The secret to successful sales interviews

Small business owners, even those with excellent products, are often anxious about sales interviews. Unsure of what to do and worried about appearing “too salesy”, they often waste their sales opportunities. But these opportunities are what makes or breaks a business.

Hoping the customer will like you so much that they buy is not the best strategy. The truth is most people buy because you offer them something they want or need and it seems better than anything else.

Are you to salesy if you help people get what they want or need? Depends what your image of “too salesy” is, but many people think of a fast-talking American sales-type from the last millenium bullying people into buying. You don’t need to do if you understand your customer and develop your product and sales approach to suit.

How do you do this? Start the process before you meet them by asking yourself a few questions.

  • What do they want or need?

  • What other challenges might they have?

  • What questions will help you understand them better?

  • How can you help them?

  • What objections might they have to you or your product?

  • How are you different from your competition?

  • What proof point do you have that will support your claims?

Now you have done some research and analysis, plan your meeting. Try this simple 4 step format

1. Opening: Your objectives are to

  • Establish rapport and get on the same wavelength as your customer.

  • Build credibility and trust: Introduce the proof points you worked out

  • Get the client’s agreement to ask questions: Most important as your success depends on asking the right questions and listening to the answers.

2. Discovery: Your objectives are to

  • Discover what your customer needs from you.

  • When you are asking these questions, which you have pre-prepared ask them in a friendly way, don’t act like the prosecuting council, it just does not work.

3. Demonstration: Your objectives are to;

  • Demonstrate how you can help your customer satisfy their needs

  • Don’t talk about features they don’t need, and it will create objections.

  • Build a better understanding of their likes and dislikes

  • Satisfy their needs better than anyone else.

4. Closing: Your objective is to help your customer buy the thing they need.

  • People are more anxious about this than any other stage. If you have done everything right up to now; what could be more natural?

  • It does not have to be hard and salesy; ask “do you want to do something about it now?”


Simon Hale & Associates Ltd

Gloucestershire Lea



RG42 3XQ

Registered in the UK Company number 10213659 Vat number 242 2152 50

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