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Information Interviews [How To]

Information InterviewsInformation interviews are the key when you're confused about...

...what job to pursue, at what companies...

...when you want to know what your target market is interested in concerning your offer...

...when you want to make sales but don't know your new niche.
 
If you can't say out loud and clearly:

> Why you want a specific job at a specific company

or

> Why decision makers in the niche you're entering want to buy from you

then you badly need to do some information interviews.

Why?

The fact is, this is your target market. And hearing what they want and value in their own words is critical. Nothing else is more important. Not what you believe their desires and values are. Not what you hope or think they will be.

When we talk about pain points, this is what we mean. These words. These phrases. This jargon. This terminology. When you repeat these pain points to members of your target market, they will listen. These terms will resonate with them and that will give you instant credibility.

When we talk about finding the work role you truly enjoy, you need to know several things. What people who do that job actually do all day. What they like. What they don't like. How different the same job is at different companies with different cultures. How those companies hire.

These critical knowledge points and more are readily available in information interviews.

People are cooperative and like to show off what they know (I'm doing it right now!). So let them.

This isn't hard. Nearly everyone you call will be open to at least talking with you on the phone for a few minutes. You may have to schedule a time to call back or meet in person later, and that's fine.

Information Interviews for Job Hunt Satisfaction

So say there's a job you want to do, you think, and you'd like to find out more about it. The funny thing is, the same job done at different companies can be totally different experiences because of cultures. So it's best to talk to three or four people doing that job at separate firms to get perspective.

To find these people is not difficult. You can use LinkedIn. Or you can use a simple method called the Little Unsure technique, where you ask the receptionist, "Hi, I'm not sure who I should speak with...I'm looking for the person who does [whatever role it is]. But again, I'm not sure who that would be there..." and trail off.

This method is very effective.

You may get voicemail. 3/4 times the person you're calling won't be available to take your call. Don't take it personally. Leave a quick message or call back later now that you have the name.

For messages or live answers, say you are doing some research, are interested in the role they have and are wondering if it's right for you. If they could speak with you for about 15 minutes, it would be very helpful. If now's not a good time, when would work?

Have your questions ready. They may want to go ahead right now.

I have had employees get time for such interviews in person approved by their boss...again, people want to be cooperative. Once in awhile you may find someone who is "too busy". Simply move on. No big deal. That person is probably not a fit anyway.

The higher you go in larger organizations, the nicer the people you'll find. How did the leaders in most organizations get there? The Sales career path. They know all about cold calling. They appreciate it.

Nearly all of the success factors here are getting past your fears. These fears are simply not valid. They don't hold true in the real world. Nearly everyone is flattered someone would ask their opinion. Go find out whether this job is really something you want. And you'll also find out what kind of different corporate cultures exist...which will play a big part in your job selection, if you're smart.

Don't be in "I'll Take Anything" mode. Start sorting.

Have an interview plan. What is the purpose of the interview? Don't be wishy-washy. Your two questions today could have used a lot more detail.

Here's an example of several information interviews with fellow sales professionals.

Write out your questions beforehand. Of course one or two new questions will occur to you while conducting the interview; ask them, too. But have your base set up.

Think about your request from their perspective: WHY would they want to participate? Yes, people want to be cooperative and helpful. But No, they do not want to create content for you (for example, I am asked to be interviewed all the time by people who are compiling such expert interviews to then SELL them...why on earth should I give them content so they can make money with it?!).

So be clear about your purpose.

You really must be looking for expertise, not digging for a job. Fake purpose will be seen through immediately and it will hurt your reputation.

Collecting a series of these interviews online around a specific topic is a great differentiating factor for job hunting, however. This is positioning.

Information Interviews for Pain Points

Information interviews to uncover pain points are very similar. Use the Little Unsure technique to reach the decision maker. Tell them you're doing some research. Then have a straightforward conversation about your topic.

Have they considered buying or have they bought what you offer?

How did they go about that?

On what criteria did they choose their provider? Why did that matter? (Hint: Price is not the real reason...and if it is, you don't want that buyer as a customer.)

For both job hunting and finding pain points, realize you must do several of these to get correlation. One or two is not enough. However, the activity level and payoff for booking and completing say a half-dozen information interviews is very powerful. You will feel incredibly confident because you finally understand your market.

>> Jason Kanigan is a business development expert who has had companies create custom roles for him on four occasions. Was this information helpful to you? Please Like or Share to let others know. And if you have a question about information interviews, Comment below! <<

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Sales Expert Interviews at SalesTactics.org

Sales Expert InterviewsSales expert interviews are rare. Nobody thinks to interview them. And the reason why? They are usually busy working, and not connected with the online marketing sphere that likes to interview experts. Most people have heard of marketing consultants; few have heard of sales trainers.

Over the past 60 days or so, I have interviewed five sales experts. I have also been interviewed several times as a sales expert. So here we now have a library of sales expert interviews at SalesTactics.org. Do not take this lightly. Where else can you find such discussions? I arrange these interviews to show you the concepts I talk about are not the unproven theories of a lone thinker, but shared by many oft-unheard fellow experts in the sales training field.

Five Key Sales Expert Interviews at SalesTactics.org

Here are the five sales expert interviews completed over the past two months:

Richard Ruff on How the Fortune 1000 Train Their Sales Teams

Monika D'Agostino on Commitment in Sales Training

Eddy Ricci, Jr., on Training Gen Y Salespeople

Claude Whitacre on Local Online Marketing

David Brock on Change in Selling Organizations

and as a bonus from earlier this year,
Dave Kurlan on Effective Phone Selling.

It's said that if you read three (just three!) books on a subject, you will know more about it than 95% of the population. Consider how much farther ahead you will be about selling if you absorb these interviews.

Sales Expert Interviews with Jason Kanigan

I have also been fortunate enough to have been interviewed several times recently. Rather than "just" cold calling or typical sales ideas, I've been able to discuss the mindset of a successful salesperson. This is one of my most valuable interviews to date.

Business Unleashed did a written Q&A with me on getting started

Inner Success Radio had me delve into the mindset of a successful salesperson

Nicholas Loise, president of Glazer Kennedy Inner Circle, interviews me on high ticket selling (episode 28).

This is a virtual library of sales training methodology you could pay a considerable amount of money for. Think about it: what do you think the billable hourly rate of each of these experts is? And totaled together? At a bare minimum we have a $1000 program on this page. And it's provided here for free.

>> Jason Kanigan is a sales force developer. If you know someone who will benefit from seeing this information, please Share it. Also, you can Like our Facebook page to be advised of new content like this. And if you have a question about any of these interviews or another topic in sales, please comment below to let us know! We want to hear from you. And if you'd like to get better customers, better projects and make more money, get The Small Business Sales Effectiveness Report available FREE at the top of this page! <<

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Mindset of a Successful Salesperson: Inner Success Radio Interviews Jason Kanigan

Mindset of aSuccessful Salesperson

Mindset of a Successful Salesperson - What Does It Take?

Inner Success Radio recently interviewed sales force developer Jason Kanigan. Instead of focusing on sales techniques, as many past interviewers have done, this podcast zeroed in on what the mindset of a successful salesperson is like.

Few trainers talk about this kind of information, because the focus is often on the latest "close" or technique. However, correct mindset is the foundation of sales success and at least 80% responsible for results. How a person thinks and feels about themselves, because of their beliefs, determine their results. For instance, if an individual does not think of herself as a confident executive, she will have trouble reaching out to others she perceives as confident executives. Regardless of any technical training she may receive, her sales process is likely doomed to failure because of her limiting beliefs. These are often unconsciously held, and we call that head trash.

When training clients, Jason Kanigan always begins with mindset. Success is going to be far more difficult to reach without first straightening out your belief system, because you will not do the necessary behaviors. Join host Charles Rivers, Jr. and Jason Kanigan as they delve into the "mind game" of selling.

Listen to the full Inner Success Radio interview on the Mindset of a Successful Salesperson with Jason Kanigan here:

>> Was this interview helpful to you? Please Like or Share to let others know! And if you have a question about mindset in selling, comment below to let us know. <<