starting a career in sales

Starting a Career in Sales? 5 Skills to Develop Right Now

The best sales professionals makes it look so easy. They walk into a room, schmooze the crowd, make the sale and it’s all good from there! How did they get to that point? Were they born with the ability to convince others to buy the product they’re selling?

While some people do have a natural talent for sales, most professionals have to work to develop certain skills to get to where they are and to keep up with the times. Now more than ever, customers are well-informed buyers, which means sales tactics need to be creative! As you start out your sales career, you’ll want to make sure you’re focusing on certain skills as you develop:

Strong Work Ethic

Sales is a fast-paced, challenging job! Your work ethic will define your success, especially in the early stages of your career. While staying at the office after hours, responding to needs whenever you can and always being dependable makes for a strong work ethic, it can also go beyond that!

Work ethic can also translate to perseverance. Are you able to come back after you made a mistake in a meeting? Can you forget what happened today and find the drive to come back stronger tomorrow? Sales takes a lot of grit, especially when you first start out! Be sure to work hard and have the ability to bounce back from your hiccups. This will allow you to develop into an indispensable asset to your team!

Interpersonal Skills

“One of the most underrated skills in business right now is being nice. Nice sells.” – Mark Cuban

Keep this quote in the back of your mind because Mark Cuban is absolutely right! Selling in a new industry or product can be daunting, and you want to leave others with a positive impression of you, but there’s more to it than that!

Besides being kind, there are other traits that entail being a “people person.” A lot of people may say they have traits that make them a people person, but what does that actually mean in sales? In a sales position, you need to actively listen, take responsibility, be patient, and more! In order to learn how these skills work in a sales setting, it’s a good idea to network with other sales teammates, or industry leaders to get the lay of the land. Observing others, asking questions and role playing will help you develop these skills!  

Product & Industry Knowledge

Knowledge is power, and for businesses, knowledge could mean more money! As you start your sales career, you need to become a product expert. There are so many benefits to learning the ins and outs of what you sell that will help you become a seasoned sales expert faster than you can give your own elevator speech.

By learning every aspect of your product, you’ll not only be able to tailor specific solutions to employer’s needs, you’ll also develop great communication skills, help others excel in selling the product and grow your own confidence. Additionally, you’ll begin to learn what sales strategies work and what may not work. For instance, there may be a tool that’s great for one client, but always fails for clients with a certain personality trait. In your early sales days, read about your product, ask lots of questions and participate in role plays!

Organizational Skills

As you begin your career, organization will be the key to staying on top of your to-do list and keeping an eye on all the moving parts of your job. If you lack organizational skills, you’ll find yourself juggling tasks, and managing your day will quickly become overwhelming. Before it gets to that point, make it a priority to create a workflow that fits with your style!

Do you have a tool to keep track of tasks and individuals you may need to reach out to? Are you using an online platform, or do you keep track of everything in a notebook and planner? However you choose to organize your days, make sure your rhythm is efficient! If you need tips on how to organize different parts of your job, don’t be afraid to ask a veteran salesperson on your team.

Confidence

At then end of the sale, people buy from people, not sales robots! Before you even explain your product, you need to sell yourself. The quickest way to grab someone’s attention is to have confidence. In order to help grow your confidence, focus setting attainable goals, track your progress and think positively!

Starting your career in sales can be challenging, but if you have the right attitude and mindset, coupled with some of our tricks in the back of your mind, you’ll do great. If you have another skill that could help sales professionals who are just beginning their career, we’d love to hear your thoughts and keep the conversation going below! 

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