This updated second edition is an invaluable resource for novice salespeople who want to enjoy their new career and be financially successful from day one, create and maintain professional sales relationships, and achieve their desired financial results.
Real Solutions and Advice from the Sales Trenches Why did you choose sales as a career? In a word, "money " Your new profession has the potential to be both financially rewarding and personally satisfying. But let's face it: Your first year in sales will likely be your most challenging. So, is it possible to enjoy your new career and be a successful salesperson "from day one?" The answer is yes. In this revised and updated edition of "Your First Year in Sales," professional speaker and sales veteran Tim Connor offers simple, proven strategies to overcome those first-year obstacles and position yourself for lifelong success. You'll find savvy, step-by-step techniques for learning how "your" skills and talents—your motivation, strengths, willingness to sacrifice, and expectations—can put you on the fast track to being a sales leader. Be your best from your first sales call by knowing how to:
Connor is president of Connor Resource Group, Inc., which specializes in teaching sales, motivation, management skills and concepts to companies and associations around the world.
CHAPTER 1 IT''S YOUR MOVE Welcome to the exciting profession of sales. You deserve to be congratulated for choosing sales and thus making the decision to determine your destiny, lifestyle, and personal freedom. Approached with the proper attitude, skills, determination, and knowledge, the field of sales can be an exciting career. Reading this book is the perfect start to that career. I have been selling for more than forty-five years and teaching people to sell for thirty-seven years. I have seen and taught people of both genders and from all backgrounds, nationalities, education levels, and ethnicities. Whether you succeed has absolutely nothing to do with any of those characteristics. Your prime needs are the will to succeed; a commitment to excellence; effort; a willingness to learn, grow, and chan≥ a desire to serve others; persistence in difficult times and situations; and staying power. Sales is not an easy profession, but the harder you work, the greater your rewards. The sales profession is full of obstacles: difficult people, difficult situations, and seemingly impassable dead ends. But it is also the source of a lot of fun, a great deal of satisfaction, personal security, excitement, tremendous earning potential, and daily opportunities to meet wonderful people from different walks of life. I''ll let you in on a secret: I was fired from my first sales position. But with time, patience, and a lot of effort and study, years later I sold that same company some sales training. Yes! Cha-ching. All it took was belief in myself, persistence, and a lot of hard work. Believe me when I say it was well worth it. Throughout this book are the hints, tips, secrets, and rules for success. Together, they create a formula that will lead you to succeed during your first year as a salesperson. Your First Year in Sales describes in detail the attitudes you need to develop, the skills you must master, and the philosophy you should adopt. OUR OWN QUICK START This profession will change you as well as challenge you to grow personally and professionally. You are the only one who can determine your success and what you give to and take from your sales career as it unfolds in the months and years ahead. For me, getting into this wonderful profession was one of the best decisions I ever made. I have met all of my friends during the course of this career. Everything I have learned was because of this profession. And all of the satisfaction I have gained and any contribution I have made to society was made possible by my occupation as a salesperson. My goal here is to give you everything you need to be able to look back years from now and say the same things. The Quick-Start Concept In sports, there is a concept called the quick start. It means that the first team to score in any game has a greater chance of winning than does its opponent. The same can be said for sales, where the quick-start concept means you must: come out of the gate each year on January 1 at a dead run begin each new week with a good sale start each month with a positive outlook and expectations start the day early with a positive plan for success jump-start your new career and quickly move into the fast lane This book will give you the tools to do just that. If you read this book, study it, live it, and breathe it, I guarantee that you will be ahead of the pack before you''ve even finished your first year as a salesperson. You will set sales records, position yourself for long-term success, and immediately earn the respect of your customers, peers, friends, and supervisor. WHAT IS A PROFESSIONAL SALESPERSON? For years I have heard people use the word "professional," especially when they refer to salespeople. How would you define a professional? I have been asking my audiences for years to describe a sales professional. The consensus is that a professional salesperson is: well groomed punctual well dressed honest knowledgeable positive, with a good attitude courteous and doesn''t bad-mouth the competition customer focused dependable caring a creative problem solver good at sales follow-up This list could go on for several pages. Again, I ask you, how would you define a professional? To me, being a professional is not about what you sell, but how you sell. Let me explain. Some people selling high-priced and highly regarded products are far from professional. I have met some pretty sleazy salespeople selling very expensive products and services, and I have had the pleasure of doing business with some really great people selling appropriately priced products and services. Salespeople Are Not Becoming Obsolete Will the continual advances in technology replace the profession of selling in the foreseeable future? I am not a fortune-teller or a mystic, but I do believe that we will see dramatic changes in the roles salespeople play within their organizations and the economy in general. During the next several years, even the next few decades, we will see dramatic and all-encompassing change in every industry, field, and profession. We are rapidly becoming a society that no longer talks face-to-face. We communicate by e-mail and the Internet using cell phones and a variety of other electronic devices. We are losing the human touch. But as salespeople, we bridge the gap between this impersonal electronic world and our human customers: one of several reasons why the sales profession is alive and well and will continue to play a vital role in a growing economy for years. Salespeople are charged with any or all of the following: They present new ideas, concepts, products, and services to present and potential clients. They assess the marketplace and gauge customer satisfaction levels and perceptions, general market attitudes, competitors'' strengths and weaknesses, and consumer interest trends. They witness and report on the emergence of grassroots market shifts, trends, and interests. They soothe the ruffled egos of disappointed, frustrated, and angry customers. They provide bottom-up feedback to the management of their organization on any number of opportunities, problems, and issues. They are the front line of attack for any number of corporate marketing strategies and programs. They work the trade show booths (a grueling task, if you have never done it) in thousands of trade shows each year. They are on the lookout for new product or service opportunities that a corporate person would never see. They are ambassadors for management, building positive ongoing relationships that can increase business and profits. I challenge you to find a software program, customer service representative, or marketing person who can do all of this with the courage of a mountain climber; the patience of Job; the sense of sacrifice of a humanitarian; the energy of a two-year-old; the creativity of Frank Lloyd Wright; the dedication of a mother; the wisdom of Confucius; the enthusiasm of a cheerleader; the commitment of an Olympic athlete; and the persistence of a toddler trying to reach the cookie jar. The role of the sales professional will continue to shift and change, but the fundamental mission will remain intact. So, selling is not what you sell, but how you sell what you sell. Ask yourself: How am I doing when it comes to being a professional? How do I want my clients or customers to think of me? How do I want my competitors to think about me? How do I want the marketplace to view my activity? Don''t wait for the results to come in from these sources. Ask yourself and adapt your style and attitude to match your desired result. ATTITUDES FOR SALES SUCCESS The way you prepare for each day, each sale, and how you respond to your successes and failures will ultimately determine just how enjoyable and lucrative your career in sales will be. Let''s touch on a few of the critical attitudes and behaviors you must develop if you are to succeed. Persistence. You must have persistence. More often than not, people will put off saying yes to your presentation. The key is knowing how to discover the prospect''s critical sense of urgency and when the best times to persevere and follow up with that potential customer are. Equally important is the ability to not be discouraged when you are rejected or unsuccessful. Resilience. People will say no, with that being their final answer. Whether you have the fortitude to march on, even with such rejections, will play a large part in determining your success. Interest in self-improvement. Be willing to learn new skills and attitudes. There are always new things you can learn and attitudes you can acquire. Those who stay knowledgeable about new trends and corporate thinking remain on top of the sales leaderboard. Confidence yet modesty. Keep your ego in check. Today may have been great; tomorrow could be just the opposite. Keep a level head. The ups and downs of sales can be frequent, and the higher you let your ego float, the harder and farther it can fall. * Flexibility. The ability to work effectively in a less-than-ideal business environment is essential. No company is perfect. Few sales situations are ideal. The key is to be able to take a difficult situation and turn it into a positive outcome. For example: I can recall, in my second sales position, that my work space was about five square feet with a school-size desk to work from. The telephone was on a windowsill behind me. Not ideal circumstances by any stretch of th
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