Sports are often the first thing to come to mind for an unprepared interviewee, so go there if you must. If it’s possible, don’t go there as your example. Go there as support for your example.
It’s probably in your best interest to answer this question using the with an example of how you have been competitive in your work history.
Historically, I’ve been a competitive person. I’ve played sports my entire life and embraced the thrill of winning and the digust of losing as a source of motivation. I suppose you could say that competition has developed as one of my biggest motivators. It has certainly spilled over into my professional life.
For instance, (S)
over the past year or so, one of my biggest customers kept swaying back and forth between a competitor’s product and my product. He said he thought both products were “about equal” and he wanted to “share the wealth.” (T)
After hearing him say this on two consecutive visits, I knew I needed to act in order to protect and grow my business with this customer. (A)
I spent a few hours brainstorming with other, more experienced, salespeople in my company and formulated a plan to sell competitively and position our product in a better light than the competition’s based on the needs that the customer had previously shared. I scheduled a time to talk with the customer in detail, positioned the product according to the plan, and asked for his commitment to use our product every time to fulfill a specific need. (R) In the 6 months since we had that discussion, I have controlled 87% of the market share for this customer; up from 43% a year ago.
As mentioned regarding the , it’s hard to over-emphasize the R in S-T-A-R. The result is the last thing the interviewer hears when you’re answering the question and, in sales, it’s all
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