It always strikes me how quickly we adapt to our current situation. We have an amazing ability to accept the present and forget where we started. This can be a good thing but can also hinder us from appreciating what we have, where we are, who we are with…
At durhamlane we are just a few weeks away from launching a new service (‘Hybrow’) designed to connect ambitious and committed business graduates with companies who want to grow without the adverse financial risks that often accompany hiring experienced sales resource. As you’d expect, we are much more than simply the conduit, or the ‘matchmaker’ between both parties. We have designed and embedded a sales performance induction training and coaching programme that supports the graduate in their transition and delivers fast track success to the business: Win-Win. Watch this space for a more detailed post very soon. In the meantime here’s a testimonial from one of our ‘sales pilots’:
The Sales Roller-Coaster
Michael Dawson is our most recent member of the durhamlane sales team who joined us through our new Hybrow programme. He’s working in a busy Sales environment and (I like to think) he’s been trained well and is receiving on-going coaching from the many experienced people within our business. During our 1-2-1 last week I asked him to reflect on his first two months at durhamlane; to think about what he’d learnt so far. His response has inspired me to want to share his feedback.
Reading through his words for the first time reminded me what a roller-coaster sales can be – the highs and the lows, learning to be positive, to dig deep and to think big, to trust yourself, to be creative and learning that hard work will pay off sooner or later.
Here are Michael’s 5 lessons, unedited (I do have his permission to share this by the way):
“The most difficult part of starting this is deciding where to begin, the obvious thing to do would be to reflect on my first day; instead I’d like to focus a little further back to my training and combine that with my first day…
Lesson 1: you are never as well prepared as you think you are.
No matter how high your level of confidence in your preparation may be, always try to prepare more. After the (Hybrow induction) training I felt really confident from a combination of the theory I had taken on and the feeling that I was entering an exciting new business with a great wealth of knowledge and expertise, and that ultimately this would translate over to developing me into a great sales professional. Day one however was a huge shock; being thrown into the deep end was both exciting yet terrifying …
Lesson 2: keep calm and don’t panic.
That has been one of the most difficult things for me to still deal with. I know in myself that it’s just a phone call with a person, that I have great product knowledge and that I can understand and counter most objections but sometimes the desire to perform well is so high that it can translate into a negative result. I get misdirected and something that should have converted has slipped through my fingers. This comes in several forms, either through getting too excited and getting out of control at a minor expression of interest or having enough interest and then not seizing the opportunity…
Lesson 3: don’t run at a door that isn’t open but for goodness sake know when to walk through it when it is.
A great deal of pressure comes from the requirement to perform, and I accept that is the nature of the industry, but it’s something I have yet to fully adapt to. Perhaps I am performing and developing well, perhaps the thought process to convince myself that I’m not doing well enough and that I must do better is something a sales person needs…
Lesson 4: combine ambition with focus.
There is a general statement I feel as though I should argue against, and that is; “It’s only business, don’t take it personally”.
The conundrum here is that, people will buy from someone they trust and buy from someone they like. So consequently in sales it is ALL about who you are as a person. I guess confidence is generated from (amongst other things) product knowledge and confidence will lead me to being more relaxed and therefore likely to build better rapport…
Lesson 5: Start writing a sales diary.
Getting things down like this and actually being honest with yourself is therapeutic, and hopefully will make improvements and give me things to focus on…”
So there you have it. Five lessons from someone who is new to sales. Do you remember what it was like to start in Sales, how it felt? What advice would you give someone if they were sitting next to you now embarking on their own journey towards becoming a Sales Professional?
Let us know. Go on, take a minute to post a comment!
durhamlane is an independent thought leader on sales performance. We deliver a measurable difference by improving sales processes, training and coaching sales and non-sales people and embedding best practices through technology. We provide a range of business development and key account acquisition solutions as well as a unique sales graduate service, Hybrow, designed to increase the sales footprint and long-term success of our clients – something we call ‘Selling at a Higher Level’.
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