Most important stage of an interview: The Close

Sales representatives have special powers the rest of us envy: abilities that allow them to successfully cold call, meet with new people daily, present to small and large groups, work under the pressure of commission driven income and, most importantly, ask for business. In order to meet the requirements of the job, sales representatives must be self-confident, articulate, be a good listener and a hard worker.

When a hiring manager is interviewing a sales candidate, they are looking to match the traits of a candidate to the position. The questions they ask are designed to find the candidate that’s the closest match.

At the same time as giving good answers, it is equally important for the candidate to ask questions. Asking for more information about the product, territory shows you have done research and have already invested your time in the company.

Once you’ve gotten through the Q&A portion, you have reached the most important, but rarely discussed stage, of closing the manager. This is the part of the interview when the candidate asks for the job!

The close allows the candidate to identify themselves as being confident enough to ask for the job, which translates into being confident enough to ask for the business once they have the job.

To a hiring manager the alternate is true, if you cannot bring yourself to ask for the job, it is a red flag that you will not ask for the business.

A fear many candidates have is that they will sound too pushy. A close does not have to sound abrupt, it can be subtle. Here are some examples of a good close:

“What are the next steps in the hiring process, I am interested in moving forward.”

“Is there anything you need to know about me that we have not discussed today?”

Simple and to the point, “I want this position and know I will be a great asset to the team.”

This close also give you the opportunity to address any concerns and meet any potential objections.

The close is so important candidates can be knocked out of the running for a position for failing to close. Morgan Stebbins, Executive Director of Sales Recruiting at Joppa Medical Recruiting, says “I have often had a manager tell me, I loved the candidate the entire interview, but they did not close me. I cannot move them forward.”

You can have the right suit, the right presentation but without the close you will not have the right job.

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