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How to Close a Sales Interview
You are a sales professional in a sales interview, This is no different to any other sales meeting you attend and you are expected to close.
I can't tell you how many times candidates ring after an interview to say fantastic meeting, got on like a house on fire. Did you close? No, it wasn't the right time. We got on so well it wasn't necessary.
We contact the employer with the feedback to be told, nice guy. I'd love to go for a drink with him, wouldn't hire him as a sales person though, because he couldn't close a barn door. So it's imperative that you close in every sales interview that you attend.
Some years ago I conducted some research. I asked every candidate I spoke to whether they closed at interview and I put a tick in either the yes or no. Over the course of the month just under 3/4 of sales professionals in sales interviews did not close. It's a travesty.
So how do you close? Let's go back to sales basics-
Direct close- "I can start immediately. Based on this interview have I secured the role?" This can sometimes be considered a little too direct in a sales interview. But if the moment's right, go for the jugular.
Alternative close - "I understand you're looking for somebody to start in September. Would you prefer me to start on the second week or third week?" Closing in this kind of way is slightly less direct and can be delivered with a touch of humour if appropriate.
Deferred Close- " I understand that you're going to be talking to Aaron Wallis to provide detailed feedback. When should I expect to hear whether or not I have secured the role please?" This is a good professional close but should be accompanied by further questioning as to how they feel the interview has gone.
Assumptive close- "I've enjoyed the interview and personalities that I've met. I like the business and can effectively sell your products and services. I'm confident I will be successful in the role and look forward to working with you to achieve and exceed sales targets when I start"
Assumptive and very natural, this ticks the box that you have closed the interview down.
But how do you get to the point where it is natural and appropriate to close? As a sales person, you know you have to build a platform from which it is possible to close effectively. You've got to ask lots of questions beforehand.
When you feel the interview is coming to a natural conclusion, when you feel that their questions have come to the end, ask questions about your own performance
A good example is, "How do you feel our meeting has gone today?" It's no longer an interview, it's a sales meeting. You're on a level.
Ask questions about how they feel you'd fit in with other team members, whether they feel that you are a cultural match for their business, whether they feel there are any areas of your expertise or your qualifications or abilities that aren't right for the business. Overcome them. Acknowledge that you've overcome them by gaining the agreement of the interviewer.
"OK, so you didn't feel that I had enough experience of national account type business. I hope that I've now overcome that. Do you agree?" Yes.
Then move on to the trial-close. Are there any further things that you'd like to explore before this meeting closes? If you're not getting any negative feedback at that point, you've got the opportunity to go for the close.
I can't stress how important is to close. You must ensure that you close at every sales interview that you attend, otherwise you are not asking for the business.
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Understood the type of person we were looking for and good follow ups - not too frequent.
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I have used Aaron Wallis to fill a number of our Sales Development Manager roles and I have found them to provide a very professional service. I will use their services again in future recruitment campaigns.
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Aaron Wallis has continuously provided us with suitable candidates that have been proactively sourced. Having used countless recruitment companies, Aaron Wallis are the only company that I can count on to deliver.
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Thanks for all your help during the recruitment process. I have been extremely impressed with Aaron Wallis especially when compared to other agencies we have dealt with. I really felt you grasped the type of person we required and found strong candidates.
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Giles Phillips is a rare find in the minefield of sales recruitment; an honest and thoughtful recruiter who considers the needs of both the client AND the candidate to create perfect role matches. I look forward to working with him again in the future.
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In an industry where people over promise and under deliver, Rob and his teams have consistently provided a high-quality service. It is great to deal with someone that has an excellent understanding of UK industry, and a passion for sales.
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I found Aaron Wallis to be very professional and efficient, taking time to understand the role and the type of candidate we were looking for. The candidates they put forward met our criteria and were of a high standard. The service they provided was exemplary and I would have no hesitation in recommending them, and will certainly consider using them again in the future.
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I've had a really good experience working with Giles Phillips at Aaron Wallis. From initial contact to the finer details of securing the job, he has been very professional and a pleasure to work with.
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A great recruitment company to work with. Excellent experience with Aaron Wallis through the entire recruitment process. The team was really professional and extremely helpful. Darren was a pleasure to work with. He was friendly, supportive and gave me great advice. Thank you very much!
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The service provided by Aaron Wallis has been just great. I was constantly informed about what was going on with the process interview and the agent has always been supportive and kind to me.
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Aaron Wallis is an outstanding recruitment agency specialising in high calibre sales positions. I was working directly with Darren Dewrance who went above and beyond my expectations in sourcing me my perfect role. I was kept in regular communication with Darren and he worked extremely hard to secure my dream job. Highly recommended and Thanks Darren for all your expertise and hard work.
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Aaron Wallis (and in particular Rob Scott) have been fantastic throughout the recruitment process, and even a few months down the line, still continues to care. Rob clearly cares about each individual and has a wealth of knowledge and expertise, which shows in the work he does. Each candidate is not just a number, and the support received from Aaron Wallis has helped me get a career which I truly enjoy.
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