Thanksgiving was a real blast this year as we got together with my wife’s family in South Texas! One thing that made it a treat was a house full of young marrieds and a host of little ones crawling all over the place. I love taking the time to catch up with each of our nieces and nephews to see how their personal lives and their careers are going. I particularly came to attention when one of my nephews said he was promoted and going to start a new job, in sales, on Monday!
As we discussed his new adventure into the world of sales a few things became obvious …
- He was excited to be promoted into sales!
- He was promoted because he was “the best and most promising talent in the field”!
- He had no sales training whatsoever!
- They had no formal sales training program!
- His company was growing by leaps and bounds in the explosive “oil patch” here in Texas and they were counting on him to help leverage that growth!
If I had a nickel for every time I have heard a “how I got into sales”story like that in the last 20+ years of consulting I would be a rich man! Knowing what we do he asked me what advice I had for him? First thing I did was send him a complimentary link to our premium sales content and then I shared these 5 tips for jump starting his sales career. I hope they help him and I hope they help you as well!
5 Tips For New Sales Professionals (And Experienced Ones As Well!)
#1 – find out who the top 3 sales people are in your organization and, best case scenario, ask them if they will mentor/coach you as you start your career. Most top sales pros I have known are glad to help someone new to the profession get started. Worst case scenario watch everything they do and try to duplicate it! Leveraging others success is a great way to shorten your learning curve!
#2 – don’t be afraid to tell your customers that you are new to sales! Let them know that while you may not have the experience that other reps might have you are willing to work harder to serve them than any other sales rep they know. Then ask them if they will help you learn how to bring value to them as you grow into your new role. You will be surprised how often they want to help! They know you don’t have any bad habits yet and the idea of helping you get started the “right way” is not only in their best interest but a cool way of giving back!
#3 – start from the very beginning to learn how to bring real value to your clients! Understand the value your company brings to the table, your product and services bring to the table and the value you as a sales rep brings to the table. While your value early on will not be your experience and knowledge it can be your work ethic, your commitment to being of service, your character and your integrity combined with a willingness to learn every day. Start from day one creating a reputation, your brand, of always bringing value to your clients at every opportunity!
#4 – understand that your products and services are not your inventory! As a sales rep your time is your inventory so use it wisely! Start early and work late so you have more inventory to leverage. Be careful not to waste that precious commodity on activities that don’t help you grow your business. Begin Day 1 looking at your sales career as your own entrepreneurial enterprise or small business. Make decisions about your day to day activities like a business owner would and not like an employee would. Employees count hours and typically do not have the level of commitment to their future that a small business owner does!
#5 – in lieu of no formal sales training program find a variety of sources you can learn from and create your own learning program! Of course, we would encourage you to invest the $14.95 a month (that’s less than $.50 a day!) in our sales training membership here at The Sales Gladiators. Beyond that get subscription to Audible.com and read a new sales or business book each month, find some good sales blogs, sales podcasts, YouTube videos and anything else you can feed your mind and grow your career!
This is a great business we all share as new sales professionals and seasoned veterans! It can be lonely and many times we are left to our own devices when it comes to training and development. The good news is there is a lot right here to help you grow as well as a lot of other resources. The bottom line is we have to take control of our futures and the long term success of our careers!
Let me know if we can help any of you in any way!
If you have any questions we can help you with in one of our future webinars or live coaching sessions then add it to the comments below or, better yet, go to www.thesalesgladiators.com/qif and leave us a voice message. We will do everything we can to get you an answer!
Now … go do something today to build the sales career, and life, YOU want!
Jim Jacobus, CSP
Twitter – @jimjacobus