Many sales organizations have some form of Mock sales presentation as part of their interview process and it trips up lots of candidates. Here are 7 pointers on how to nail this step

1. Presentation style. Remember that these mock pitches are mainly about HOW you handle them and yourself in that situation – they are rarely just about the content. To do well, make your pitch:
* Highly interactive. These should NEVER be a one-way affair. 
* Constantly validate assumptions, ask for guidance, and ask great consultative questions to better understand the client.
* Focused and goal-oriented. You are running the meeting. Keep it on time. Leave room for questions and closing.
* Natural. Do a) and b) seamlessly

2. Asserting control. To deal with too many unknown variables in the scenario you have given is to assert your limited control over the situation where you can. Dictate the scenario to your interviewers and fill those gaps in advance. This allows you to set the stage to pitch naturally. For example, you can preface your presentation by saying “I am taking the assumption that we had an initial phone conversation where we discussed our offering briefly and you agreed it aligned with these 3 strategic goals”.

3. Demarcation points. Establish a clear demarcation point where you move from regular interview status to mock pitch status i.e. from normal interview mode to mock-pitch-acting status. CLOSE TWICE – in the mock pitch about next steps (see below) and afterward “How did I do in the mock presentation?”

4. Content. You are generally asked to present the interviewing company’s solution. That level of detailed knowledge is not generally expected when presenting a new offering of the interviewing company but they will expect you to do your homework on their website / case studies and have the basic features and benefits down. Research the prospective mock client for recent news/initiatives etc. If you aren’t given a client, assert one in advance! Tricky interviewers will often try and unnerve you by asking in-depth questions about their offering that you can’t possibly expect to know. To deal with this either fob the question off for later say for an SE To answer or give a confident guess in response!

5. Presentation format. Remember these mock presentations are never Powerpoint competitions so don’t stress about creating fancy animations or graphics.

6. Embrace the madness. Accept mock sales pitches for what they are – highly unnatural so embrace that instead of fighting it.

7. CLOSE! It might be a stretch to ask for the sale in the mock pitch (although do take the opportunity if it arises) BUT make sure you are focused on closing down the logical next steps at the end of your pitch – a follow-up meeting with the CFO (“Does Tuesday at 10am work?”), getting them a proposal etc.

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