7 Tips for New Salespeople

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Starting a new career in any field is daunting. With sales, you face some unique challenges: most salespeople are expected to learn on the job, but the longer you take getting up to speed, the longer it will take for those commissions checks to start rolling in. Here are some suggestions to help you quickly warm up to sales.

Find needs and fill them.

Prospects aren't sitting around waiting for your cold call in the hopes that you will sell them something.

They're sitting around trying to solve their own problems. If you can show them a way to solve a problem that's been bothering them, you can make that sale. Remember, WIIFM is the only thing prospects have in mind.

Prepare, prepare, prepare.

You're probably eager to get out there in front of real, live prospects so you can start making money. But before you get in front of a prospect, you've got to be ready. That means understanding the product, preparing a list of benefits, coming up with a solid sales presentation, writing up at least a basic cold calling script, and doing pre-call research on each lead.

Build a network.

Business networking, when done right, can make your job so much easier. Having a solid network with reliable contacts will yield a wide range of benefits, from getting warm leads to providing the inside scoop on a tough prospect. Just don't try to rush things; when you're just getting started with your network, your focus should be on proving yourself to your contacts, not trying to get things from them.

Track your metrics.

The only way to know how well you're doing is to keep track of what you're doing, and then compare it to the end results. At a minimum, you should track how many cold calls you make, how many appointments you set, and how many sales you make. That much information will least allow you to manage your pipeline at a basic level.

The more carefully you keep track of your own activities, the easier it will be for you to pinpoint your areas of weakness so that you can quickly improve them.

Set your own goals.

Your sales manager will no doubt give you a goal or set of goals to reach for the company. However, those goals are an absolute minimum. What's more, they may not cover areas that are important to you. For example, you are probably responsible for a certain number of sales per month, but your sales manager is unlikely to give you a goal for career development or for making a certain amount of money. These are areas where you can choose your own goals and then set up a plan to help you achieve them.

Learn a healthy way to handle rejection.

As a salesperson, you will experience rejection on a daily basis. That's simply part of the job. Over time, every salesperson learns to toughen up and shrug off those moments, but not every salesperson develops a healthy coping technique. Successful salespeople often develop mind games that work well for them, such as considering every no as being a step closer to a yes. Find a coping strategy that works for you.

Keep trying new things.

Sales is a career which requires you to stay flexible and keep learning over time.

It can be very tough for new salespeople to keep trying different things; it's tempting to latch onto a single sales channel or a single presentation style as a source of security. Unfortunately, if you let yourself get into a rut, you'll soon pay the price in lost sales. It's crucial to keep on learning and exploring, trying new techniques, and generally stretching your mind.