Having worked in sales, this alongside “always be closing” was a phrase that was said almost daily. It’s one thing to be confident and know that you can sell anything to anyone, but not everyone you speak with is going to purchase from you immediately, regardless if you’re a top seller or not. It’s mandatory to be able to have a list of people that are considered warm leads, and when the timing is right, or you have all the necessary material to seal the deal, you go back to that list and close. Every couple of months I get calls from friends (or friends of friends) who want to work for my previous employer. They ask for tips, advice and any inside scoop on what they should say. Not that I’m 100% opposed to offering some advice, I always circle back to what they want out of said position. Being removed a little over a year, there are more than likely changes in position titles, but what hasn’t changed is the selling process. Selling of self, in particular.
With a competitive market, especially when applying to big-name companies, there isn’t much room to not be on your a-game. “There isn’t a position available at this moment, so what we’re doing is building a pipeline of potential candidates should one be available.” I’ve experienced this outcome first-hand, both as the interviewer and the candidate, and can attest that the absolute best thing you can do is to be yourself and completely honest with what you want.
Regardless if there’s a position open or not, coming into the interview and being able to capitalize immediately by relating to the employer or finding a connection always leaves a lasting impression. When the timing is right, your future employer will go back to his/her list of candidates, and pick you to fill that position.