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Think of a time that you have had to sell something to someone.Â Describe the situation and outcome.
This is a standard interview question that Skywalk Group recruiters ask candidates applying for sales-related positions.Â Sometimes it feels like this is a question that every job candidate should have to answer.Â This may seem extreme but in reality, we are all responsible for selling something.Â For those of us who do not consider themselves salespeople, this may come as a surprise and even a little hard to take.
It starts at the job interview.Â Landing a job is a total sales job.Â You have to convince the employer that you are the best candidate for the position.Â If you have successfully been hired for a job at one point or another in your life, you have sold something.
Then you may have to convince your new boss that you are capable of tackling new challenges or to adopt a new process.Â Wow, you have just sold something else!
It may seem as though I am oversimplifying things but in my experience, some of the best, most respected salespeople I know aren’t “salespeople” at all.Â One of my favorite non-salespeople that I have worked with in my career happens to be a trainer.Â Here are a few skills and characteristics that made him a phenomenal non-salesperson:
- Knowledge. Knowing the products and/or services that your company sells and being able to succinctly answer questions can be a huge benefit.
- Expertise. In my mind, this is different than just being knowledgeable about the products and/or services.Â Expertise is about having applied and practiced the principles that are behind the products and/or services that your company sells.
- Passion. Generally, you can tell very quickly if the person you are speaking to is passionate about the products and/or services that they “sell.”
- Compassion. People usually buy products and/or services because they have a problem or need that the product or service will solve for them.Â Understanding and acknowledging the problem or need is beneficial.
- Questioning and listening skills. Please see above bullet.Â In case I wasn’t clear enough, it isn’t about you–it is about them.Â To find out what the real problem is, you have to ask questions and listen.Â The best salespeople help others identify the root cause of the problem or need and identify effective solutions.
- Authenticity. Trying too hard or trying to be something that you are not can be very visible to others.Â Focus on being who you and being comfortable with that.Â It tends to put others at ease around you.
Do you still have doubts about how you can be a successful non-salesperson in your organization?Â Consider joining us for Customer-Oriented Selling next month in Omaha, NE.