You can’t win them all. And you won’t. There are going to be times when you lose a sale. It’s just part of being a sales professional. Some will be…
You can’t win them all. And you won’t. There are going to be times when you lose a sale. It’s just part of being a sales professional. Some will be more impactful than others. But the key is to learn from these situations so you can get better and avoid losing out on sales in the future.
If you are interviewing for a sales job, you can expect to be asked about your track record. Hiring companies want to learn about how you handle certain situations during the sales process, including the times when you fall short.
This means you should be prepared to get asked about an instance when you lost a sale. In this blog, Toronto sales headhunters will discuss why this question gets asked frequently and provide you with some effective tips to provide a great answer to this challenging question.
Even the best sales professionals will lose a sale. Interviewers ask this question not because they want to know if you’ve lost a deal in the past, but because they want to see how you reacted to the situation.
“Now’s not the time to drag out the old, ‘I’m a perfectionist and it frustrated a prospect once,’ narrative. Dig deep and show your interviewers you have healthy self-awareness and the ability to learn and proactively move on from your mistakes,” says Pree Sarkar on the HubSpot Blog.
There is a right way and a wrong way to answer this type of question. Putting blame on others, citing extenuating circumstances or making excuses is NOT the type of response interviewers are seeking.
You’ve likely had numerous sales go awry, but there are probably one or two where you truly learned an important lesson or gained a new perspective. Choose an example that you clearly remember and for which you can communicate some important takeaways.
Own the fact that you lost a sale or two in the past. Sales is highly competitive, and customers are exploring multiple solutions. Hiring managers are looking for sales employees who are professional and mature enough to not only celebrate successes but take ownership of defeats and when mistakes are made.
The interviewer wants to see that you are self-aware. You can communicate this to them by identifying where you when wrong with the deal. Depending on the type of sale, customer, and other factors, this could be many different things.
If you lose a sale, it’s important to explore the reasons why. Here are some questions to ask yourself when reflecting on the situation:
Asking these types of probing questions will help you gain a deeper understanding of how you are communicating with customers, how well you are applying your sales process, and how good you are at understanding customers’ needs.
Once you communicate to the interviewer where you went wrong with the sale, it’s important to show you understand how your mistake affected the deal. Talk about how your mistakes changed the course of the sale, how it changed the dialogue, the progression of the sales process and other issues it created.
Finally, explain what you would do differently if you could go back. Talk about what you specifically learned about this instance and your approach to sales overall. Did you have an “ah-ha” moment? Did you adjust how you communicate or interact with customers? What did you change about your approach to sales? Interviewers want to see how you recover, react, and learn from mistakes.
SalesForce Search is a sales recruiting company which specializes in the recruitment and placement of sales professionals. We recruit salespeople in every sector of the economy including, software, manufacturing, financial services and medical devices. Find the right salesperson for your organization, start your search here.
Kourtney is a top performing Sales Recruitment specialist focused on helping clients hire the best sales candidates in the market. With 4+ years of experience, she specializes in recruiting Rockstar Sales Producers and Sales Leaders across North America. With a personal background in Telecom Sales, Kourtney knows what separates a good salesperson from a great one. On weekends you’ll find her skiing, golfing, and working out.