We deal with sales candidates a lot and we are always amazed that this skill lacks for a great deal of them. At least the skill lacks when in comes to closing during the interview process. We ask ourselves ” This person sells for a living and they are successful. They must be closing to get the order every day. Why don’t they ask for the job?”
You have to demonstrate your ability to close in the interview or they will assume you are just an order taker! We ask candidates for feedback after interviewing and we ask, ” Did you close?” We often get told “Yes, I asked them what the next steps were and I told them I was interested in moving forward. The manager said he had more candidates to interview and they would let me know.” This is not a close!
We understand this is a standard response from a manager ” You have great experience but we have a competitive pool of candidates with several more to see yet. We should know within the next week or two who we will be moving forward.” They still need and want to be closed. You can do this without making them feel uncomfortable or turning them off.
Here are some examples of closes that work:
- What characteristics and traits do you look for in your top salespeople? Do you see me having those traits?
- As one of your sales representatives how could I exceed your expectations?
- How do you see me helping your company meet its goals?
- Do you have any hesitations at this point about the success I could bring to your team and the company? or what questions or concerns do you have about my background as it relates to the position?
- How do I compare to the candidates you have interviewed? (This one could be not for just this interview, but other positions the manager has hired for)
- Would it be possible to talk to another one of your sales representatives in this process?
- When can we schedule the next interview?
- I know I am one of the first candidates you have seen today and you said you don’t want to be closed, but I’m very impressed. My career is very, very important to me. l’d like the opportunity to talk to your top two reps on the telephone. May I get their cell numbers from you?
- How do I compare with the other sales representatives on your team?
- Are there any reservations you have about my fit for the position that I could address?