A Sales Rep's First Steps
I had such a great coaching experience yesterday.
My client was brand-new to sales. She is a young woman whom I met a couple of weeks ago out on the west coast. She struck me as kind and polite and somewhat shy. An introvert. She confessed that she is not the "Sales type” and I agree. I just knew it would be a struggle for her to become a successful sales rep.
Fast-forward a couple of weeks...
Customers in my training programs check in with me every day and let me know how many calls they made. Some are faithful and never fail to report in while others are spotty and only get to it every now and then. Either way, I hold them accountable by checking their results in sending out emails of support or nagging.
When I read down the page and saw her name and saw that she had checked in 2/5 of the days, I was absolutely thrilled. Three calls on Tuesday and five on Wednesday. Woo-hoo!
Big deal, you might say. Eight calls? But yes, this is a big deal. It’s a big deal for someone who was so clearly terrified to pick up the phone and call a stranger. This act was, as she pointed out, way out of her comfort zone. Let me see if I can put it into perspective...
Imagine you (a sales rep) show up at work and your boss pulls you into a room and asks you to go over the company’s financials in front of the company’s Board of Directors without any preparation whatsoever. On top of most people’s fear of public speaking is the sheer terror of being put on the spot, not to mention that D you got in Accounting 35 years ago. It’s that level of anxiety.
As she is brand-new to Sales, my client has a job to do. She needs to find her voice. She needs to identify her target market. She needs to test different messages to see what works. So long as she continues to take that first and most important step, that of actually making the calls, she can’t lose.
I could not have been more proud of her. She may or may not be successful but the fact that she summoned her courage and gave it a go is an excellent start.
We more experienced salespeople forget how hard it is to take those first steps. Kudos to Tiffany for putting herself out there. Well done!
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Bill Farquharson can be reached at (781) 934-7036 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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Bill Farquharson is a partner at Idealliance. As a print-specific sales trainer, Farquharson applies a fundamentally-sound approach to his coaching, online programs (found at sales.epicomm.org), and live presentations. Contact him at email@example.com or (781) 934-7036 to discuss your sales challenges.