion & review Goals & expectations understanding Sales skill training Motivation & inspiration Knowledge training (product/ service/ industry) Recruiting Promotions/ new roles/ new positions Performance reviews Recognition Operational issues y y y y y y y Activity numbers Sales numbers (revenue/ units/ margin) Sales process review Sales communication review & distribution Before-and after-the-sale review (processes) Lead generation Barriers to remove from sales efforts External relationships y y y Top customer contact & review Top competitor review Top partner contact Self-development .

the puppy dog. These are simple statements and questions that help everyone involved in the sales process move smoothly to closure. closing is really the beginning of your business relationship ± both parties should be excited about working together. Your responsibility as a sales professional is to work the earlier stages of the sales cycle so that closing becomes a natural conclusion if both parties benefit ± this includes. etc. the last chance. it¶s these ³need to know´ points that create the opportunity for any effective close ± these are non-manipulative and universal. closing continually throughout the process. Just Sell®. we¶ve included some sample closing statements. Use what you like. Closing comfort comes from basic preparation« done well. The closing tool is designed to give you and your team a quick and comprehensive checklist of your ³need to know´ points before attempting a standard close (trial closes don¶t require the knowledge of all ³need to know´ points ± trial closes serve as more of a qualifying function and help the process move to the standard close). . toss what you don¶t and build on those appropriate for your sales world. While it may be valuable to have a basic understanding of the ³traditional´ closes articulated in many older sales manuals (e.g.. the assumptive. No silver bullets. Additionally. the choice. the physical action. Work through them for each prospect in your pipeline right now and be sure you¶re on the right track to closure.y y Management skills Additional contributions #closing checklist Closing tends to be the most stressful action in the sales process for so many people ± salespeople and prospects. The correct answers to these questions assist in developing the close into the natural conclusion we all seek in the process. Keep in mind. No slick lines.).

what their boss/peers might think. you might also like the author¶s message on commitment called Cross The Line. etc.If you like this tool. opportunity cost. ____________________ The closing checklist y y y y y Is there value in my product or service for my prospect? What is the hard dollar value? (return on investment. . etc. discounts. time of implementation. prestige.) y y y y y Would you like to move forward? Are you ready to get started? Can we go ahead? We can start the process today with a credit card if you¶d like. non-monetary improvements. money savings.) Does the prospect understand and value the benefits of my product or service? Is a decision to buy my offering better than a decision to create my offering in-house (on their own)? y What risk to the prospect do I need to minimize or alleviate in regard to this buying decision? (financial.) What other value is there? (prestige. safety. Use this link to watch the quick little video. We can deliver it to you by the close of business tomorrow if you¶d like. guarantees. etc.) y What urgency have I created to encourage the prospect to move forward now? (time to market.) y Why is buying my product or service a better decision than moving forward with my competitor (or taking no action at all)? Sample closing statements (Closing statement should be delivered or asked with confidence and an expectant attitude. delivery incentives. etc.

$2. Go through them one by one. Personally. not a ³what´ from an idea you shoved into his head. then assumtion. I don¶t care what you¶re selling-trial close such asDoes that make sense? Wouldn¶t that work for you? etc (Of course you have to have laid the ground work ahead of time. y y Let¶s get this off your plate and start the paperwork. In order to this. your product does fill that hole or will exceed it´. I shall explain. answering ³Yes. At the close re-hash the ³pains´. knowing that any reasonable person in their position. Remember. each time. in order to have an assumptive close. if you have any questions feel free to give me a call. Sound good? $1. do you have a pen and paper handy therer? Mark down my direct line so yiou can reach me any personally´ Or words to that effect«. What do you think? Let¶s start the process so you can get onto your other priorities. that the prospect. the prospect needs to have the pre-qualification pains addressed. The assumptive close is natural fit. never push a square peg in a round hole. having had the same conversation with you would respond YESSSSSSS!) Then assume. you first have to pre-qualify it. realizes your product is a ³need´ for his company. y y y Should I forward a contract so you can get started? Would you like to try it for a quarter? It¶ll take a few weeks to process and ship the order so if you¶re interested in moving forward.y We can have it delivered by the end of the month if we can get a signed contract into the implementation department by Thursday. Meaning. ³So what I am going to do is open an account for you´ ³So I am going to send out the trial order as we discussed and you should receive it by next wednesday. . I believe sales closes are best done via trial. How does one master the art of assumptive closing ? Answer: When using this type of close. we should start the paperwork now. the right questions need to be asked at the beginning of the sale.

As a professional you¶re seeking a mutually beneficial relationship with your prospects and customers (not something that benefits only you or them). Practiced and applied. Sales negotiation can be a formal event (at a specific time and date) or it can be an ongoing theme at different points in the sales process. and will usually get a ³TRUE´ objection now instead of camouflaged ones. #nogotiation guide Negotiation is your opportunity to demonstrate your commitment (and your company¶s) to a long-term relationship and to maximizing value for both parties (for those who sell to businesses. The negotiation guide below provides you and your team with a quick overview for your next potential negotiation with a prospect or customer. Use what fits for your particular sales world and toss what doesn¶t. $3. ____________________ Your negotiation guide Before negotiating begins y Avoid negotiating unless you¶ve had an opportunity to fully present your value proposition . And remember« Your success depends more on your pre-negotiation preparation than on the negotiation moment(s) itself. value is synonymous with return-on-investment). It¶s beyond price and includes the entire value proposition. Just my 23 years sales experience talking. negotiation skills can increase the level of trust and credibility you and your company have with your prospects and customers. you will be far ahead of the game. If they stop you.Trial then assume. Nothing fancy. Just the fundamentals« done well. or buck at this type of closing technique.

change delivery times. follow-up schedules.) y Try to identify agreement on small items to help develop positive momentum ± summarize these agreements periodically . etc..g. service period.y Understand the objections raised up to this point in the sales process and identify what your prospect¶s or customer¶s hot buttons (main points of interest) may be based on these objections y Be prepared to illustrate how your offering will be used by them andquantify the value they¶ll get Be certain you¶re working with a person who has the authority to negotiate and make decisions y y y y y y Adopt the right negotiating attitude Be confident in the value your product or service will return Be prepared to be patient (which can lead to higher trust) Be prepared to work toward a solution that works for everyone (really) Know in advance at what point the agreement is no longer beneficial to you and your company and be prepared to walk away During negotiation y y Use open-ended questions to confirm your understanding of their needs State your understanding of how the prospect or customer will benefit from your product or service ± confirm this is accurate by asking Be prepared for tactical responses from prospects and customers ± whether it¶s the flinch following your price quote or silence ± don¶t react and instead respond with more questions y y y y Listen Don¶t rush to fill pauses ± be comfortable with moments of silence Be prepared to change the value proposition to support price concessions ± support your price integrity by adjusting the overall value (e.

know them. it is critical to ensure that all other objections to moving forward have been overcome. make sure to negotiate from a position of strength by first qualifying that the prospect actually wants what you have before attempting to lift any barriers to entry. review the points that seemed to prevent the negotiation process from moving forward ± study them. before entering into any type of negotiation. for all you prospective dealmakers out there. was never completely sold in the first place. . know them. And.y Take notes to demonstrate your commitment to the negotiation and to help you find opportunities to summarize the smaller agreements verbally with the prospect/ customer After the negotiation If agreement is reached« y y Summarize verbally and/or in writing the agreement for all appropriate parties Thank the customer/ prospect for their time and reinforce the purchase decision (without cliche) y For your next negotiation. review the points that seemed to help move the negotiation process forward ± study them. use them If no agreement is reached« y y y Sincerely thank the prospect/ customer for their time and commitment to the process Avoid appearing annoyed or disappointed Give the prospect/ customer an "out" or an opening for them to come back to you and your company in the future (have this statement prepared) y For your next negotiation. and that nothing else stands in the way of closing the deal except for the issue/s to be negotiated. Keep in mind that there is nothing more demoralizing for a salesman than rushing to negotiate a solution to one problem. Also. only to find out that the prospect still has other concerns or worse. and act accordingly $The point about working with the person who has the authority to negotiate and make decisions is the absolute backbone to the above guide.

When you¶ve hit a wall. Personal issue with the decision maker(s) 7. Perception of inferiority to a competitor or in-house offering 4. it¶s one or some combination of the following eight. It¶s the introduction of an objection that can spark a flow of information that can help you further qualify a sales opportunity and better understand the needs and current environment of your prospects. without them. When companies and individuals have an objection to making a purchase.~> (number 8 will be one of the most frustrating ± for you) . Initiative with an external party 8. ____________________ The objections 1. you¶re likely not engaging your prospects and customers. Lack of perceived value in the product or service 2.# the 8 objections Objections are a requirement to a successful sales day. Lack of perceived urgency in purchasing the offering 3. In fact. Understanding the true objection(s) will help you get one step closer to where you need to be ± whether it¶s to the next stage with your current prospect or investing your time elsewhere. Internal political issue between parties/ departments 5. For this reason. check your sales opportunity against them. Lack of funds to purchase the offering 6. Know them. you should work to embrace and understand the true objections you might be facing. Review them. Perception that ³it¶s safer to do nothing´ Now go sell something.

# .If you like this. Use this link to watch the quick little video. you might also like the author¶s message on commitment called Cross The Line.

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