Applying Solution selling techniques – to WinTheInterview

Several years ago (in 1999) I was called by a recruiter on an opportunity which represented a big jump in my career path both professionally and financially.  I was selling typesetting (black and white only) systems for AGFA Compugraphic and the opportunity was to sell color prepress systems for Scitex, the leader in the industry.

At the time, I was going through a consultative selling course with AGFA which focused on the step of sale approach.  The steps being:

1. Identify your target company and do the due diligence

2. Make the introduction

3. Conduct the needs analysis

4. Write a letter of understanding

5. Provide a demonstration

6. Present a proposal solution

7. Negotiate and close the deal

8. Implement the services and assure client satisfaction

I decided to apply this step of sale approach to my interview with Scitex by creating a table top flip chart presentation which followed these steps.  I prepared this after I did my needs analysis step and determined I was a good fit and I wanted the job badly.  (There was no off the shelf presentation software available).

I started the interview with the usual small talk and when we got into why I was qualified and should be hired (in my opinion), I asked for permission to share the presentation / discussion points I had prepared.  I was very excited to do this because I had taken the time to carefully prepare the key points and accomplishments that supported my qualifications for the position. 

The best part is that the control of the interview shifted and I guided the discussion.  As I finished my points and summarized why I should be hired, the VP of Sales fell back in his chair laughing and said YOU’VE GOT THE JOB.  It created quite a buzz at the kickoff meeting and several people asked if I was the guy who gave the presentation in the interview.

Since then, I have used the same approach to help my candidates (I own a search firm) prepare better and differentiate themselves during the interview process.  I am very excited to announce that our team has created an on-line version of this approach and it is already a huge success, helping thousands of people do better in their interviews and increases their chances of beating the competition and get more job offers.