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Do I do the work BEFORE I am hired?

by Anonymous

I have been interviewing for sales positions for the past 4 months and have found a new trend developing... Potential employers are asking candidates to submit lists of 25+ prospective clients, along with a 90 day business plan (which used to be the only request), and a list of current clients (not referrals), with a detailed plan to bring them over to the new company.

I have three questions:

1) Is this happening across the board: Employers expecting candidates to build the company databases BEFORE they even have a face-to-face interview?

2)Should I supply this information? If not...

3)How do I respond to that request with out leaving a bad impression?

Thank you!

Answer: Honestly, I'm not an expert at sales recruiting, but I have to say that what you've been asked to do sounds a bit unethical to me. I hope they're not expecting you to provide a list of your current clients with another employer.

Of course, it's always important to know what the market will bear. If MOST employers are asking this of candidates now and MOST candidates are delivering, then you will definitely stand out negatively if you refuse.

But personally, I'd be tempted to state honestly and directly, but without any anger or arrogance, that you are not prepared to work on spec. You could offer to work on a probationary period after being hired, say for 30 days, with some expectation of deliverables.

Perhaps other readers with more experience in the sales arena will have other comments to add...

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