Category Archives for Interview

Hannah Shamji , Copy Writing, Customer Interview

TSE 1026: How To Do High-Quality Customer Interviews

Hannah Shamji , Copy Writing, Customer InterviewSellers must understand what drives their customers and their core needs in order to help them be more effective, and conducting high-quality customer interviews is an important piece in that process.

Hannah Shamji is a conversion copywriter who has a degree in Psychology and training in counseling. She likes to merge her understanding of human behavior through customer research with producing an effective customer interview. It brings about accurate feedback and insight and provides a valuable asset to your business.        

Challenges of Customer Interviews

Focus groups are a popular way of conducting interviews, but Hannah has found them to be time-consuming and not very effective in getting pure, unbiased answers. When we ask the wrong questions, we often get empty answers.

There are time constraints in creating the right questions to ask. There is a difference in just writing a question and coming up with a question that sparks the emotions of the customer to draw out the purity of their response.

Why Do Customer Interviews

Speak to the emotional drivers of your audience. This helps bridge the gap between what you think might sell your product or service and what will actually sell it.

Doing these customer interviews correctly will help you answer the questions of what you should sell, how you should position it, what people care about, and what features or aspects you should focus on.

In the past, I’ve done things just because they seemed like a good idea rather than being sensitive to whether it was something people wanted.

An example of this was for a college class, my classmates and I had the opportunity to create an on-campus business. What created excitement for us ended up being a complete failure, and ours was one of the first companies in the school’s history to lose that amount of money.

We were more concerned with our own interests rather than what the rest of the student body was concerned with. This is why it is so imperative to find out the products and services that appeal to your audience.

Starting the Customer Interview

Find your target audience and connect. This audience could be an existing customer you’ll propose something different to or a prospect you aren’t sure will be a good fit.

Figure out the target market and pursue it.

When Donald first started out in the business industry, he worked for several small companies that did not have a target audience and they just wanted him to go out and sell. The mentality of not having a specific audience to market to is not a good sales strategy.

Once you establish who you want to market to, the kinds of questions you ask are imperative.

Avoid asking “why” questions. Research shows that when people are asked “why,” they feel like they have to justify or validate their answer, which can lead to defensive answers that may or may not be accurate.

Instead, ask the customer questions directly relating to the product or service.

Follow leads

Ask questions to understand the customer better.

This can shed light on how the customer can benefit by investing in what you have to offer.

Define an anchor. What do you want to accomplish or gain from this conversation?

Follow the leads. Ask things that correspond to what the customer is discussing and try to bring about different responses to the same topic. Don’t be afraid to go deeper with responses.

Listen for hints about what motivates your customer: why is he interested? Why was he willing to make the investment in your product or service? What sets you apart from competitors?

To those managers working to position their companies using messaging, Hannah offers the following:

  1. Avoid pitching your product or service. This keeps the customer feelings unbiased and honest.
  2. Use these conversations as pure research to better your business.
  3. Unbiased customer answers can lead to a successful, productive and efficiently-run business.

High-Quality Customer Interviews Episode Resources

You can reach Hannah Shamji through her website at www.hannahshamji.com. She provides a guide with do’s and don’ts for customer interviews on her website.

If you haven’t already done so, subscribe to the podcast so you won’t miss a single episode. Share it with your friends who would benefit from learning more.

This episode is brought to you in part by our TSE Certified Sales Training Program which teaches you to improve your sales skills, find more customers, build stronger value, and close more deals.

The next semester begins in March.

This episode is brought to you in part by mailtag.io, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. It’s super easy, it’s helpful, and I recommend that you try it out. You’ll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link.

Mailtag.io will give you half-off your subscription for life when you use the Promo Code: Donald at check out.

I hope you enjoyed the show today as much as I did. If so, please consider leaving us a rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you consume this content and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Josh Cunningham, New Hire, Sales Team, Real Estate, Don't Trick Them

TSE 994: Sales From The Street-“Don’t Trick Them”

Josh Cunningham, New Hire, Sales Team, Real Estate, Don't Trick ThemJosh Cunningham, founder and CEO of rokrbox,  fast-tracked his entrepreneurial career by helping to solve a recurring problem for real estate clients and learning an important lesson along the way: Don’t trick them.

Josh first stumbled upon the ISA, or Inside Sales Agent, role in real estate while attending seminars with Vyral Marketing founder and CEO Frank Klesitz. Vyral Marketing works with top agents to create content and to get referrals and repeat business.

The entrepreneurial spirit

Many top professional teams buy real estates leads online, but their agents don’t always do a good job of following up on them.

Like any good entrepreneur, when Josh heard a lot of people complaining about a common frustration, he decided to solve the problem. [00:39]

He started rokrbox.

A rocker box is a gold mining tool used in the 19th century to separate the sand and gravel from the gold. Likewise, rokrbox takes your real estate leads and separates the tire-kickers and time wasters from the motivated buyers and sellers. [01:26]

Tapping into the student market

Rokrbox is strategically located directly across from the Texas A&M University campus in College Station, Texas. Many sharp and enthusiastic young professionals go there looking to grow their skills.

Josh provides them with the opportunity to develop real-world sales skills, CRM skills, and pipeline management skills. All of his student-employees typically graduate with multiple job offers from some type of sales professional career. [02:21]

Since starting in 2013, rokrbox has worked over a million internet leads, hired over 250 ISAs, and trained them to move forward in their careers.

Looking back, Josh believes that scalability was his biggest sales-related struggle. He knew he could do the job but wasn’t sure if he could train others to do it. When he first started hiring college students, he realized a lot of the same struggles that most people run into when building any sales team.

Set clear expectations

His first mistake was in not clearly setting expectations for the new hires. The job posting on the Texas A&M website was too vague.

It wasn’t clear that a new hire could expect to make a ton of phone calls a day, could expect to be rejected all day, etc.

It was just too ambiguous.

As a result, a new hire might go through the entire interview process and personality assessment only to quit almost immediately after starting the job.

One young man, in particular, spent over 15 minutes learning the types of calls to make, the technology/scripts/dialogue used and the likelihood of repeated rejection.

He excused himself to use the restroom and never came back. [04:28]

Josh blames himself. He had failed to set expectations and to make clear to potential hires what they were getting into.  He felt as if he had tricked people into taking the job which is not how to start a sales organization on the right foot.

Observation

As a result, rokrbox implemented observation into the business. Now, they invite promising applicants back to pair up with a senior rep as part of the interview process. They spend a full hour learning what to expect on a shift – from the technology to the daily team huddle, to the reports and the metrics.

They are encouraged to ask questions. It is their chance to interview the business.

At the conclusion of their observation session, applicants are asked to send an email to explain how they would fit into the rokrbox culture.

It has been amazing to see the persuasive essays they receive.  [05:43]

Essays

Josh enjoys hearing people explain why they want to be a part of the organization more than having them sneak away on a bathroom break, never to return.

He highly recommends showing potential hires exactly what they can expect. Show them what it is like to be on the phone or knocking on doors. Be totally straightforward from the very beginning.

Josh believes that when building a culture worthy of your organization, it is likely that you will strongly attract the right people and strongly repel the wrong ones.  And certainly, not everyone who attends an observation responds. The work and the pace intimidate some people. [07:30]

But he wouldn’t change a thing.

Rockrbox invests a lot of one-on-one training in every new employee before they are ready to do the job. Twenty hours on the new hire combined with 20 hours of the trainer’s time: Forty hours is a huge investment if someone might either bomb or quit.

Transparency

It is definitely better to be transparent and upfront.

Anything less is simply a waste of everyone’s time.

Have a collection of people that are all driven and motivated, in a cohesive unit, and headed in the same direction. A team that supports and enjoys each other becomes a better team because of it. It’s the most harmonious thing you can do with any business.

Know the culture you want to create and then protect it. Invite others to observe whether or not it is right for them. [09:16]

Once you become a leader of others, give them your expectations and the tools to succeed.

Clearly communicate all of it – the good, the bad and the ugly. [11:22]

“Don’t Trick Them” episode resources

To learn more about how rokrbox converts the online leads of top sales professionals in the real estate industry, visit www.rokrbox.com or contact Josh directly at josh@rokrbox.com.

This episode is brought to you in part by prospect.io, a powerful sales automation platform that allows you to build highly personalized, cold email campaigns. To learn more, go to prospect.io/tse. It will help you with your outbound to expand your outreach. It allows you to set it and forget it. Your prospecting will never ever be the same.

Previously known as TSE Hustler’s League, our TSE Certified Sales Program offers modules that you can engage on your own schedule as well as opportunities to engage with other sellers in other industries.

This episode is brought to you in part by mailtag.io, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. It’s super easy, it’s helpful, and I recommend that you try it out.

You’ll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link.

I hope you enjoyed the show today as much as I did. If so, please consider leaving us a rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you consume this content and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility.

If you haven’t already done so, subscribe to the podcast so you won’t miss a single episode, and share with your friends!

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

TSE 514: Sales From The Street: “Hire Better Sellers”

David Thomson, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast Today’s guest is David Thomson who’s going to give us great insights into how you, as sales leaders, can make sure that you hire better people.

David Thomson is the Chief Revenue Officer at List Partners Inc., a sales intelligence resource company. David is going to share one of the major challenges he has seen around the hiring process, how companies drop the ball sometimes, and how we can become more effective in hiring. This results in higher productivity, increased performance, better retention rate, and a greater sales morale.

[mk_button dimension=”three” size=”large” bg_color=”#59b671″ text_color=”light” icon=”moon-screen-4″ url=”https://www.pandadoc.com/demo/?utm_source=podcast&utm_campaign=salesevangelist&utm_medium=cpc” target=”_blank” align=”center” margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”15″ width=”1/1″ el_position=”first last”]Check Out PandaDoc[/mk_button]

Here are the highlights of my conversation with David:

One of the major challenges David has seen in the sales arena:

Promoting sales individuals into a sales management position where there is no process or system in place.

Strategies for Hiring Best Sellers:

  1. Bring in the right type of talent.
  2. Avoid surface level questions. Always dig deeper.
  3. Come in with 3 main questions then all secondary questions are based off of these questions.

Examples:

  • How would you achieve xyz results at this company? How long should it take? Who is required to do it?
  • Give me an example where you demonstrated in a previous position. (Then dive in and ask 4-5 questions from that question).
  1. Bring people from other departments such as marketing and IT for a cultural interview to see if they’re a good fit for the entire team.

A lot of the best feedback come from people outside of the sales department. So have someone completely outside of the sales department to give you a different set of lenses.

[mk_button dimension=”three” size=”large” bg_color=”#59b671″ text_color=”light” icon=”moon-screen-4″ url=”https://www.pandadoc.com/demo/?utm_source=podcast&utm_campaign=salesevangelist&utm_medium=cpc” target=”_blank” align=”center” margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”15″ width=”1/1″ el_position=”first last”]Check Out PandaDoc[/mk_button]

David’s Major Takeaway:

Practice and do a role play. Grab a colleague or grab your manager and go in and ask them those questions before you actually go live into an interview. The more you practice, the better you’re going to be prepared.

Episode Resources:

Connect with David Thomson on LinkedIn or shoot him an email at davet@thelistinc.com.

List Partners Inc.

Say goodbye to long, boring proposals and check out PandaDoc. Create electronic proposals to your prospects. Sign and receive payments without leaving your CRM. It integrates well with other CRMs such as Salesforce. Pipedrive, and HubSpot. To get a quick demonstration and a free trial, go to www.thesalesevangelist.com/panda

Donald Kelly, PandaDoc

Help us spread the word out by leaving us a rating or review on iTunes, Stitcher, or Google Play or whatever platform you’re using.

[mk_button dimension=”three” size=”large” bg_color=”#59b671″ text_color=”light” icon=”moon-screen-4″ url=”https://www.pandadoc.com/demo/?utm_source=podcast&utm_campaign=salesevangelist&utm_medium=cpc” target=”_blank” align=”center” margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”15″ width=”1/1″ el_position=”first last”]Check Out PandaDoc[/mk_button]

The Sales Evangelist, Pete Ryan, Sales Questions, Salespeople

TSE 269: Questions Sales Talent Should Ask In An Interview

The Sales Evangelist, Pete Ryan, Sales Questions, Salespeople Looking for a sales job? Well, you better prep yourself up for the interview and understand the importance of asking the hiring manager the right questions that will help gear you to success. Trust me, I’ve had a share of some bad questions and messed things up and you don’t want to make that mistake. That’s why I’m bringing Pete Ryan on the show today to talk some more about asking great questions to make sure you and the company are a mutual fit!

Pete Ryan is the co-founder of Gogohire, an invite-only sales talent network used by over 350 companies in San Francisco. He formerly worked with Oracle, LinkedIn, and mobile app startup company Double Dutch. Today, Pete shares some expert advice to help gear yourself up during the interview process.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Pete:

Gogohire is a platform that connects the top 10% of tech sales talent with amazing opportunities at desirable tech companies.

What you get from Gogohire:

  • They make the hiring process more efficient
  • Sales candidates visit the site.
  • They create a profile.
  • They receive interview requests from companies where they can choose to either accept or decline.
  • If they accepted the request, they get interviewed at the company.
  • If they get hired, they send over $1,000 of hiring bonus.

What the company gets:

  • Access to the top 10% of top sales talents who are ready to make a career change

Why sales talents need to ask questions in the interview process:

It’s really not about you, but the hiring manager. You are the product or solution to the hiring manager’s pain point. You need to ask the right questions for the following reasons:

  1. To show that you’ve done your homework.
  2. To show that this is how you’re going to help the hiring manager with their success and add value to the sales organization.

7 great questions to ask the hiring manager during the interview process:

  1. Aside from hitting my quota, what else do you expect of me?

Aside from implying that you’re going to hit the quota, it shows that you want to add more value to the organization and to the hiring manager than just adding revenue.

  1. What makes a good sales rep here successful versus a not so good sales rep?

This question implies that you care about being the best sales rep in the team, you’re self-aware, and it shows that you want to learn.

  1. XYZ are your competitors. How do you guys really compare and how is your sales team selling against those guys?

Don’t just show up and throw up. Do your research about the company beforehand.

Resources to learn about the company:

  • Company website
  • LinkedIn company page
  • Go to CrunchBase to find out how much funding they have.
  • Go to TechCrunch to read the latest news about the company and get a view of the technology industry.
  1. What type of mentorship or training do you or the sales organization provide?

This is a good question to ask for entry-level sales folks especially if you’ve just graduated from college because you have to make sure you get the right training. Other questions are:

  • How do you take care of your salespeople?
  • How do you coach them?
  1. I noticed you worked at xyz company and then you left that company to join this company, why did you do that?

This is a question to ask if you want to get an idea of their culture.

  1. I noticed that you have 20 salespeople on your team, what percentage of them are hitting quota?

The answer to this could send you some red flags about the company. If they, for example, say only 3 out of 20 are hitting quota. Not a good sign!

  1. What’s your sales workflow or the sales tools that you’re using across the team?

This will give you an insight into their approach with sales as to what platforms they focus on when selling and you’d be able to assess how that fits to your comfort level.

Knowing the salary

Don’t mention salary upfront or that could send a message that you’re just there for the money. If you can’t find the information, hold off. Get the job first then find out what the salary is.

Asking the sales leader to meet with their top sales rep

This allows you to ask the sales rep questions like the time it takes to move up to the next level, etc.

Connect with Pete and call him at 415-412-8253.

Pete’s Major Takeaway:

The interview process is not just all about you. It’s about the hiring manager. Ask those questions and do that discovery upfront. Look at the hiring manager as the customer. Treat the interview process as if you’re the solution to the customer’s problems.

Episode Resources:

Interested in hiring great salespeople? Or are you looking for your next sales job? Check them out at Gogohire.com.

Get a free audiobook download and a 30-day free trial at audibletrial.com/tse with over 180,000 titles to choose from for your iPhone, Android, Kindle or mp3 player.

Join Now!

The Sales Evangelist, Donald Kelly, Donald C. Kelly