If you’re interviewing for a sales position, you must be prepared to take part in a mock sales call. Use these tips to ensure you’re ready.
The dreaded mock sales call. It’s now a common addition to most sales interviews. It helps potential employers learn more about your selling skills, personality traits, and sales methods.
And even if you’ve been in the industry for a long time now, and you know how to sell and conduct yourself during sales calls, nothing will be as unnerving as the mock sales call.
But there’s no need to worry. With a little preparation, you can knock your interviewers off their feet and rock this role-playing activity.
Be prepared to have to try to sell an existing solution at the interviewing company. The hiring managers will expect you to have done your research to learn more about their solutions’ basic features and benefits. They might try to unnerve you by asking you in-depth questions about their offerings. Be honest and explain that you don’t know but you can get back to them later or make up a credible answer to show that you can think on your feet.
You should know by now that the elevator pitch doesn’t work. Sales is a two-way conversation and prospective clients don’t care as much about your products and their features as they do about their own needs, challenges, and pain points, and how your offerings can solve their needs.
Don’t make the common mistake of going straight to selling. Instead, start by learning more about the buyer. Come up with qualifying questions ahead of time so you can be prepared to ask them during the mock sales call. Make sure these questions get you to the answers you need to successfully qualify your prospect: what the buyer’s unique challenges are, if they’re prepared to buy now, if they have a true need and if your solution is a good fit for them.
The mock sales call can be awkward. You both know you’re role playing and it’s not the real thing. But in order to have a better chance at landing the job, you must take it seriously. You have to stay within the context of the exercise until it’s complete. Treat the mock sales call like it was a real one. Practise what you’ll say at home, so you can get rid of any awkward smiling or giggling ahead of time.
There’s no doubt that your interviewer is going to throw curveballs at you to see how you respond to sales objections. Otherwise, it’d just be too easy.
To ensure that you don’t get tripped up by these objections, prepare answers to common sales objections at home, such as “this isn’t a good time,” “I’ll need more time to think about it,” and “the price is too high.”
Too many sales professionals neglect to ask for the close, often out of fear of rejection. And of course, this is a huge barrier to making sales, one that the potential employer will not want to have to deal with in his sales department. The interviewer is most certainly going to pay attention to whether or not you ask for the close during the mock sales call, so don’t disappoint.
Asking the prospect to sign a contract on a first call isn’t realistic, though. Instead, make sure to end the conversation by progressing to the next step, such as asking for an in-person meeting, a demo, or a full presentation. You can score extra points by also asking for the prospect’s mailing address or email address to send a follow-up package as well, to show the interviewers you work on building relationships and don’t just quit after the first call.
Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 11+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and two daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day, tropical vacations and cottaging.