How Interviewing Can Teach You Winning Sales Techniques
by Tim Healy
Selling is about connecting with your prospect and making him or her feel valued. This idea also carries over in the world of entertainment. Have you ever listened to a radio interview and felt like the host and guest just clicked? This connection is something you should aspire to achieve in sales. Being an interviewer can teach you important sales techniques.
Preparing for Your Interview
The success of your interview or cold call depends on your preparation. I want to learn as much as I can about a guest before I have them on for an interview. Since my interview is a longer format (30-60 minutes, it gives me the chance to do a deep dive. If I have an author on, I actually read the books. Since many of my guests have been interviewed before, I will find other interviews or videos they have done. I want to ask them something that the typical interview doesn’t ask.
Connecting with a New Guest
It goes without saying that the more you speak with someone, the more connected to him or her you will be. What happens if you are interviewing or pitching to someone for the first time? There are three things I do before and leading up to an interview to get them excited about their appearance:
- When I confirm with the guest via email, I tell him or her how excited I am to have them on. I also mention specific parts of their story that I am looking forward to talking about.
- On the day of the interview, I have them call a few minutes early. This extra time lets me pick up their energy before the show starts. You can always hear a change in their voice – that simple peptalk can change a state of mind.
- I take the time to craft an intro that lasts about 2 minutes to get the audience excited. The guest hears this intro and starts the interview feeling like a rockstar. During my interview with Barbara Corcoran, she even discussed how flattered she was from my interview.
The Key to a Great Interview
We all like to feel important. A key to conducting a great interview is also one that can help you in sales. Part of interviewing someone is being curious about him or her. Being a good listener and showing that you value the individual is vital in an interview and on a sales call. You will build a stronger rapport and make it more likely that the interviewer trusts you.
Interviewing Guests is Like Selling to People
I believe being a great interviewer and salesperson is about being curious and a great listener. If you walk into a sales meeting with a prospect and you are genuinely curious about their needs and how you can help, you are really increasing your chances of connecting and being able to find a solution that’s right for them and therefore make the sale. It all comes down to communication.
Taking the Radio/Podcast Approach
It’s possible to approach a sales call like you would a radio interview. You should approach the call as wanting to learn about your “guest” and their goals. Have great questions ready, do your research, and get a conversation going about them. Once someone starts talking about themselves (which is usually their favorite topic) then the conversation or the interview starts flowing.
Being a great interviewer can help you in more than just the radio or podcast world. The skills you learn as an interviewer carry over to those you use in sales. The next time you prepare for a sales call, try to imagine hosting an interview with the individual – it could make all the difference in the success of the sale.