After working in this industry for nearly twenty years as both a hiring manager and recruiter, I have to say the biggest stumbling block I have seen for candidates of all experience levels is the dreaded Sales Role-play. That’s right – if you have never successfully interviewed for a sales rep position, you probably did not know that most companies require their hiring managers to put all candidates through role-play situation. You will be asked to sell anything from the company’s actual products to a generic item that anyone can relate to. I can already see the sweat forming on your brow…..
But the Sales Role-play does not have to be that scary if you are prepared and you practice, practice, practice. In the second, or sometimes the third interview, the manager will ask you to sell a product to him or her to assess your selling skills. How can they hire you if they do not know if you can sell? This is an especially important part of the process for those job seekers with little to no sales experience. I once worked with a candidate named Paula who was a physical therapist and had never sold anything in her life. She called me after she aced the first interview but she was completely freaked out when the recruiter told her that she would need to prepare for a Sales Role-play in the second interview. First of all, I told Paula to take a deep breath and I assured her that I would help her to blow away the manager with her role-play! I taught Paula the Steps of Selling that is critical to understand before anyone can succeed in the role-play. And then I set up several scenarios for her and we practiced everyone one. And guess what? After the second interview, the hiring manager not only said she aced the role-play but she was the best of any other candidate – and a few weeks later she got the job! All because the manager knew she was coachable and could sell, even though she had never worked as a sales rep. Let me share with you a few tips I gave to Paula….
This role-play will probably come after the manager has asked you about your sales process or steps of the sale. (This is why it is so critical for you to know the Steps of Selling backwards and forwards!) They are testing you to see if what you say is what you practice.
Most critical is your ability to ask questions and found out the “customer’s” (manager’s) needs in the role-play. Many candidates get nervous in the interview process and don’t ask enough questions. Do this and you are sunk! The manager does not want to hire someone who talks more than they listen.
After the role-play, make sure you ask the manager for an honest assessment of your performance. If you think you bombed, take the feedback and ask for an opportunity to do the role-play again. Make the changes suggested by the manager and you will show that you are coachable and willing to improve. In my job search tool kit, I give you one of my favorite role-play stories about a candidate hired at Johnson & Johnson who was straight out of the Army and had never sold anything. He used this technique and landed the job!
So if you want to learn the Steps of Selling and exactly what you must do in the critical role-play step of the interview process, you need to have my job search tool kit “Ultimate System for Landing Your Dream Job in Pharmaceutical or Medical Sales” that contains all of the tips and strategies you need to ace the role-play and I even give you specific scenarios to be prepared for. I also share with you exactly what the hiring manager is looking for and how to make sure you hit all the right hot buttons! Click here to learn more about this life-changing kit and how you can land your dream job now – no matter what your background or experience level!
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