10 Things I Learned After Being a Sales Manager for 2 Months
About two weeks ago, I was let go from my very first position as a Sales Manager for a startup company in New York City. Prior to taking this job, there were two things that I never expected would happen in my life: (a.) That I would ever become a Sales Manager and (b.) That I would ever work at a startup. But then again, this wouldn’t be the first time that I, or anyone else for that matter, have ever experienced something that I didn’t expect would happen. After all, life is full of surprises.
To preface everything I am about to say, I’d first like to inform you that I am writing this particular piece, not necessarily to pose a specific position or sway others to become or not become a Sales Manager. Instead, I hope to shed some light and offer some advice in case you ever find yourself in a similar situation.
And so, here is my advice to you:
- Perfect your pitch. It took me nearly two months, basically the entire duration of my employment at this company, to finally perfect my “elevator pitch” towards potential clients. I rehearsed at home, at work, with my colleagues and friends over and over again before I felt 100% comfortable that I nailed it on the head. Don’t ever forget, practice makes perfect.
- Any response is better than no response. When you’re cold-emailing or cold-calling, the best thing that you can get is any response at all. Whether it’s a “Sure, let’s hop on a quick call” or a “Hell no, I’m not interested”, just be grateful to receive some sort of answer. And if you do receive an answer, think about it this way: That person took the time to actually respond when they could have just ignored you.
- Keep following up until you get an answer. Following my second point, if it’s been a few weeks or a few months, then follow-up with the people that you’ve reached out to. Yes, you may possibly annoy them a bit, but again, any response is better than no response.
- You will get a lot of No’s. To be completely honest, a majority of the responses you will get (if any) will probably be a hard “No”. It could be for a variety reasons such as a lack of budget, or maybe your target audience doesn’t quite align, or maybe they are just focusing on using a different media vertical. Regardless of the reason, don’t let it get to you.
- Don’t get discouraged. After the influx of “No’s”, it’s going to be pretty tough not to get discouraged, but please don’t. It’s just the nature of the business and understand that this is what you signed up for, so dust yourself off, and press on.
- Sales is a process. Learning a new role takes time. And with sales, it’s an entire lengthy process of relationship-building and establishing a sense of trust between you and your clients, especially if you’re brand new in a sales role. Keep note, a deal doesn’t close overnight and that’s completely normal.
- Attending [Industry] events is a must. Whatever kind of sales you are in, your network is your number one resource. Going to events that are relevant to your field is extremely essential towards getting to know the people you could potentially work with as well as just learning more about what is currently happening within your industry.
- Who you know is (pretty much) EVERYTHING. Following my seventh point, I must repeat that your network is your number one resource. It may sound superficial to say, but the larger the number of connections you have, the more successful you will be. Hate to say it, but sales is kind of like a popularity contest.
- It’s all about the chemistry between you and your client. How you get along with your potential clients can entirely dictate whether or not they are interested in doing business with you. Moreover, both parties should want to work together. Like any relationship, chemistry is a huge factor towards whether or not things will work out.
- Ultimately, if you are not motivated by money, then this job is not for you. There are a handful of reasons why people go into sales positions, but above all, one of the biggest motivating factors is the money involved (specifically, your commission on the sales you make). Whether you’re in it for the long haul, or just taking a sales job purely to generate more income to pay down debt, it’s important to recognize where you stand in regards to what motivates you in your career.
And so, I will end with this:
Life is too short to do something that you don’t love to do. Work will always be work no matter what you do, but try to find the kind of work that makes you happy and just go for it. The worst thing that could happen is failure, but there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. If it weren’t for failure, I probably wouldn’t even be writing this article.
*This article was originally published by Lindsey Lazarte on LinkedIn