“Addressing it at the beginning versus addressing it at the end, will make all the in-between resonate much more effectively because it’s built on a foundation of trust.” – Todd Caponi in today’s Tip 506
How will you lead with your flaws in an interview?
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Scott Ingram: You’re listening to the Daily Sales Tips podcast and I’m your host, Scott Ingram. Today Todd Caponi is back. Todd is the author of the award-winning (best of 2020) book, The Transparency Sale, a top-rated keynote speaker & trainer as Principal of Sales Melon LLC, and he’s also Managing Director of Chicago’s VentureSCALE. Here he is with today’s tip:
Todd Caponi: Hi I’m Todd Caponi and for today’s tip, I want to focus on those that are in the interview process that are looking for a job and going out for interviews, because that really is kind of a sales pitch, right? And this tip also applies to anybody in any sales situation but the story is specific to that.
I had an individual reach out to me a couple of weeks ago, looking for a little advice. He was going in for a final interview and it was going to be in front of a panel, a virtual panel. And the problem that he was facing is that the job requirement listed out that he is required to have five years of SAAS tech experience. And as it turns out, he had none and he knew that the other candidates had the requisite experience and he wanted to know how should he deal with that during the interview.
And here was the advice lead with it. Start the conversation with it, be vulnerable lead with what potentially could be a flaw because that panel, they’re probably all thinking it, they’re all realizing it. And if we come out and address what could be the negative at the beginning, it is incredibly disarming, it builds trust. And when you start talking about the pros of who you are, or if you’re selling a product service technology, what those are, it goes through the brain’s filter much more effectively versus when we feel like we’re being influenced.
And so that’s what I told them to do to start the conversation by saying, “Hey, listen, before we get too far down the path, I do understand that the job requires that I have five years of SAAS tech experience. And unfortunately, as you know, I don’t have any. So can we talk through that requirement? Because if it’s going to be important, I’m probably going to save you a lot of time here, but obviously I also am super excited about this role and think I can do great in it. But again, if that’s going to be the main criteria, let’s address that now.” And he did exactly that. And fast forward a few days, he not only got the offer, but he took it. And now a couple of weeks later, he’s working there.
The point is we are wired to not only try to predict our experience, which is why 82% of us when we’re looking at reviews on a product online, we’ll go right to the negative ones first. But when there’s something that’s bothering us, we want that addressed upfront. When you think about any sales situation, if there’s something that could potentially be a roadblock, addressing it at the beginning versus addressing it at the end, will make all the in-between resonate much more effectively because it’s built on a foundation of trust.
So give it a try if you’re going through an interview process, what are the reasons why, if you were in the higher shoes that they wouldn’t want to hire you. Address those things, especially when they’re obvious, especially when they’re aligned with what the job requirement is going to be. And you’re going to find that you build trust and you end up with more options because I’m telling you the effectiveness of that approach sells, transparency sells leading with your flaws sells in your imperfections, could be exactly the reason why you get your next job. So good luck. Try it out. Can’t wait to hear how it goes.
Scott Ingram: You’ll find more about Todd and the video version of this tip where you can see Todd at DailySales.Tips/506 where you can connect with him on LinkedIn and grab a copy of his book The Transparency Sale, if you haven’t already. It’s also available on Audible.
Once you’ve done that. Be sure to come back tomorrow for another great sales tip. Thanks for listening!