Thursday, May 24, 2018

The Close and How to Use It


The sales close is a tool to gain a decision when seeking a desired outcome. It is not manipulation as some might suggest but rather an effective communication skill and, whether you are the interviewer or the interviewee, it is a key methodology to gain necessary decision-making information. After all, a primary difference between a marketer and a sales person is the ability to extract a decision. At its root and applying deductive logic, in sales, a “yes” means yes, “no” means no and “maybe” means no.
The close is something we use and experience every day although we rarely notice it in our day-to-day lives. Here are some examples you should learn to recognize and incorporate for your own usage during the interview process:
 
Assumptive Close
        “Yes, I’d like to meet with you again - Monday is good for me, how does your schedule look?”
        “So how about a soup or a salad to go with your meal?”
(with this close, you are showing decisiveness and a proactive character. It also demonstrates interest.) 
 
Alternative Close (one or the other)
        “Yes, I look forward to meeting you. Are you available on Wednesday or Friday?”
        “Would you like the red one, or the blue one?”
(this positions you to win, regardless of the choice.)
 
Columbo (“Oh, by the way”) Close
        “Oh, by the way, did I mention I saved the company money by improving production and fewer faulty widgets?”
        “Oh, by the way, did I mention that today we offer buy 1 and get the 2nd at half-price?”
(this is a good way to make one more impactful point to leave them wanting more, or a conversation extender)
 
Puppy Dog Close (no obligation / money-back close)
        “I am interested in this job and, if given the opportunity, I will work hard for you. If, after 6 months you’re not satisfied with my work, I will leave no questions asked.”
        “Sure, take the puppy home and if, after a few weeks you’re not happy with him, you can bring him back for a refund.”
(human nature suggests that most people will keep something they’ve purchased even if they have a few doubts, rather than to go through the steps to return it. With the puppy example, people will become attached to it even if it is not perfect)
 
Take-away Close (last resort close)
        “We’ve been taking now for 3 months and this is my 6th interview – OR – It’s been 2 months since our last communication. It doesn’t appear you are interested - so maybe we shouldn’t continue...”
        “We’ve been dating now for 6 years and I don’t see a wedding proposal anytime soon, I don’t think I want to invest any more time…”
(this method helps to resolve long processes to press for a decision. There could be a very good reason for the delay, but you deserve to know the reason in order to apply it to your decision-making process going forward. If their decision is to end the process, you’re saving time and energy in order to move on, in another direction. CAUTION: never use this close unless you mean it)
 
No Means Yes (the “Is It..” close)
·        “it’s obvious that you’re not ready to move forward. What is it that is holding you back?”
 
·        “I can see this is not the right shirt / blouse for you. Is it the color that you don’t like?”
 
(this is another form of the take-away close. It is utilized to learn more specifically the reason(s) for resistance in order to either clarify and present a remedy, or simply gain clarification.) 
 
Direct Close (go for the throat)
        “I want this job, what’s the next step?”
        “How can we put you in this car today?”
(when it is obvious, just ask)
 
There are some who think utilizing closes like those listed here are passé, out of style or rude. Nothing could be further from the truth. As with everything it is not what you say, but rather how you say it. Indeed, if you sound like a huckster you’ll be treated like one, DUH! But, in a friendly or business conversational context these are not just helpful, but in my view, essential if you are doing your part as an interactive participant in a process that directly impacts you and your family. Pardon my sarcasm but, don’t you have an obligation to yourself to negotiate in your own self-interest or perhaps you can find an App to do it for you.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Part 4 of 4 - more you can use to your advantage


Part 4 of 4: Close the interview, the art of communication, interview goal, interview follow-up, references, job offer, resignation and potential obstacles … how much of this do you know … or don’t know?

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Part 3 ... and it's a good one, it concerns MONEY

Part 3 ... and it's a good one, it concerns MONEY and also interview advice to help you to pass up the others who want the same job, but are as clueless as most people out there, about the interview process. Give yourself an advantage.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

More Interview Advice to Consider, Part 2 of 4


Here's part 2 of 4. This one talks a little bit about interview performance and near the end begins to discuss the all important topic of money with more about this, in the 3rd part. 

Monday, February 12, 2018

Interview Advice to Consider, Part 1 of 4


Rather than posting written advice, like I normally do - I am posting video for your consideration. Everyone has to interview sometime, so why not better inform yourself to wield an advantage over others who are after the same job. Invest 10 minutes with your morning coffee to see how much of this you already know and what might be new and useful information, that you can leverage in the future - and please share it with others you know who might also benefit.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Nothing Replaces a Handshake


For the sake of convenience, we forego even the most basic activities. I suppose it is human nature; if it saves time then why not, right? However, in exchange for these conveniences there is a negative impact that can and is affecting us. Time and effort-saving shortcuts have an unanticipated side-effect, which have, in just one generation, detrimentally affected the soft skills and interpersonal communication skills of most people engaged on both sides of the interview and hiring process.
These shortcuts delay and prevent us from the core purpose of the interview and decision-making process; informed decisions can only be made with face-to-face interaction between candidate and hiring manager. I witness that time-savers often end up as time-wasters.
There is an old axiom in business and it is: Time Kills All Deals. If a company drags out the interview process, the applicant/candidate loses interest with a situation that fails to move with purpose and sometimes gets distracted by another opportunity. Likewise, when a candidate drags his or her feet for whatever reason, any earlier and previously built up interest and enthusiasm the hiring manager might have had, begins to wane and fades – this is also human nature.
No doubt, people are busy and even with all the shortcuts and tools available, they are multi-tasking more than ever. But I watch both sides with text messages and emails, delaying the in-person interaction about things that could be easily addressed and resolved in-person, which they’ve got to do at some point, anyway. Never mind the fact that text-related communications using a typed word, can be and often are taken out of context with unintended and mistaken perceptions.  
The kind of recruiting work I engage in means that I am as much a project manager (of the process) as I am a recruiter. Increasingly I work to keep both parties focused because many times these processes would fall apart without my active involvement. Sometimes I have to call one side or the other or both and say, “Would you two just arrange to meet and get together already”. During the interview process your goal is to make an informed decision regardless of on which side of the process you find yourself. There is no substitute for engaging in-person, face-to-face, period, and no gimmicks or academic psychobabble rationalizations can change this basic truth. The most important reason for this is simple: the jobs specs matter, true, a person’s experience matters, of course, but if the person does not fit the company or organizational culture – or there is no personal chemistry between hiring manager and employee, the result will be little more than a waste of time for people who don’t have much of it to waste.
If you think this topic has relevance and you would like to be better prepared and improve your chances; to have the information available for quick reference or someone you know will need it - then no question about it, you need my handbook. Think of it as a career survival guide providing useful and effective tips for every step of the job search and interview process, ready when you will need it. It is recently updated and there’s stuff in it you’ll find nowhere else; you can find more information here: Control Your Career

Monday, October 16, 2017

Why Are You There?


The next time you arrive at a job interview, ask yourself why you are there. It sounds insultingly simple, however, may I suggest that you are not there to sit mute and only answer questions asked of you. Nor are you there to offer the bare minimum of information and say as little as possible. In short, you’re not a piece of furniture, so don’t be one, which circles us back to the question of: why are you there?
I am hoping you’re there because you choose to be and you want to leave the impression that you are interested in, or at least to learn more about the opportunity they are offering. Your objective, your goal, is to leave an impression such that you will be invited /elevated to the next step in the hiring process of further evaluation and not the process of elimination. Regardless of whether you will ultimately decide to go forward – you should seek to move forward.
From where I sit and reflect on the last 25 years I have been recruiting, job seekers are not only less prepared than ever, they are also more lifeless and mute than ever and it shows when they interview. Meanwhile, companies are growing more frustrated than ever with management lamenting the shortage of qualified, interested and effective candidates. They don’t say there is a shortage of bodies; there are a lot of people, yes, but far fewer who demonstrate themselves to be worthy of further consideration. This fact can be a big advantage for the person who wants to do well and makes a real effort.
I lecture to groups and consult with individuals and teach them the finer points of interviewing and negotiating in their own best interest. Sadly, however, more and more people lack the basic skills to be effective. So, let’s keep it simple; here’s my challenge to everyone engaging in the activity of looking for a new job:
Don’t blend in with the furniture; instead, actively participate with the hiring manager(s) during the entire interview process, at every stage. If that sounds easy than why do so few people do it. For example: you can start by not predictably reciting your resume, a copy of which they already have.
Here’s a novel idea and something to contemplate: during the interview, using your resume only as a point of reference, talk about and describe all the stuff that is NOT on your resume. After all, isn’t the resume a mere condensed synopsis of your career – surely, there is more to you than what little is described on a piece of paper. Elaborate, elucidate, accentuate and illustrate who you are, why you are there and why they should invite you back. Making a conscious effort to do this and involve yourself more fully, will propel you beyond everyone else, who simply show up to attend an interview.
If you think this topic has relevance and you would like to be better prepared and improve your chances; to have the information available for quick reference or someone you know will need it - then no question about it, you need my handbook. Think of it as a career survival guide providing useful and effective tips for every step of the job search and interview process, ready when you will need it. It is recently updated and there’s stuff in it you’ll find nowhere else; you can find more information here: Control Your Career