There is so much to learn in your first sales role. Just a few months ago I realized this first hand and saw how different sales is compared to recruiting. Here are some general principles that I feel can be applied to dive in and work to be successful.
Hit the Phones Hard
When first starting in sales or if you’re not familiar with cold calling, the phone can be pretty intimidating and uncomfortable. People around you will hear you. You will make mistakes. You will get hung up on. It’s part of the job, but you can’t let it discourage you. The only way to get better and learn is from your experiences on the phone. Leaving voicemails helps improve your pitches, and the more you talk to people the more confident you will be because you’ll know how to respond my appropriately to questions and situations.
Like people listening to you on the phone, it’s just as helpful to listen to them. How does their pitch sound compared to yours? What are some of the questions they ask and how do they respond to yours?
Also, use your experiences on the phones to ask your colleagues for tips and criticism and be sure to apply it. One thing I felt when I started was that I sounded too robotic or salesy. To help me change my tone I asked my coworker what I could do differently. He just said to be a regular person – pretend you’re having a conversation with someone next to you at the bar. It was that simple, I was just overthinking my every move. How are they doing? How’s business been? What’s the team dynamic?
You don’t want to do all the talking – ask questions to see how or even if you can help who you are calling. If you find out they are interested, find out the why. While respecting their time, the more information you can get the more you learn about their team and if you can be a resource in any way.
Do Your Research
First thing’s first, you have to know and believe in your company or product. Next, I like to be prepared going into my calls so I always have a general understanding of the company I am calling and their products. For me, I feel the better I know my stuff the more I can tailor my call. It shows that I did my homework. Not only will you sound more professional but you also learn a lot about companies and products in the industry. I almost always pull up the website of a company I call when just starting out and occasionally will do so to see if there has been any recent news to use as a talking point.
Focus on Building Relationships and Trust
To continue to grow and perform in a sales role it all comes down to the trust you’ve built with your clients. Being up front and transparent with everything is a key role to building this trust and continued business. Sometimes conversations won’t be the easiest but honestly and professionalism will go much further in the long run than a runaround answer. Also, go into your conversations with a “how can I help” approach over a “how can I sell” and just be a regular person! Sometimes call in to see just how things have been going, if they saw the big game last night, what plans they have this weekend, etc. Finally, if you get the opportunity for a meeting, definitely take it. You can only do so much from one end of the phone, but putting a face to a name and meeting in person goes a long way.
What other advice would you share to someone starting out in sales? Comment below or tweet us @TheDavisCos.