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3 Easy Ways to Win (or Lose) a Sales Job

Many times there are very small and simple ways for us to secure landing that sales job, or sales pitch for that matter. Below I have provided three simple steps we can take to lock in that desired spot.

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 are a few reasons why happens.

The sales professional’s profile lacks a professional image (the 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 are 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 sometimes appear at the busiest of times, it’s our advice to start working on your Linkedin profile now (if needed). Nailing that piece will most likely make more opportunities appear.

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