8 Steps to Crush the Mock Sales Presentation in the Job Interview

Interviewing for a sales job is nerve racking enough as is. From the initial phone screen with a recruiter, to a few different in-person interviews with members of the sales team, to completing any assessments or projects, to meeting with the hiring manager…it can be a lot.

You’ve done it all and made it to the final stages of the sales interview process seamlessly. Well done.

Now you’re onto one of the last steps of the process… completing a mock sales presentation.

What is a mock sales presentation?

A mock sales presentation is a common exercise during the sales interview process for companies to gauge a candidate’s ability to present a product/solution, as well as determine how that candidate runs a meeting, and holds the attention of a room. The hiring manager is trying to understand the candidate’s ability to sell, and determine if they are the right salesperson to hire who can effectively sell the value of their product/service to a decision maker. They are evaluating your hard and soft selling skills.

As a contending candidate for the sales job you’re interviewing for, the mock sales presentation is an opportunity for you to do your homework, practice, and come prepared to knock the sales presentation out of the park. OR it’s a chance for you to not prepare, “wing it,” and throw away your chances of getting the job offer.

Now let’s assume if you’re reading this post, you want this sales job and want to crush your mock sales presentation. If that’s the case, read on…

Here are 8 steps to help you prepare for your mock sales presentation.

1. Embrace the Awkwardness of Role-Playing

A mock sales presentation is role-playing. It’s make believe, it’s weird, it’s awkward…it’s supposed to be. That is the point. Companies want to see how you perform and what you do when you are asked to do something outside of your comfort zone. Go own it.

2.  Do Your Homework

Collect the necessary information you need to prepare for this assignment. Usually, the company will provide you with a scenario and sales presentation details, including: where are you in the sales cycle, the goal of the meeting, reading materials, an itinerary with titles, and a slide deck to work off of.

If they do not supply this information, ask for it. You would have all this information going into a real sales meeting, so you should have it now.

3. Understand You Are NOT an Expert

In preparation for your presentation, understand that you are NOT supposed to be a complete expert on this company or their products…that is not the point of exercise. You want to be knowledgeable of the company and its products, but this is a test of your soft skills and how you present. You do this every day. Show them how you do it.

{Related Article: 30 Ways to Ruin an Interview in 30 Seconds}

4. Do Not Go Overboard With Your Slide Deck  

You will build out a slide deck of content, do not go over the top. Try not to make too many slides. There are great tools and technology that can help you outline your presentation. Remember that PowerPoint is a tool to help present but that it is not THE presentation. You should also email the slide deck to yourself before the meeting and you may also want to have a few print outs just in case.

{Get Even More Prepared! Watch this Video on How to Prepare for a Mock Sales Presentation Below}

5. Set the Stage for the Performance 

Game day is here. You’ve prepared and practiced, now it’s time to perform.

  • Show up to the office early (don’t be late). Arriving 10-15 minutes early is appropriate, especially if you need time to set up your presentation.
  • Dress the part (professional attire is always your best bet). You don’t want an outfit that distracts your audience and takes away from your presentation. Keep it classy with a suit and tie (no Daffy Duck ties), or a dress/skirt and simple blouse. 
  • Have your slide deck and other materials with you. Technology may not always cooperate so make sure you have everything you need to present if things go awry.
  • Set the stage before going right into the role-play. When you enter the room for the mock sales presentation, reconfirm who everyone is (the parts they play) and where you are in the sales process. Once all of that is clear, it’s showtime. 

6. Give the Shakespearean Performance of a Lifetime

It’s time to relax and do what you do…SELL.  Stand up with confidence, high energy, make eye contact with everyone around the room, and talk TO your potential customers, not AT them.

They will chime in with questions. Some of the questions will be fair and some of them will not. Do not get frustrated or disheveled. Remember, this is make believe.  If you are asked a question that you do not know the answer to, don’t sweat it. That happens all the time in sales. However, do not make up an answer. You would never do that in a legitimate sales meeting so do not do it now. Slow it down, tell them that you do not know the answer but you will do the necessary research to get the answer to him/her by the end of day.

7. Wrap Up With Q&A…Then CLOSE

Like with any sales presentation, make sure you allow the panel to ask questions. Even if they are asking questions throughout the presentation, still give them some time for Q&A to wrap up with you. Again, you would do this in a real sales meeting, so do it here too. And DON’T FORGET TO CLOSE. Just like in any sales meeting, you need to close and ask about next steps.

8. Break Character

Lastly, at the end of the presentation when there are no further questions, it’s time to break character and look for feedback and coaching on your mock sales presentation. 

Get back to the interview and ask the hiring manager, “What did you like most about the presentation?”, “What did you like least?”, “What could I improve on?”, “Would any of this approach fit into this sales model?”’ 

You are showing them that you do not know it all and that you are coachable. They will provide you with some candid feedback and voice their concerns.

*Remember to close the interviewer. After this presentation ask about next steps in the interview process. Make sure you are a top candidate moving forward in the process.

The mock sales interview is a unique step in the interview process and a step to move top candidates towards offer stage. Take pride that you made is this far in the process, and make sure you take the time to prepare and excel at this stage of the interview. Practice makes perfect. Review these 8 mock sales interview steps and go get the job!

Good Luck!


Published On: September 14th, 2017Categories: Blog News, Job Search and Career

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