Advertising
Advertising

How To Succeed At Your First Sales Job

How To Succeed At Your First Sales Job

Sales are everywhere. In fact, many entrepreneurs often say, “if you know how to sell, you can do anything.” It’s no surprise that many people’s first job is in sales. When you start your career in a sales role, you learn invaluable skills you can carry with you for the rest of your life. Those who have worked in sales know who to speak confidently, build relationships, and provide exceptional customer service. Having a sales position on your resume signals to future employers you are a driven self-starter and team player. Now, are you convinced you need to work in sales early on in your career? If you are preparing to start a job as a salesperson or wholesale distributor, make sure you know how to succeed:

 

Advertising

Look for a mentor.

One of the first things you should do after starting a sales job is find a mentor on your sales team that you can shadow and learn from. Ask your sales manager whether the company has a mentoring program in place and if not, ask for a recommendation on who you should approach about the opportunity. Once you find a mentor, talk to him about what he has learned over his years in the business, how to deal with tough clients who demand too much, and what sales tactics work best for the company’s products. Your manager will love that you are taking initiative so early on in your career, and you will learn invaluable information from someone who has been in the business for years. 

Advertising

Sell yourself first.

Before you begin selling the product to other people, you have to sell it to yourself first. If you don’t believe in the product, you won’t be able to passionately sell it to customers. Learn about the many benefits offered by the product, and test it out to see what you think. If you’re a food distributor, take a sample of the product, see how it tastes, and peek at the nutritional information, too. Customers will be able to sense if you’re selling something you really couldn’t care less about, so don’t start making sales calls until you have bought into what it is you’re selling.

Advertising

Learn about the company.

Customers should not be able to tell that you are a new salesperson, so you have to be familiar with everything that the company offers before you make a phone call. Learn how customers are invoiced, when deliveries will be made, and who they call when they are having issues with the product. You should be able to answer all of your customer’s questions without putting them on hold to find a manager first. It’s important that you display confidence on sales calls, and if you can’t answer questions, you will come off as very inexperienced and unorganized.

Don’t give up.

The beginning of your sales career can be very frustrating. Sometimes companies will pass off the most difficult clients to you, or they will have you make a lot of cold calls to find customers on your own. Either way, you may have to deal with a lot of rejection, which can be disheartening when you are trying to start a new career. Remember, even salespeople who have been in the business for a decade get rejected once in a while, so don’t let this stop you. Rejection is part of the business, and new salespeople have to be able to bounce back from it quickly. 

Did you succeed at your first sales job? Or was it a huge disaster? Either way, leave your stories in the comments below!

Advertising

More by this author

Joel Goldstein

Entrepeneur

How to Build Healthy Competition Between Millennial Employees? 4 Visual Merchandising Tips for the Holidays How To Succeed At Your First Sales Job 5 Signs You’re Not Meant to Be A Salesperson Follow These 4 Tips to Make Your App Millennial-Friendly

Trending in Career Advice

1 The Lifehack Show: Standing Out in Today’s Job Market with Dr. Julia Ivy 2 Clueless On Your Career? Sabbatical vs. Career Break 3 10 Essential Career Change Questions To Ask Yourself This Year 4 10 Job Search Tools Every Jobseekers Need To Know About 5 If You Have This Key Behavior, You’ll Be More Successful Than 90% Of People

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on March 29, 2021

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

When I left university I took a job immediately, I had been lucky as I had spent a year earning almost nothing as an intern so I was offered a role. On my first day I found that I had not been allocated a desk, there was no one to greet me so I was left for some hours ignored. I happened to snipe about this to another employee at the coffee machine two things happened. The first was that the person I had complained to was my new manager’s wife, and the second was, in his own words, ‘that he would come down on me like a ton of bricks if I crossed him…’

What a great start to a job! I had moved to a new city, and had been at work for less than a morning when I had my first run in with the first style of bad manager. I didn’t stay long enough to find out what Mr Agressive would do next. Bad managers are a major issue. Research from Approved Index shows that more than four in ten employees (42%) state that they have previously quit a job because of a bad manager.

The Dream Type Of Manager

My best manager was a total opposite. A man who had been the head of the UK tax system and was working his retirement running a company I was a very junior and green employee for. I made a stupid mistake, one which cost a lot of time and money and I felt I was going to be sacked without doubt.

I was nervous, beating myself up about what I had done, what would happen. At the end of the day I was called to his office, he had made me wait and I had spent that day talking to other employees, trying to understand where I had gone wrong. It had been a simple mistyped line of code which sent a massive print job out totally wrong. I learn how I should have done it and I fretted.

My boss asked me to step into his office, he asked me to sit down. “Do you know what you did?” I babbled, yes, I had been stupid, I had not double-checked or asked for advice when I was doing something I had not really understood. It was totally my fault. He paused. “Will you do that again?” Of course I told him I would not, I would always double check, ask for help and not try to be so clever when I was not!

Advertising

“Okay…”

That was it. I paused and asked, should I clear my desk. He smiled. “You have learnt a valuable lesson, I can be sure that you will never make a mistake like that again. Why would I want to get rid of an employee who knows that?”

I stayed with that company for many years, the way I was treated was a real object lesson in good management. Sadly, far too many poor managers exist out there.

The Complete Catalogue of Bad Managers

The Bully

My first boss fitted into the classic bully class. This is so often the ‘old school’ management by power style. I encountered this style again in the retail sector where one manager felt the only way to get the best from staff was to bawl and yell.

However, like so many bullies you will often find that this can be someone who either knows no better or is under stress and they are themselves running scared of the situation they have found themselves in.

Advertising

The Invisible Boss

This can either present itself as management from afar (usually the golf course or ‘important meetings) or just a boss who is too busy being important to deal with their staff.

It can feel refreshing as you will often have almost total freedom with your manager taking little or no interest in your activities, however you will soon find that you also lack the support that a good manager will provide. Without direction you may feel you are doing well just to find that you are not delivering against expectations you were not told about and suddenly it is all your fault.

The Micro Manager

The frustration of having a manager who feels the need to be involved in everything you do. The polar opposite to the Invisible Boss you will feel that there is no trust in your work as they will want to meddle in everything you do.

Dealing with the micro-manager can be difficult. Often their management style comes from their own insecurity. You can try confronting them, tell them that you can do your job however in many cases this will not succeed and can in fact make things worse.

The Over Promoted Boss

The Over promoted boss categorises someone who has no idea. They have found themselves in a management position through service, family or some corporate mystery. They are people who are not only highly unqualified to be managers they will generally be unable to do even your job.

Advertising

You can find yourself persistently frustrated by the situation you are in, however it can seem impossible to get out without handing over your resignation.

The Credit Stealer

The credit stealer is the boss who will never publically acknowledge the work you do. You will put in the extra hours working on a project and you know that, in the ‘big meeting’ it will be your credit stealing boss who will take all of the credit!

Again it is demoralising, you see all of the credit for your labour being stolen and this can often lead to good employees looking for new careers.

3 Essential Ways to Work (Cope) with Bad Managers

Whatever type of bad boss you have there are certain things that you can do to ensure that you get the recognition and protection you require to not only remain sane but to also build your career.

1. Keep evidence

Whether it is incidents with the bully or examples of projects you have completed with the credit stealer you will always be well served to keep notes and supporting evidence for projects you are working on.

Advertising

Buy your own notebook and ensure that you are always making notes, it becomes a habit and a very useful one as you have a constant reminder as well as somewhere to explore ideas.

Importantly, if you do have to go to HR or stand-up for yourself you will have clear records! Also, don’t always trust that corporate servers or emails will always be available or not tampered with. Keep your own content.

2. Hold regular meetings

Ensure that you make time for regular meetings with your boss. This is especially useful for the over-promoted or the invisible boss to allow you to ‘manage upwards’. Take charge where you can to set your objectives and use these meetings to set clear objectives and document the status of your work.

3. Stand your ground, but be ready to jump…

Remember that you don’t have to put up with poor management. If you have issues you should face them with your boss, maybe they do not know that they are coming across in a bad way.

However, be ready to recognise if the situation is not going to change. If that is the case, keep your head down and get working on polishing your CV! If it isn’t working, there will be something better out there for you!

Good luck!

Read Next