What I Will Always Remember
Sales with a tech startup company in Denver was my first job out of college. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, a job in sales was not for me. With that said, I truly have a lot of respect for people who not only excel at sales, but also enjoy it. I think the main reason it didn’t click for me, was because it was an absolute grind. I believe that the people who excel in sales, are those who just flat out, outwork everyone else. You can be good on the phone or try to charm every person you talk to, but it became obvious to me that hustling trumps all. People who made more phone calls, sent more emails, and did more research, eventually outsold everyone else. I think that’s as true for sales as it is for anything in life. If you’re the hardest worker in the room, you’re going to be tough to beat.
One of the hardest aspects about sales for me was cold calling. In my sales job, I averaged 150 cold calls a day. That’s a task that could wear anyone out. Turns out, it also wears out the people you’re cold calling. So how do you avoid sounding like a scripted salesman and getting hung up on? Be memorable. My manager used to tell me that all the time. To be memorable, you have to stand out from the crowd; you have to be different. If most people jump right into the pitch, then you focus on the individual. Spark a conversation that establishes a connection, rather than sticking to the script that gets you hung up on.
“I think that American salesmanship can be a weapon more powerful than the atomic bomb.” – Henry J. Kaiser
Towards the end of my sales job, we watched this video for training:
It’s an incredibly entertaining video, but one thing stood out to me above all else: people buy your personality, not the product. At the end of the day, we’re all human. We’re drawn to personalities that make us light up, and to people who make us feel good. Products can do that to a certain extent, but it’s really all about the person selling the product.
I only worked in sales for three months, but I will remember those three lessons for the rest of my life:
- Be the hardest worker in the room.
- Be memorable.
- Sell your personality, not the product.
I left sales after three months, only to realize that we all have to sell somehow in our lives. Whether that be in an interview, pitching an idea to your boss, or just trying to communicate an idea. But as I’ve learned now selling my book and Let’s March, selling becomes a lot easier when you’re truly passionate about what you’re selling. I didn’t have that fire before, but I absolutely have it now, and that’s something I think we should all strive to find.