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What image do you have of our company and this industry?
-Should have done a thorough job of research or your industry and company

What types of products/services have you sold and how did you sell them?
- See if they understand how to sell "solutions" as opposed to "products" or "services"

What kind of goals motivate you the best? What total compensation are you seeking?
-Should be enthusiastic about setting goals
-Should be comfortable with a large share of compensation at risk (at least 50 per cent)

What were your goals for the past three years and did you meet them? What was the reason for your success? Why didn't you meet the goals?
-Should have had concrete goals with metrics

What was your most significant professional accomplishment? Tell me about it in detail.
-Keep asking for more and more detail to get insight into work ethic

Tell me about a sales experience that demonstrates your work ethic.
If they give a positive one, ask for a negative one. e.g. a time they failed and what they learned

How do you generate leads?

-Asking for referrals from current customers should be a large part of the answer

What is your sales process, given a qualified lead? How many contacts do you make on a qualified lead?
-Look for logical steps including building a relationship and asking about the prospect's needs as the first two steps
-Average number of contacts should be 12
-Ask for the different types of contacts they make to qualified prospects

How do you overcome buyer objections? How do you handle price objections?
-Ask for examples
-Can they describe selling on value, not on price?

How do you expect to close sales? How do you know when a buyer is ready to buy? What closing principles do you follow? What closing techniques work best for you?
-Does the candidate mention of the importance of body language?

Some answers to "what closing principles do you follow" include:
-Do not attempt to close until the buyer is ready
-When you propose a close, be silent until the buyer responds
-After the sale is made, quit selling
-Should be able to describe three different closing techniques

About the Author:

As CEO, John Asher has grown various businesses from startups to $50 million in annual revenues.

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