Making your first sale in a new job is an unforgettable experience.
Ever had that gut-wrenching feeling when starting a new job that all you want to do is impress and cement yourself as an asset for the team? It’s not always that easy. Starting a sales role from scratch can be a slow and testing process.
First off, you have to juggle getting to know the business and the hooks/key selling points of your new solutions while gaining an understanding of the market. And don’t even get me started on developing a lead list.
A new sales job can be daunting for even the most experienced of salesmen. From the start there is so much to take on board. First, you have to be pro-active, don’t wait to be spoon-fed by your manager, dig deep and establish the knowledge you require. Hunt it down - this is a great way to meet members of the team, build relationships and will impress your superiors. Absorb as much information as you can, make a habit of asking questions and above all, learn from the answers.
Remember your business wants you to achieve and develop as ultimately, your achievements will benefit the business itself.
At Burrows we believe in retaining and developing staff, supporting them as they progress to build a solid future with the business. We know that motivated staff who have the skills and development opportunities they need, will in turn drive the business forward.
Top tips for that first sale
Socialise – Become part of the company and the team. These guys are going to help you and be there when you get stuck. Treat them well, make an extra effort and integrate yourself.
Get stuck in – Don’t hang around, there’s no time to waste. Your sales cycle and lead times dictate a lot so mobilise, set yourself tasks every day and make sure you complete them.
Don’t hesitate to make your first call, email or meeting – Get yourself out there, ultimately it’s a numbers game and you very rarely secure a deal on the first call so don’t over think it.
Don’t rely on one deal – Decide on a ‘focus’ market each month/quarter. I have found that choosing a specific sector can help maximise your efficiency while becoming knowledgeable of current trends, hooks and insights that open doors faster.
Reach out and start as many conversations as you can. Companies have different challenges and processes which must be followed and this can take time.
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes – Starting out is the time when you have a bit of leeway, you are not known and people will generally cut you a bit of slack when you are new. Also, the best way to learn is from your mistakes. For example, you may realise that a type of client is not right for your company or that you were speaking to the wrong person. The decision maker is higher up the food chain. Try not to waste your time with the ‘entertainers’.
Don't give up – A bit of a given in sales. You need a thick skin and plenty of resilience. There’s a lot of rejection out there. Remember there will always be one who says yes.
Make a lot of noise – No one is going to get in touch or entertain your ideas if they don’t know you exist. There are plenty of free channels out there to utilise, so there are no excuses. Explore social media, attend industry networking events, make friends and never forget – everyone knows someone.
Test out different techniques – You are in a new role with new products and new USPs. Find out why people bite. Don’t assume tried and tested techniques from previous roles will apply in a new setting.
Utilise the knowledge of people around you – These guys have often been there for a good few years and know their way around the business. They may even have some warm leads or dormant clients that you might not even have been told about. Everyone in your company ultimately has the same goal as you – to make the business a success. It will pay to treat them well and with respect.
Get excited! – Your next meeting could be ‘the one’, don’t be afraid, move towards it with confidence and passion and the sale might well be yours.
I’ve said it before and will say it again, ‘In this day and age there is normally very little difference between your product and that of your closest competitors. What will sell your product or solution is you and your passion. That is your biggest USP!’
You make the sale – You did it, relish and enjoy it – now you have the motivation to drive your next sale. With the first sale pressure off don’t stop, channel the energy it gives you to drive your next success. You are on a roll and there’s nothing to stop you!
I am proud to say that within four months of starting at Burrows I officially made my first sale. Sorry but I don’t like to kiss and tell. I wish you all the best of luck – Happy hunting.
The Honest Salesman
Business Development Manager