Earlier today we had Tayo Sowole from Verifi.ng to talk to new graduates seeking an entry-level sales role about what employers look out for. As an entry-level graduate, it is difficult to know what employers are looking for and what will make you the right candidate. Tayo Sowole is currently the Sales Lead for Verifi.ng and he held similar positions at VConnect and DealDay. If you missed the webinar, you can watch the recording on YouTube.
It is important to have a warm and welcoming personality as a salesperson. Having a good smile is a perfect place to start. Customers will not care to listen to you let alone buy from you if you look like all the problems of this world has been placed on your shoulders. Another way you can come across as a likable person is to maintain a decent level of eye contact and communicate with confidence. I must warn that if you follow all of these steps to become a likable person and you are not honest, it’s all ephemeral. Quick recap: Have a great smile, make a decent level of eye contact, communicate with confidence and be a reliable person. Your interview does not start when you enter the interview room, it starts the moment you open the gate to the employer’s office.
Employers understand that you are an entry-level sales person and they are not expecting to see a quintessential candidate. We all have rooms for improvement and it will remain that way throughout our career days and life in general. That said, employers cannot deal with a candidate who keeps making the same mistakes and is unable to learn from them. A great prescription for misery is to learn everything you possibly can from your own experience, minimizing what you learn vicariously from the good and bad experience of others, it is the path to second-rate achievement. Employers need to know you a person who can be taught. You also need to learn how to read because it is en evidence that you can learn from others. If you are at an interview and the employer corrects you, don’t try to defend yourself instead, accept the correction, let them know that you will avoid it next time and move forward. Another way to confirm if you are a teachable person is to assess yourself personally.
Experience is good but it doesn’t have to be in a structured work environment. After employers might have graded your soft skills, they next box they will most probably tick would be whether or not you have experience as a salesperson. Tayo mentioned that most candidates have the basic experience, however, most candidates make the error of not including it in their resume or speaking about it well (or at all) during the interview session. If you had a small poultry, helped your mother at the shop, sold clothes while you were in school, that type of experience is important for someone going into a sales role.