Most sales professionals start preparing for an interview right after the interview is scheduled. Stick with me for a minute with this, but that’s far too late. To consistently win the best sales jobs; your preparation needs to begin long before you consider interviewing. I advocate taking control over your career which I explained in Mapping Out Your Sales Career. In today’s blog, I’ll share 3 easy tips to help you prepare for and win elite sales positions.
Build Your Brand.
The first step in winning the best sales jobs is understanding your biggest strengths. Are you exceptional at penetrating large accounts? Do you excel at account retention? If the answer isn’t obvious, solicit feedback from your manager and peers until it is. Cultivate and hone these strengths until you’re undeniably excellent in those arenas.
Taking the time to do this will help you in several ways beyond the obvious. 1. Once your biggest strengths are clear to you it will be easy to gauge your interest and fit for potential sales roles. 2. When there is a clear fit, you’ll be able to beat out sales professionals with more sales experience. They’ll come to the table with a general sales skillset and yours will be laser focused.
At any and every opportunity collect proof of your strengths – annual reviews, emails from your manager, thank you emails from clients. The more specific these documents are at naming your strengths, the better. The goal is to build up enough evidence to clearly showcase your strengths.
In a previous blog, How to Use a Brag Book, I give an example of how to use this proof during an interview.
Never Burn Bridges.
As much as it might feel great to let your soon-to-be former employer know exactly what you think of them and their job, don’t do it! The way you resign and the impression you leave as you exit will be a lasting one. Handle this the wrong way and you’ll never be able to use your manager as a reference. I’ve previously blogged on The Classy Resignation and how a properly handled exit helped convince me to hire a candidate that I was on the fence with.
How to Use These Tips to Win the Best Sales Jobs.
Let’s examine what your sales career will look like if you follow these three tips. When you’re presented with an opportunity to interview for an interesting sales position, you’re ready. Most critically, it will be quickly apparent if your strengths align with the demands of the job. If they do align, you’ll be in a position to articulate the fit which you’ll back up with documentation. Sales professionals that come to an interview this prepared make it easy for the interviewer to pick them. Trust me, they like interviewing obvious candidates.
The alternative to this approach is to go through your sales career reactively. With this approach, you may find yourself bouncing from job to job wondering why you can’t win the positions you really want. In Sales Career Mistakes, I share a few more tips to help you keep your sales career on an upward trajectory.
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