Surefire strategies from master closers that will build your personal brand and get you the job you want.
By Robin Fisher Roffer
My father is a hero, not just because he was a Marine in WWII who fought bravely in the Pacific, but because when he got stateside, he became a world-class advertising sales guy, a real closer. To this day, he regales me with Mad Men style stories about his time at Los Angeles’ KABC radio in the 60’s. Can you say stewardesses, martinis and Playboy Bunnies?
My dad still tells me, “You’ve got to over deliver, baby! That’s how you get the business and keep them coming back.” He also taught me that enthusiasm was the secret sauce to any successful salesperson. Needless to say I’m one over delivering, enthusiastic closer.
I thought I had learned everything I needed to know about closing from my dear old dad until Superstar Sales Coach Linda Clemons threw her sales mojo at me during a coaching call.
If you want to ace an interview, find out your prospective employer’s pain points. Selling yourself is old news -- serving is the approach to take today. Linda echoed this and instructed me to ask my prospects, “What is keeping you up at night?” Or, “Are you happy with where you are at right now?” Or, “What’s your single biggest challenge?”
She told me that our job when engaging with prospects is to relieve their pain and be the solution. She said, “Your skill set and unique qualities need to answer your prospect’s needs and wants. You have to find out what’s important to them and link that to what you offer.”
In this tough economy it’s not uncommon to be challenged on price. What if they think that your salary requirements are too high? It helps to come back with, “Apparently you have a reason for feeling that way. May I ask you what it is?”
Sometimes it’s not about price at all. Your prospective employer seems elusive and they are down right playing hard to get. What do you do? Well, for starters, know that they would be running away if they didn’t want to be caught. You have to tell them more about you and how you can make a difference at their company. “It’s KNOW, not NO” Linda says.
One of the worst things you can do when you’re interviewing is talk too much and oversell. But, how do you know when to shut up? My dad always said to give great eye contact and listen carefully. If you are present, your prospect will let you know when you’ve lost them. Linda adds to this wisdom with three powerful slogans:
1) When in doubt, leave it out.
2) When you go long, you go wrong.
3) If you confuse them, you’ll lose them.
In other words, if you’ve brought a PowerPoint to flip through keep it short – 10 visually exciting slides tops. Delete anything resembling an eye chart. Tell your story lickety-split – making your interviewer the main character. You’ll get to “yes” a whole lot faster!
Robin Fisher Roffer, founder and CEO of Big Fish Marketing, is America's leading personal brand strategist for executive level career professionals. She's the best selling author of 3 books including The Fearless Fish Out Of Water: How To Succeed When You're The Only One Like You. Discover Robin's secret formula for igniting your career with a personal brand at 8 Steps To Igniting Your Personal Brand.