Sales managers want to know how long it will take before you are ramped up and make your first sale. They try to figure out how much time and money they will have to invest in your preparation to sell. Sales managers are nervous about your attention to detail, how you work under deadline pressure and if you can keep yourself organized to make sales. Perhaps more importantly, sales managers are anxious about your ability to work out in the field productively by yourself and if you play nicely on a team.
Mona put her five new sales people through 40 hours of in-house product knowledge training adding up to $750 for the week. Then she sent them off to product and industry compliance corporate trainers 90 miles up the freeway for four days at $7,500. When they came back, Mona assigned them to different teams and then four weeks of field sales training started to the tune of $5,000. As a sales manager, Mona invested close to 600 hours and $13,250 with the expectation that these five people would bring in $5 million in sales this year. If you are one of these five, you can see the time and money investment and a high expectation that you will hit the ground running and produce sales.
If your office suite skills are not up to par, find a community college or career center that offers a refresher course. Word processing and spreadsheet utilization are crucial in assisting your own sales and keeping track of where you are financially. There might just come a time where you need presentation software so brush up on that, also. Be sure you can do basic math and percentages as well as multiplication in your head or carry a good calculator.
Construct an online presence with LinkedIn and Facebook so you can get the word out about your new job and the products and services you now offer. Send out non-sales letters to all your friends and family members asking them to help you network and find new clients. Get your business cards, doorhangers, flyers made as quickly as possible. You want to look like you have been selling these products and services for 20 years.
If you now are charged with door to door consumer sales, create an “I Missed You” blurb to hand write on the information you rubber band to the door knob. You have to be able to get your message across in just a few words. If you are now a business-to-business sales person, get that one minute elevator speech memorized. When you think you have it good inside your head, lock the door to your home bathroom, take off all your clothes and try repeating it back to the person in the mirror until you are completely comfortable.
One of the habits of top sales people is knowing what to do at certain times. It is called prioritizing. There has to be a category of things you may never get to and that is the midnight to four o’clock in the morning slot. You get to decide if it is more profitable for you to be in the office writing letters to clients or out in the field knocking on doors. If you need to visit clients between 5:00pm and 7:00pm in the evenings, don’t schedule your letter writing and contracts review for that time slot.
Work from the assumption and premise that your new sales manager will provide sales materials and product knowledge and information. You should understand that they will not show you how to tie your tie or how to conduct a sales presentation. When the sales manager asks for proof of your sales experience, be prepared to show them the website of a former job and how your sales efforts increased the bottom line. They want to hear numbers. Be prepared to do a role play for a ring-ring or a knock-knock on their product or service. You will want to run through four different closes to make the sale. Do not ever walk into a sales interview without knowing how to do these.
Prove to your sales interviewer that you are ready and waiting to get out there and start selling. Do not be afraid to show them a short learning curve where you can come up to speed fast. Acknowledge that you are aware of the time and outlay they are making and you fully intend to bring in the business and pay them back for their investment.