Green peas, FNG’s, wet behind the ears; call them whatever you want, but when a person first enters the sales industry as a career, it usually comes as quite a big culture shock. Sales is truly unlike any other profession out there in its demands, risks, and rewards. You learn quite a few lessons in your first month as a salesperson. Here are five:
1) It takes guts – One of the most striking things about working in sales (at least in the beginning), is just how intimidating it can be to handle prospects and potential customers. This typically wears off as time goes on, but pitching a customer and going in for the close is a brand new experience for most people. Funny enough, most of the time when a new salesperson is timid, scared, and shy, they end up closing some deals.
2) Customers don’t usually come back – Whether it’s an in-person sales job, or telesales; one thing you’ll quickly find out is that unless you close a deal on the first interaction or follow-up continuously, the chances of a customer taking the initiative to get back to you is fairly slim. One study has shown that more than 80% of deals are closed between the 4th and 12th contact made by a salesperson.
3) Salespeople have big personalities – Working on a sales floor can be the most fun you’ll ever have, or your worst nightmare come true. Compare it to a high-school locker room, throw in the typical office politics, incentivized production numbers, and an even more diverse set of customers and you’ll realize that the environment you’re working in is unlike any other you’ll ever experience in the salaried side of the office. If you can survive among the salespeople, you can survive in any profession.
4) Buyers (can be) liars – One of the most interesting things you learn on your first go-around in sales is just how dishonest people can be about their intentions. Of course, some of it comes from not wanting to offend, some comes from trying to get a better deal, and some comes from pure distaste for salespeople. But you’ll very quickly find out that contrary to popular belief, it’s not always the salesperson who is stretching the truth.
5) There’s lots of money to be made – The topic of money is ever-present on sales floors and you can bet that everyone discusses or at least speculates how much everyone else is making, especially since commission plans and widely-publicized sales results make it difficult to hide how much your check is for. As a new person on a sales floor, you’ll find out exactly who is crushing it, how much they made “last year” and, unless your commission plan is lame; just how wildly lucrative sales can be.
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