Tell us about your most difficult sales experience.

Strategy Statement:

Whenever possible, turn these questions into ‘positives’. For this particular question, the work might have been difficult, but the results should be positive.

Sample Response:

My most difficult experience was only made that way because of the amount of work I put into preparing for the experience. There was a new and innovative business that had established itself.

I personally loved the products and services that the owners were bringing to our community, and I wanted to see their business take deep roots and succeed. I determined that there were two things working against the business... the fact that they were new and innovative and that the owners were from out-of-state. When I first approached the business owners, it was without a file in my hand. I introduced myself, first, as a resident who was genuinely interested in making sure their business succeeded (as they were offering a product/service that I saw as beneficial to our community).

I then mentioned that I wanted to learn more about their vision (and what they saw as the big picture). After a solid half-hour conversation, I told the owners of my other motive/agenda, and that I might be able to assist them in coming up with a strategy that addressed both the community’s understanding of what it was they were doing as well as that community’s getting to know the owners better. As a result, the owners established a monthly workshop and presentation series where they were able to explain and teach about their service, and they also established a connection with the area’s community foundation (to which they became very active as advocates and donors).

I don’t believe I made a dime from my work, but the business is still in existence (and thriving), and our community has benefitted greatly.

Copyright 2010. North Pacific Technology Group LLC. All rights reserved.

Answers and Comments