15 Feb 2018

3 Easy Ways to Win or Lose a Sales Job

You never know when the opportunity of a lifetime will come your way. Unfortunately, we commonly see strong candidates fail to land a dream job for preventable reasons. In today’s blog, 3 Easy Ways to Win or Lose a Sales Job, we’ll share a few that are fully in your control.

3 Easy Ways to Win or Lose a Sales Job.

1. Thank you Notes.

A few years ago we wrote Why you must send follow up emails after an interview. We knew from experience that failing to follow up after an interview costs candidates jobs. Now we have hard data that tells us how often that happens.

TopResume surveyed hiring managers to find out the importance of sending a thank you note after an interview. They documented their findings in the cleverly named The importance of saying “thank you” after an interview. 68% of hiring managers replied that the thank you note matters. More importantly, “nearly 1 in 5 interviewers have completely dismissed a candidate because they didn’t receive a thank you note.”

Both our and TopResume’s blog linked above give tips on how to craft a strong thank you note.

2. Your Linkedin Profile.

Without question, the most important social media site for sales professionals is Linkedin. To that point, we have multiple clients that will decline to interview a candidate due to a poor Linkedin profile. Here’s a few reasons why happens.

  • The sales professional’s profile lacks a professional image (person doesn’t understand the importance of and/or how to sell themselves on Linkedin).
  • Poorly written profile (communication issues).
  • Their profile doesn’t match their resume (honesty and/or attention-to-detail issues).

Of the points above, the most important is your profile picture. It provides hiring managers (and potential customers) with their first impression of you. If you geek out on data, Yesware breaks this down in The 7 factors that increase the psychological impact of your linkedin profile photo. Data aside, a strong profile picture is the difference between “maybe I’ll give this person a call” and “I can’t wait to give this person” a call.

Should you want more info, we go into detail in How social media can cost you a job.

3. Do Your Homework.

Few things look worse than not having the answer to a question that you should know the answer to. When it comes to interviewing, here’s a few you should be ready for.

  • Can you succinctly explain to me what our company does?
  • What research did you do to prepare for this interview today?
  • Can you take me through your sales process?

Strong preparation can be a decisive differentiator during the sales interview process. We take this concept to the next level in Smart questions to ask at the end of an interview.

Professional Layups.

We consider the three points above to be the equivalent of professional layups. Trust us, it’s hard to win the interviewing game when you’re missing your layups. Given how opportunities sometime appear at the busiest of times, it’s our advice to start working on your Linkedin profile now (if needed). Nailing that piece will mostly likely make more opportunities appear.

Our Blog.

Since 2014, we have written well over 100 blogs on sales hiring and sales interviewing. These blogs have covered a great deal of the topics that fit our space. With Delivering Value a cornerstone value at Sales Talent Inc, we decided to write fewer but more relevant blogs. Starting next month, we’ll be moving our blog from a once a month format to a once a quarter format so we can continue to deliver relevant and informative content. Starting with our next blog in April, you can expect to see our blog on the 3rd Thursday of every January, April, July and Oct.

Chris Carlson

President and founder of Sales Talent Inc, a B2B sales recruiting firm. We place sales reps, sales engineers and sales leaders across North America. Employers can click here to learn more about our sales recruiting services. Candidates can view our current sales openings here.