Monday, October 22, 2007

Selling yourself-how much is too much?

How much is too much? When does a sales recruiter think that a candidate has overdone it? You want to show that you're good at your job, you have transferable skills and that you can get the job done. You've got 60 maybe 90 minutes to show the sales recruiter than you have skills that he or she should be interested in.

You should of course talk about your accomplishments without embellishing the truth. Do not overstate your involvement. If it was a team effort, say so. If you were the "quarterback" of that team, it should also be pointed out. So many organizations are matrix and being able to work with a team, even in sales, is an asset.

When you summarize your positions, each one should have a list of accomplishments per position. A good sales recruiter wants to see what you have learned from each position and what you accomplished. Try to avoid going on and on. Look for cues that your sales recruiter is falling asleep. Do not hijack the interview. The sales recruiter needs to probe certain information for their client. If there's something crucial that was not covered, there should be a time allotted for questions. This will be your time to point out why you should be chosen for the position.

Talk in finite terms when at all possible. If you achieved 105% of quota say so. If you ranked #1 also say so. Don't ever put down other reps, it looks cheesy. It's OK to pay a complement to others if you worked well as a group.

Sing your praises but look for clues that you've lost your audience. Also ensure that these praises are sung at the appropriate moment. Ask your sales recruiter how much is too much. A good sales recruiter should tell you how much you can lay on.

Happy selling.

Monday, October 1, 2007


I was shocked to hear from a customer recruiting a Sales Manager that not one of the 4 candidates researched his company in preparation for the interview. This is quite interesting since these are sales positions. Should this not be one of the 1st things that one does when going for an interview, especially a sales job!!!??? As a sales recruiter these are the cornerstones of success. Nothing beats good preparation.

I once had a candidate go to a prospective employer's distribution centre, talk to employees then went to speak to suppliers, in preparation for a job interview. He really wanted to job and got it after demonstrating his pro activeness. I had another candidate prepare an unsolicited business plan. He got the job.

Sales recruiting is unique in that it tells me through the interview process how the candidate is likely to perform. Do they listen well? What kind of questions do they ask? How prepared are they for the client's objections? Do they ask for the "order" ie the job? And how is that done? Is the timing done properly? These are things that sales people face daily.

I have another client who will not give the job to a candidate that has not asked for the job or picked up his buying signals. This is the president of the company speaking.

Preparation also includes the manner in which you are dressed. Better to be over dressed than under dressed. You should actually do a drive by or ask. If you cannot, err on the side of caution and dress corporately. It could be a question in the interview or ask your business associates. Most of all, do not assume and show up in a golf shirt and chinos or for women that great outfit for Saturday night. As a sales recruiter, I will let the candidate know but the candidate should get into the habit of asking.

Remember, you can never be too prepared for to land your ideal sales position.

happy selling!


Let's talk about feedback. Everyone wants some but are sometimes not happy to get the ulgy thruth.

It is important that as a candidate that you are prepared to hear the feedback from both the employer and recruiter. I can't tell you the number of times that candidates never call me back to get feedback. It makes me think that perhaps they are not really interested in the position. It is also the responsibility of the recruiter to give feedback as well.

I try to give the candidate as much truth as possible. It's important that you know where you went wrong, what needs improvement or where you scored points.

In a perfect world, every employer would give feedback but it's not always the case. Sometimes employers will let us know that there was not a fit and won't elaborate. Of course, we try to get as much information as possible but sometimes it's all we get.

It is also critical that you as a candidate give feedback to the recruiter. We need to know that what we have been told by the employer matches what you've been told in the interview.

Be prepared to hear what the employer and recruiter have to say. Sometimes the truth hurts and that's why employers will use recruitment firms. Keep in mind that it's difficult for most people to give negative feedback. The old adage "this is going to hurt you as much as it's going to hurt me" rings true. So be prepared to give but also to receive. It will make for a better employee/employer match.