How to Answer an Interview Question About Your Most Successful Sale
When you answer questions about your sales successes, be sure to give a tangible example of how you were successful.
When applicants are interviewed for a sales job, the interviewer needs quantifiable information in order to properly access how successful the sale truly was. For example, you might have to provide a step-by-step breakdown of what you did to close a difficult sale or the fact that your sale produced a 56 percent increase in revenue year over year.
Tips for Responding to Interview Questions About Your Most Successful Sale
This question is a real opportunity for you to trumpet your best qualities as a salesperson. Think about what you want to convey to the interviewer. Are they looking for a go-getter? Share a story that reflects that. Or, if they are interested in the scale of the deal, emphasize that.
Here are more tips for responding to this type of interview question:
- Tell a coherent story. What did you do? What challenges did you overcome? A good story has a beginning, middle, and end. It also doesn't drag on too long or introduce a lot of terminology that's specific to the company/sale.
- Don't be shy about your accomplishments — but don't be boastful, either. When interviewers ask this question, they want to hear what you did well. So tell them! You can brag a bit (e.g., "This was the biggest sale of the quarter and I was so pleased to be acknowledged in the year-end company-wide meeting."). Don't go over the top with your self-praise though. There's a fine line between owning a win and being boastful.
- Describe why the process went well. Maybe you were really persistent or maybe the sale landed because your whole team worked together smoothly. Perhaps your sales go smoothly because of your personal touch, your commitment to researching customer needs, or another factor. Call out the processes and skills you applied to land the deal. Of course, if there is a particular sales skill that you know the job at hand calls for, you can emphasize that in your answer.
- My most successful sale was one where I had to take over a customer from another salesperson who suddenly had to leave the company. I immediately contacted the client and let them know the situation and made sure to fill them in on my background so that they would be comfortable working with me. I did not say anything negative about my colleague because that would reflect badly on the company. I also explained that I had reviewed their file and was completely up to speed on their situation to date. I knew that my colleague was having a difficult time getting the client to commit to the purchase of a large motorhome. Part of the problem was circumstantial because the client was someone who did not act in haste. I was able to give the customer enough time to reflect on the purchase and because I was sensitive to their needs, I was ultimately able to close the sale.
- I would say that my most successful sales have all had a similar pattern. Once the customer has expressed interest in the product, I make myself available to answer any questions they have. Next, I elaborate on any of the details surrounding the product that they are not familiar with (i.e., features, benefits, etc.). I believe that when a customer is making an expensive purchase, they like to have time to fully understand all the features, and how each feature will benefit them. I also like to explain what makes one company (i.e., manufacturer) preferable to another. By representing a company with a superior product (and a high level of customer support) I have been very successful at landing most of my sales.
- I have been very fortunate to have met many interesting people in my career as a sales associate. One of the sales which I consider my most successful was an international sale of a large number of books which had been returned to my company after a major retailer closed. By going through my contact base, I discovered that an English Language bookstore in a small suburb of Delhi could make use of these books. I was able to offer the owner a terrific deal. This helped my employer tremendously because we did not have to re-stock the items.
Sales Job Interview Tips
Before you head out to your next sales associate interview, review these sales job interview tips so you can convincingly sell your most important product, yourself.