Now I’m no expert when it comes to sales, but I do know what it is like to start a new position from the ground floor. Sales can be awkward and intimidating at first. Picking up the phone for the first time made my heart race, my body temperature rise, my face turn flush, and there is no doubt in my mind that I sounded like a robot.

I was told to write down a script that I wanted to use during my cold calls, so I did–and then I read it word for word in a very monotone voice. It was no surprise that I never received business from that contact. After I hung up the phone, I realized that maybe that script wasn’t the one I should be using so I decided to change it up to sound more like me. Best part of being a young new sales rep? You can try different techniques. If one approach doesn’t work, toss it out and try a new one.

Being surrounded by a veteran team of sales reps is very beneficial. With a great sales team comes a lot of knowledge on selling: what has worked for them and what has not. How they had to call on a customer for over 10 years before getting any business from them, and how they continue to keep their customers happy year after year.

They are also good at giving advice on what they think you should try. The only hard part is being able to take their advice and adapt them to fit how you want to handle your selling tactics. Just because something worked 10 years ago doesn’t mean it’s surefire to work the same today.

Here are seven helpful tips I think young salespeople can benefit from:

  1. Don’t be afraid to fail or be rejected, this toughens you up.
  2. Learn from mistakes. It’s OK to make a mistake, so long as you take what didn’t work and change it up.
  3. If you’re cold calling, be sure to call a good amount of people. If you call ten prospects one day and get no responses, try calling twenty the next and see what happens.
  4. Ask a lot of questions. Show your clients and prospects that you’re interested in their business goals.
  5. Set personal goals and design a plan to achieve them.
  6. Understand what you’re selling, that is why long-time sales reps are so good at doing business—they know the ins and outs of the company AND industry.
  7. Do not bombard your client/prospect with too much information. Narrow it down to what they can benefit from. Most people are interested in themselves, talk about them to build relationships. Do some sensible research and check out Facebook or LinkedIn page. Do they like cats? Talk cats. If they despise the Green Bay Packers: DO NOT bring up the Packers.

Most people are sitting around with problems that need fixing. So, if you come to them with a solid presentation of how you can help them make their problem disappear, you’ve got yourself a sale. When presenting in front of a group and you’re the youngest one there? Don’t act like you don’t belong, act like you’ve been doing it for years. After all, if you got them to meet with you then you DO belong there.

The best advice anyone could give someone new in the business is to be yourself and be passionate about what you’re selling. Do that, and the rest will work itself out.

Chelsea O’Connor, National Sales Executive | MITTERA

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