"Every problem is a gift. Without problems, we would not grow."
Anthony robbins

Interviewing for a new sales job? Four ways to ask impactful questions (and get hired).

If you have ever interviewed for a sales job before, you know that standard protocol (usually towards the end of the interview) is for the interviewer to ask you…

Do you have any questions for me?”

First and foremost, the answer to this question should never be “NO”.  You should have 3-5 impactful questions ready to go. These questions are far more important than most people realize, as asking good questions is part of what makes a good sales rep.  In fact, I believe that the questions you ask can often be more impactful than the questions you answer.

Four Ways To Shine…

Ask something personal – People inherently like to talk about themselves and by asking something personal you put the interviewer at ease and create a reciprocity of communication. Think about it, the manager has spent the last 45 minutes talking only about you. If you never ask anything about them or their background, you miss an opportunity to get to know them. As strange as it may sound, people will actually remember you more when they get a chance to talk about themselves.

EXAMPLES

  • Tell me about your background and how you ended up at this company?
  • Tell me about your time as a rep here and how you were successful enough to be promoted?

NOTE: By personal questions, I do not mean something non-work related or about their childhood.

Ask questions that showcases your research – Questions should never be generic. Managers get tired of answering the same exact questions… especially when conducting multiple interviews in day. Use the Q&A time to draw attention to the prep work that you have put into the interview process.

EXAMPLES

  • I spoke to one of my doctors about this technology and she mentioned _____, can you elaborate on this?
  • I read your recent earnings report and it looks like this business unit grew 22% last quarter, what do you attribute that to?

NOTE: Keep these questions relevant and related to sales.  Saying something like “I read you all have some supply chain issues with a factory in China” is not going to earn you any points. Focusing on problems that have are beyond the managers control can be annoying and negative.

Ask sales metric questions – Driving sales numbers and revenue is ultimately why salespeople exist. Many candidates focus so much on backgrounds, skillsets, and relationships that they lose focus of sales numbers.  By asking a question specifically about sales dollars, you will differentiate yourself from 90% of candidates.

EXAMPLES

  • How much revenue did this territory do last year and how much could you see that growing if you hire a high performing rep?
  • Tell me about the potential new revenue opportunity that a top tier sales rep could bring in next year and how might that person achieve those goals in this territory?

NOTE: This is not a compensation question. You are asking the manager what “good looks like” and what it takes to be successful. This will tell you a lot about their expectations and the opportunity itself.

Ask about THEIR needs – Ask them the specific needs that they have in this market and what they are looking for to hit those goals. This is a follow up question that gets them talking about their vision for the team and what they want for the role.  

EXAMPLES

  • Besides the basic traits that most good reps possess, tell me some specific things you are looking for that will get this territory revenue in the top 10% of the company next year?
  • Of the skillsets you laid out, which do you think is the most important to make this a successful hire for this geographic market?
  • You mentioned a specific challenge earlier in our interview, describe your vision for overcoming that challenge in the territory?

NOTE: The questions about needs should ultimately lead you right to your close. You should be fully prepared to re-address your skillset and how you might be able to partner with the manager to achieve their goals.

If you do not have a clear solution or you need time to ponder what was said, tell the manager that you are excited to start researching those items and you will present in your next interview.

Make yourself memorable by closing the interview with the right questions to take the next step!

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