Advice for noobs: Six things I wish I had known before launching my sales career
By John Sterling
After 25 years of managing, hiring, and training over 200 sales reps here in Greenville, I’ve seen firsthand how lining up for the right job early with the right training can jump-start careers. That’s why I’ve made it my mission to help “noobs” get their best start in sales. Here are the six tips I wish I had known when I started.
Align yourself with what you love.
What excites you the most? You might love basketball like me, but chances are you won’t turn pro. That’s okay – just find another way to stay in the hoop world. Coaching, recruiting, sports marketing, sports administrator, sales for Nike/Converse, sports agent, etc…find a way to stay in the game you love, even if you can’t go pro.
Choose where you want to live, unless…
The world is truly your oyster. Move west, east, south, north or grab your passport and go. Defining your location will help you focus on local opportunities.
The more aggressive among you will switch to the Mecca of your area of interest. For example, if you want to work in finance, go to Wall Street. Movies? Hollywood. Technology? Silicon Valley. The main thing? Choose your location and with that as a starting point, it will simplify your search.
Start this project early.
Start your ideal job search process early. Look for successful people who love what they do in the sales areas that interest you. Find them on LinkedIn (I would love connect by the way!) and don’t be afraid to reach out and ask questions. Remember that the first step is not to get an offer, but to find out what your ideal industry is. Start now for example.
Not all sales are the same – know your niche.
People group “sales” into one bucket. Remember that there are big sales, small sales, sales where you are in the field, and sales where you are on the phone, so find where you fit best. How? ‘Or’ What? Follow successful people in your field of interest and take an assessment test like Kolbe to better understand how you think, work and thrive.
Forget the front door, find the secret back entrance.
One of the best ways to stay ahead of the competition is to stand out. Do this by immersing yourself in your passion and working in whatever field you want to go into, even if it’s NOT sales to begin with. Find a way in and you will stand out.
Practice, practice, practice.
Achieving your first interview is essential, but I tell you that you will only succeed if you practice. Team up with friends in your sales program to do mock interviews or ask a relative or colleague to help you. Register. Find your flaws. Find where you shine. And keep practicing.
Questions? I would love to hear from you! Email me at [email protected] and we will answer it in a future article.
– John Sterling is the Amazon bestselling author of “Sales for Noobsand CEO of NOOB school, an online resource for new sellers. Previously, John helped build and sell Datastream for over $200 million. He has trained and hired hundreds of sales reps around the world. Subscribe to his Youtube channel for new sales content every week: https://noobschool.org