Career Testing
Career Testing
Career Testing
CAREER ADVANCEMENT / OCT. 25, 2014
version 4, draft 4

How to Have a Great First Year in Sales

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Sales can be a tricky business when first starting out in this field. Many newbies have visions of grand sales without realizing that a game plan first needs to be implemented in order to see any success. There are four basic steps that new sales professionals should take in order to have a great first year in sales. This article will address those steps.

1. Change Your Mentality

Developing a viable sales game plan first begins by changing your mentality. Many newbies make the mistake about focusing solely on making the next sale. Of course, that is how commissions are earned. However, focusing only on making a sale rather than positively affecting your world will not make you successful. In a recent Monster.com article, Peter Vogt shared a gem of wisdom from Howard Wallin, who is a sales expert with over 25 years’ experience in the industry. Sales professionals must “act like their customer’s business partners, listening for the real problems an organization is having and then offering targeted solutions.” It all comes down to being an active listener rather than a non-stop talker. Your customers want to know that you actually care about them and their situation. They will shy away from you if you focus on the hard sell. When you change your perspective to see the value in genuinely helping other people, your sales numbers will increase because those people know you care. That mentality of helping others will cause your customers to trust you and want to find out more about your product.  

2. Become More Teachable

It is also important that you set aside your preconceived notions and humble yourself to learn from your managers and other industry professionals. Remember that you are new to this field and if you hope to succeed and have an awesome first year in sales, utilize the resources at your disposal. The newbies, who make a decision to learn from the experts, will see an increase in sales numbers. Of course, the old ways are not always the best ways and sometimes new ideas can work. However, the basic point of this step is to learn how to tap into the resources around you and discuss your ideas with managers and those in your support network. The sales field is generally a lonely profession while you’re out meeting with customers and new prospects. Yet, you don’t have to be without support as long as you utilize the advice and educational resources that those in management have provided to you.

3. Believe in Your Product

If you don’t believe in the product or service that you are selling, you will be hard-pressed to get many sales. Customers and prospects can see through the shiny veneer you are hiding behind. It will not be a secret that you don’t believe in the product or service. One way to begin to believe in the product you are selling is to start using it. Take it for a test drive. If you’re selling a service from your company that you can’t actually “try” for yourself, utilize the second option and immerse yourself into the service. For example, learn everything you possibly can about that service. Ascertain the myriad of benefits that service offers to your customers. As you engage in this learning process, you will begin to see things about the service that may have escaped your notice before. When you can genuinely appreciate the product or service you are selling, you will increase your sales level.

4. Accept Prospective Failure

Obviously, you have trained and dreamed of great success in sales. However, you need to accept the fact that failure will happen. Now this will occur on different levels depending on the situation and the current market conditions. Basically this step is preparing you for the reality of the situation you are in. Many times the ROI or return on investment in marketing and sales is only 10%. So be prepared for more rejections than actual closed deals. In this step you need to find a balance between accepting the reality of failure and maintaining a positive attitude that you will succeed and have a great first year in sales.

It is important to have a game plan in place for you to stay motivated. Find a mentor amongst your management or professional support network whom you can talk to when you receive those rejections. This person needs to have the same mindset as the tips discussed in this article. Once you have come to terms with the fact that failure will happen, find that inner strength and drive to succeed and go out and get your next sale.

Having a great first year in sales is possible but it will take self-discipline and a desire to succeed no matter what the cost. Remember to stay focused on changing your world rather than only making a sale. You need to become teachable and learn from those who have succeeded before. If you don’t believe in your product or service, you need to find a way to appreciate it and share that with your customers and prospects. In the end, accept that you will receive rejections, but you need to keep going in search of that closed deal.

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