I hope you will all forgive me for the rather melodramatic subject of tonight’s editorial. Now that I have encouraged you to talk, my fear is that you will talk too much.
Personal selling is a grand profession. Unlike many of the products that can be sold through mass marketing, personal selling products tend to be complicated, just like you. Complex products require a lot of sales training. Those of you who have experimented with selling insurance or other related financial services can relate to your fellow members of The FENG that the technical information was easy to absorb, but the real job of these folks is selling and more selling.
That said, when you have a great product like yourself that you know so well, it is easy to get carried away when you finally have a customer in front of you. You often assume, wrongly of course, that you NEED to transmit everything that is in your head directly to the interviewer. You forget that the interviewer has your resume on the desk. Regurgitating all that is there AND MORE is called “throwing up on the customer.”
Like it or not, they asked and they are going to get it ALL.
Step one in any interviewing situation is to breath from time to time. The same thing is true if you are talking to someone on the phone. While it is relatively easy to interrupt someone in front of you, it is impossible to interrupt someone on the phone these days because of digital technology.
As much as we practice our 90-second announcements in meetings, the point of the 90-second announcement is often lost on those practicing it. It is the perfect answer to “Tell me about yourself.”
Being as brief as Calvin Coolidge isn’t good, but neither is rattling on and on and on.
Interviewers have lots and lots of questions. What you want to do is ensure that they have the opportunity to get through all of them. The first thing to be clear about in an interview is how much time you have. Figure that the game is 20 questions and if you have 30 minutes, you have the proverbial 90 seconds to answer each one.
You are indeed a remarkable individual, but it isn’t necessary to tell others EVERYTHING you know. Much is assumed by your appearance and the way you answer individual questions. Thoughtful answers to a series of questions are always better than long involved answers to only a handful.
Be mindful of the short attention span out in the world and you will always be well received.
Who knows, if you keep your lunch down, you might even be invited back for dinner.