Sales Exercises for laboratory sales job interviews
When you interview for a laboratory sales job you may be asked to sell something to the interviewer. The interviewer just wants to assess your sales potential; consequently you are more likely to be asked to sell a pen or ashtray than a scientific product such as you would sell in a laboratory sales job. You can help yourself with this task by practicing in advance, so pick a household object and try and sell it to a friend or member of your family. This will feel very uncomfortable the first time you do it so practice before you have to do it under interview conditions.
Introduction In this stage you introduce yourself and your company, the kind of products you have to offer, and establish that you can ask the customer some questions.
Probing This is about asking open questions to find out a bit about what your customer does and how he may need your product. For example, if you have been asked to sell pens to a hotel manager, you may want to find out if he provides stationery and pens in the bedrooms, or if he has conference facilities for which pens are provided. You will also need to know what sort of pens he uses currently, in order to know how you might offer an improved product or service. As this is a role play, you can be inventive to make your job easier. For example, “I notice you have three conference rooms” or, “I noticed the pens provided for guests at reception are un-named disposable pens”. Do not move on from this section until you have found a potential need or desire for your product.
Presenting Present your product and sell it to the needs you have established in your probing section. Discuss the product and what it might do for your customer until you hear “buying signals”. These are questions and comments that tell you the customer is interested.
Examples of buying signals are: “How much does it cost?” “Do you produce them in other colours?” “What is the delivery time?”
These should lead you naturally into the final stage.
Closing In this stage you summarise those benefits of your product that are of interest to the customer and ask him to buy some. Your customer may come up with an objection, which you will need to address and then come back and ask for the order again. Negotiate this stage, invent an introductory offer, but DO NOT be fobbed off with leaving free samples, because the interviewer wants to see that you have got what it takes to close a deal!!
This sales process follows the same path as the sales process in a laboratory sales job. So even though the product you have sold the interviewer is not technical, he will have gained an insight into how you would handle the sales aspect of a laboratory sales job.