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I have a friend who is just graduating school and today starts his first day in sales at a software company in Seattle. He asked for some advice as he wanted to kill it out of the gate.

This is my favorite type of call.  I would do anything for someone who wants to go work their butt off and but just needs to learn what to do.  There are no handouts, but I can give you the map.

Here is what I sent him. I hope this helps you as well.

Here it is, day one. I am so proud of you. I am so humbled and honored to be part of this journey as it brings back some really cool memories.

I know you have big goals that are tied to this journey. Enjoy step one on this. There will be days that are frustrating and days that full of elation. Push through them both. Celebrate the wins, learn from the losses and then get back to work. You are part of a team and your job is to perform.

I have seen thousands of sales people start their first day. Many have gone on to build incredible careers and many others moved onto other endeavors.

Sales is a career. Let me say that again. Sales is a career, not just a job. Sales is one of the only careers and skills-sets that can move to any industry is recession proof and if you are good can provide incredible opportunities your whole life. The industry continues to evolve and you will need to as well to stay on top but good sales people will always in be demand.

  • Hustle – The proof is in the proof. You are your results in Sales. You are not branding, your job is to close sales and you need to work. You will develop the skill. Until then, out hustle everyone.
  • You and your company will always get better. Make No Excuses.. Get it Done
  • Set daily goals and hit them – Discipline matters. If your goal is 100 calls, don’t’ quit til you hit 100. If it is to get 1 qualified deal per day, then hit it. Understand what success for the day looks like and knock it out.

“Don’t watch the clock; do what it does. Keep going.” -Sam Levenson

  • No Pain, No Sale – You are in the pain removal business. If the person you are talking to does not admit pain, move on. No Pain, No Sale. 
  • Become a Better listener – Successful calls sound like you asking good questions and then listening a ton. The more you listen, the better the call. Focus on the goal of the call and then lead with questions, not statements. Be the listener your girl-friend wishes you were. 
  • Stay Humbly Confident – Your confidence and energy will be infectious, bring it on every call. Remember, your customers and prospects will respond to you so bring your winning attitude on every call. Stay humble and remember, every call is an opportunity to serve someone and learn something.
  • Learn as much as you can – Ask questions. Practice your pitch, listen to your trainer. It is better to look silly and be transparent with your team so you can be more effective in front of your prospects. Remember, the name of this game is performance and you begin winning in practice. You do not have to know it now, but you do have to learn it. Today’s struggle builds the success of tomorrow.
  • Become a Consumer of Information – Make it a goal to get better every day. Never lose this hunger and develop a discipline that will carry you through. You will need to learn about sales processes, sales pitches, your industry, and the people you are selling to. I read 40-50 books a year. Whether through blogs, audio books, podcasts, etc. it is your responsibility to get better. No Excuses!!!
  • Understand your sales cycle – Every industry is a little different. Many people start out and never gain this fundamental skill of moving the deal forward through the stages. Trust the process and communicate the challenges.
  • Ask for Help – Never lose a deal by yourself. If you run into a challenge ask your manager for help. Better to share the success and the lessons so you can fail forward together. Lean on those more experienced to accelerate your learning.
  • Find Mentors – Find people who are where you want to be and ask them to be a sounding board. They can give you recommendations, etc. This is your responsibility. They may only be a couple of steps ahead of you. The best ones always do this. The others flounder alone.
  • Make the Extra Call – Put that extra effort into this. Most sales people give up after 1-2 calls when the average person doesn’t respond until call 5-6. Most sales people are average. Don’t give up your dream and settle for average. Make the extra call

Now, go knock it out the park. I know you will.

What is the best piece of advice that you have received or given? Would love to hear it.

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