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Need some help with my sales interviews

Hello

I've been in the B2B sales game for about 9 months now. I'm probably your typical sales person, struggling, just surviving and knowing I can do much better. The motivation is there, but it seems I'm being let down by lack of preparation before a sales call, and this is affecting my confidence and causing my nerves to become evident during the interview.

I was wondering what techniques/tips/strategies people employed to prepare themselves psychologically prior to a sales call? Does positive thinking, affirmations, etc work? I know preparation is key, but I'm someone who prefers to engage people in relaxed conversation rather than an unleash a memorized script on them, should I use a script anyway? Winging it is great when it works but it doesn't always work.

Advice would be appreciated, thank you.shds; - by salesjunior
I listen to my favorite music on my way to the appointment. Me personally (Im 1 month into B2B sales) I try not to think too much about what Im going to say, infact I try to clear my mind as best as possible just prior. The more I think about the appointment, the more nervious I get. Of course I know what information I need if I'm gathering information for a quote, and I know how my product AND my services will benefit the probable purchaser when I give my presentation. Again, to me, its all about being in my place just before. Music and maybe some meditation, but I think that everyones different and my "pregame" will not work for everybody. - by Kapture1
I know preparation is key, but I'm someone who prefers to engage people in relaxed conversation rather than an unleash a memorized script on them,...shds;
The MOST IMPORTANT SKILL IN SELLING is PREPARATION.

If you equate that with "unleashing a memorized script" I believe you would be lacking in the most important skill.

Ask yourself what you NEED for a sales call and prepare yourself with what you determine are the answers. Advanced people here will be able to help you once you determine what you need--which is YOUR job. - by Gary A Boye
To help with possible suggestions can you give us a quick run down on what you sell?

Thanks, - by Sell4alivn
I'm selling copiers, mostly to the SME sector. Not the most glamorous job but pays exceptionally well to those who succeed in it.

Gary is correct, my call preparation is poor. We’re given a script in which to explain our purpose, process etc but I don’t like using it. I suppose in order to prepare better I would require an outline of the main points I would like to cover, as well as a structure for my presentation, and rehearse it over and over to myself until it feels natural. That would be a start. - by salesjunior
Gary is correct, my call preparation is poor. We’re given a script in which to explain our purpose, process etc but I don’t like using it.
Salesjunior, when an employer gives an employee in sales a script, they want you to use it. My experience, and the experience of several business owners I've talked to, has revealed that employees who don't comply with an employer's requests do so because they think they have a BETTER way. That frequently leads to dismissal. If you truly do have a better way, it might be worth the risk. But apparently you don't. One thing is for sure--you have to work at what you're doing. If you don't have skills--then get them.

One question. What makes you think that explaining your purpose, process, etc. on a call is not a good idea? For instance, do you think that any expert on sales here would suggest otherwise? - by Gary A Boye
Gary makes a very good point. When I've hired people to sell, I already had a proven approach and interview outline.

The approach script was non-negotiable. In fact, I had my new people repeat it aloud at least 200 times before I even considered letting them make their first telephone call.

I insisted upon it because it worked.

In another time, far, far away, I started a sales job and the boss gave me a very heavy "tool" to lug around. He also gave me permission to try to develop an ea