THE PHONE INTERVIEW
How do your hiring managers set up their phone interviews?
Does their secretary, receptionist or office manager schedule them? If so, you’ve taken away an opportunity to hear them ask for the appointment on an introductory call, something you’ll be asking them to do.
Schedule your own appointments. The call should take on new meaning when you smile to yourself as you are grading them on their approach. Get to know each other a bit without the visual. It’s effective. Talk with them on the phone whether they are in the same city or not. Remember the phone is for setting appointments and all salespeople need phone skills. It’s essential.
A good question to ask immediately, is
1.Q: What motivates you? If the candidate is motivated by something other than what you offer, you can save some time, wish them good luck and say goodbye. Also, hesitation is not good here because sales people should know what motivates them.
2.Q: Why do you want to work for our company?
Listen for confusion or confidence. If they quickly start into why (and it sounds reasonable) or even answer honestly which may be “I don’t know yet, but if we keep talking I can tell you
if I do very soon.” That’s OK. Just determine if what you offer will motivate them or not.
3.Q: Are you currently employed?
As they tell you about their last position, or current job, keep things open-ended so they can expand the communication.
4. Q: If something makes your company different in the marketplace, get it out in the open early and see how they respond. Mention your sales process, briefly then…….Q: Can
you visualize contributing in our business model? And then WHY this model, and HOW?
5 Q: Tell me your best personal sales story… This should be instantaneous and interesting. They should be smiling as if remembering an old friend.
6.Q: Tell me about a time when you were satisfied with how your compensation was structured. How was it structured? Why did you like it?
Decide now if he’s going to like your compensation program and can adapt to it. I would only share it with him at this point if he’s seasoned, and you need it to sell him on the opportunity.
This process is about subtle selling and you’ve peaked his interest. Don’t oversell it, just close on the interview. Then figure how to get him into the fold. Many people say not to discuss compensation on the first interview. That may be true for the candidate, but for the business owner or hiring manager, it’s ok to discuss ranges so a top performer can know the potential. Top sales performers want unlimited opportunity. If you try to cap that, you won’t get high achievers. Either that or your business will plateau at a certain level. At that time you may want a sales process expert review of your methodologies.
Skill set questions can be utilized here to confirm they have sold the desired products or to the right buyers and have earned substantial commissions. I also ask what they’ve earned
over the phone because history usually dictates their future potential. If they are way out of your price range, it’s better to know now.
Keep this scorecard by the phone and keep track of their answers.
Give them one point for each yes. If they get under 7 don’t see them face to face.
1. Are they enthusiastic about your opportunity?
2. Do they seem prepared to ask and answer questions?
3. Would I let them schedule an appointment with me if I
was a prospect of my company?
4. Did I feel that they were sincere during the discussion?
5. Am I looking forward to meeting with them?
6. Did they close by asking for an interview?
7. Are they confident and comfortable with themselves?
8. Are they asking about opportunity at your company?
9. Do you have to repeat yourself?
10. Did they sound persuasive?
11. How did you feel when you put down the phone? Were
Remember 7 or under, goodbye