Although this article refers to the car business, if I were interviewing and hiring for any other serious selling or servicing position, very little, if any advice given here would change.
Tip #1: Display plenty of passion, not for cars, but for serving people's needs. I didn't care if someone told me they liked cars or not. My primary concern was always that my customers were served at the highest levels. This would always result in selling many more vehicles. Beyond your product knowledge, your passion for vehicles has no value to your customers.
Tip #2: Research your prospective employer. When you know things about the business you wish to work for, interviewers are impressed that you took time to research the company. It shows you care about someone other than yourself.
Tip #3: Research the products you wish to sell. This is along the same line as the above point. It shows constructive effort on your part and shows interviewers that you are capable of learning. Get online and learn the product line up. Preparedness will often be rewarded with a job offer.
Tip #4: Remember, job experience isn't necessarily a prerequisite. In the car business, there are plenty of under-achievers that drift from one dealership to another. As a sales manager, I regularly hired passionate people who were brand new to the industry. They didn't have loads of bad habits to unlearn. A lot of managers I have known have felt the same way. Don't be discouraged if you have no previous experience.
Tip #5: Don't wait for an ad to appear. Hiring new people by advertising a position can be costly and time-consuming. I ran large sales teams in major dealerships, yet I rarely ran an ad for salespeople. I always had a couple of qualified candidates that I could call on to bring onboard when the need arose.
Tip #6: Polish up your appearance. Despite the more casual nature in today's business environment, it will pay you to present yourself in the most professional manner possible. Remember, it isn't about you, it's always about your customer. Chances are, if you have visible tattoos up the side of your head or lip and nose rings, most professionally run car dealerships will pass on you. It isn't necessarily personal, it is usually just good business.
Tip #7: Hand deliver your resume addressed personally to the sales manager in a sealed envelop and include a quality current picture of yourself. Managers often receive dozens of resumes. The picture will help make you memorable. Hey, any edge is a good edge, right? Hand delivered means it will get to the person you want to see it.
Tip #8: Remember courtesy and good manners. These traits seem to be in short supply for many people these days. Discourteous behavior and poor manners during the interview process has cost applicants countless opportunities. Never lose an opportunity because of careless behavior.
Tip #9: Leave your cell phone out of any interview situation. I have terminated interviews permanently when cells have gone off during the process and applicants have actually been dumb enough to answer them. This is the ultimate rude behavior when applying for a position.
Tip #10: Be completely sales trained. There is no substitute for this one. Although experience per se is not always required, in this day of corporate restraint, it isn't reasonable to expect your employer to train you on how to sell. They will (or should) train you somewhat on product knowledge with a little polishing on their specific selling procedures.
However, trying to sell big-ticket items when not properly understanding the psychology of selling from both the customer's prospective and the salesperson's perspective will doom you to failure or a career of mediocrity, at best. Sales techniques represent only about twenty-five percent of selling at mastery, selling at the highest levels and making the most money. If you can add some comprehensive sales training courses and sales books to your resume, you will have a definite advantage over those other people chasing that position along with you. The good news is that excellent mastery sales training need not be expensive.
If you follow these tips, you can find yourself succeeding in a well paying profession. Sell vehicles. Get Paid. Getting Paid is Good!!