Interview Questions About Long and Short Sales Cycles

Businesswoman conducting a job interview
••• Stuart O'Sullivan/The Image Bank/Getty Images

As a salesperson, you'll likely be asked during a job interview whether you prefer a longer sales cycle or a shorter sales cycle. It's important to remember that there is no right or wrong answer to this question. The main goal should be to show that you are knowledgeable about each cycle type, understand their differences, and can eloquently explain how your sales technique plays into the one you prefer.

It's perfectly acceptable to acknowledge that both approaches have value as long as you support your answer. Consider the helpful sample answers below to help you compose your answer to this question.

Sample Answer for Why Both Sales Cycles Have Value

"I think there are interesting points to both types of sales. On one hand, I value the longer sales cycle because it gives me time to get to know my customer. If I can spend quality time with them we can build a rapport and establish trust. Also, I can spend time educating them about the various benefits and uses of the product they're interested in. On the other hand, if I am using a shorter sales cycle I typically don't have the time to obtain knowledge about the customer and I can't offer them lengthy explanations. While this may seem like a negative, it's not. Without a lot of available time, I need to hit the high priority topics rather quickly, and this can facilitate a sale rather quickly."

Why You Prefer a Long Sales Cycles

"I always prefer a longer sales cycle because the dialogue can be adjusted depending on the individual client I am dealing with. Some clients like to have a lot of information about a product at the on-set. They're information gathers and want to be knowledgeable about the product, especially when it comes to having a lot of technical questions answered."

"Other clients are also information gathers and have technical questions but are also interested in the personal benefits of a product. With a longer cycle, I am able to get to know the clients' needs better and I can adjust my sales pitch accordingly. Also, having more time means I can educate my clients about all the features of a particular product, and why it's the right product or them. The more time I have the easier it is to get to know the clients' needs and adjust my sales pitch accordingly. I've also found that the more time I invest in making a connection with the client, the easier it is to establish a long-term relationship with them and generate repeat business."

Why You Prefer a Short Sales Cycles

"I really enjoy the quicker pace of a shorter sales cycle. I like to get right to the point about the features and benefits of the product I am selling and showcase the reasons why it's the best choice for the customer. I make sure I am very knowledgeable about everything I am selling and I am always ready with answers to any question that's put to me. Also, the more I sell, the more commission I make and the more I make for the company. That said, I don't sacrifice creating a rapport with my clients but I do believe that "time is money" when it comes to selling."

Other Interview Articles and Advice