Interviewing Techniques for Landing a Great Sales Job with Richard Harris

Interviewing Techniques for Landing a Great Sales Job with Richard Harris, #171


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Whether you are a sales leader looking for a new role or an aspiring sales rep looking for your first sales job, you will want to listen closely to what my guest has to say.

My guest in this episode of the Modern Selling Podcast is Richard Harris, a seasoned SaaS leader and consultant.

Richard has 20 years of sales and sales training experience with companies like Google, Visa, SiriusXM, Pager Duty, Gainsight, Salesloft. He is also the author of Owning Your Job Search: Your step by step guide from application, to salary.

The goal of the book is to teach people that they have way more control in the interview process than they think they do. It’s all about the mindset.

“When you go to a job interview,” Richard says, “you’re interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you.”

Listen to the episode to learn some tips on how to land your dream sales job.

WOW, I just listened to this @GoModernSelling ep. and learned great interviewing techniques for landing my dream sales job. Thanks, @rharris415 and host @M_3jr Click To Tweet

How to Get a Sales Job

These are the basic steps to apply for a sales position, according to Richard.

1. You have to update your resume (that means LinkedIn)

Although you may still need a resume, your LinkedIn profile is your most up-to-date resume. And in Sales, people will surely find sellers on LinkedIn.

“Nobody wants to look at a four-page resume, but they’ll scroll till the end of the Earth on LinkedIn,” Richard says. “So LinkedIn is my most optimized page.”

Listen to the episode to discover the type of information you should put on top of your LinkedIn profile as a sales professional and other LinkedIn tips.

2. Contact the hiring manager

The second step is to go to LinkedIn, find the highest person in HR you can or find two or three people in HR and send them a message that says, “Hey, I just applied online. I’d love to know who I should follow up with directly.”

Whether they tell you or not, you should try to figure out who the hiring manager is and contact them. If you are connected to them you may see their email and phone number.

Richard says you should call them or leave a message. “So when I apply to a job, I’m not applying to a job. I’m applying to the whole company. I’m taking this much larger approach because I already know it’s going to be a six-step process, anyway, so I need to put my name in front of as many people as I can. And the beautiful thing about us in sales is that this will be seen as the right thing. It will show that we are tenacious, that we don’t take “no” for an answer. When you hire me, this is what you get.”

We need to run a sales campaign about us as the product as much as if we were actually selling an individual product for a company.

3. Ask the right questions during the interview

One piece of advice I give to people looking for a sales job is, “You get to choose who you work for and you get to choose the company that you work for. So choose wisely.”

Great pieces of advice w/ the basic steps to apply for a #sales position in this @GoModernSelling ep. with @rharris415 and host @M_3jr 💡 I'm now updating my #LinkedIn profile and building connections! Click To Tweet

Richard agrees and says you should be asking some key questions to the interviewer so you can actually choose wisely.

“I want to be able to ask politely, when it’s my turn, what are the things that you see here that make someone successful and what you know about me so far, what do you think I have and what do you think I don’t have?”

You want to ask that question to show that you can ask tough questions and you can handle the answers.

Another question is: If you could snap your fingers right now and three things in the sales world, in your sales environment can change, what would they be?

“They come back and they give me three things and I say, great, so what’s preventing it from happening? Because that gives me insight into the culture of the organization and it gives me insight into this person’s ability to push for it.”

A third question is: Aside from me hitting my number, what do you need someone in this role to do to help you be successful?

This is a good question to ask a potential boss because now they are thinking what those things are and now they know you got their back.

And another great question is: How many people have been promoted from underneath you?

That’s a big indication of how good a leader they are right because your job is assuming you want to be promoted.

“The whole purpose of the first interview is to get shortlisted to the second, to the third, to the fourth. And what you need to do is you go back to your personal board of directors and you say hey, what do you think they’re going to ask? What do you think I should be prepared for?”

“And if for some reason you don’t get the job you now at least go back and go. Okay, where do I think I missed right where you know, I thought I did this. I thought I did that.”

I want to share with you the questions discussed in this @GoModernSelling ep. with @rharris415 and host @M_3jr to crush it in your next sales interview 🌟 Go and get that job! Click To Tweet

Compensation: Base Salary vs Options

A lot of sales reps interviewing for a job may have to decide between a higher base salary, options and commissions. Should you take the higher base salary or more options?

Richard says it depends on the career goal and where you are.  “If you’re an SDR, the options are never going to cash out. So I would take the higher base salary at that role and once I start to hit the manager roles, maybe, but I have to see what it’s worth. Options are worthless and a tax liability.”

Listen to the episode to learn more about how options work and whether to take the salary or not.


10 thoughts on “15 LinkedIn Profile Optimization Tips to Get Found This 2023”

  1. My LinkedIn account was ranking on the first page for best mommys blog keyword quite a few years back and I didn’t have any idea. While working, I stumbled upon the Analytic section of LinkedIn and saw that most of the visitors are coming from search engine later on I realized that in my profile I’ve used “Mommy’s blog” word a lot of time and that is the reason why it was ranking well on SERP. This is how I came to know about SEO and I was also amazed by the fact that how easy it was to rank for competitive keywords back then. Anyways loved your article and please share more tips on SEO.

  2. There is a lot of value in this article, especially for those looking to improve their visibility on LinkedIn. My favorite of the fifteen tips shared in this article is number nine. I’ve observed that people with custom profile links, seem to get more attention than those who haven’t customized their LinkedIn profile URL. Interesting article, thank you for taking the time to put it together.

  3. I agree with the recommendations, they are a very important part of our strategy on LinkedIn, it can give confidence to potential customers (or leaders when someone is looking for a job).

  4. People shouldn’t underestimate keywords on their LinkedIn profile! This helped potential buyers to find me on LinkedIn more easily when they searched for certain products and/or services. Thanks Viveka!

  5. Thank you for another great blog post. For the alt text and/or naming images, do you mean two to three different keyword phrases as a maximum, like this?

    B2B cybersecurity content marketing writer , technical writing cybersecurity content , cybersecurity technical writer , David Geer

    Or can you add more keyword phrases than this?

  6. All the information is very helpful which can help us to increase our Profile ranking on LinkedIn. Another big interesting article, this blog is very useful for the Optimization of my LinkedIn profile.
    I also get much knowledge from this blog.
    thank you keep sharing.

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