5 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Entered the Sales Industry

Years ago, when I volunteered to be part of the sales team of the previous company I worked for, what I had with me was intense determination. I have no regrets but there are things that I really wish I knew before I came to that decision because it might have made my journey smoother and less painful.

Here are five things I wish I knew then before I applied as a salesperson:

  1. I wish I knew that once you sell something, the people whom you think would support and buy from you would less likely do so. In my experience, I never had a client who is a family member or a friend. It’s not because there was no one who needed the service because I knew some who availed the same service from different providers. After a few years, I realized that family and friends do not want to be sold to because what they’re thinking is that we are making money at their expense. This is the sad reality that I wish I knew then to avoid the feeling of rejection this caused.
  2. I need to be a firm believer in what I am selling or offering. When I started selling the programs that the previous company I was working for was offering, I honestly had hesitations that people will avail of the services because of the amount of money they need to shell out. This hesitation resulted in a lot of dropped sales because I ended up accepting the reasons that the prospects told me for not pursuing the programs. In other words, I had a subconscious belief that what we were offering was not worth the money that the customers need to spend. After totally seeing the benefits of the service, I immediately became confident in selling it.
  3. Competition is everywhere. I know this shouldn’t have come as a surprise but before, I thought that the service we were offering was unique. I realized later on that no matter how uncommon your niche is, you will always have a competitor. Competition even starts in your own company. If I had known this earlier, I would have been able to prepare myself and learn how to handle myself well when facing competition.
  4. How to handle all types of objections is definitely on top of the things I wish I knew for obvious reasons. If I knew how to handle all types of objections then, I wouldn’t have dropped a lot of sales. It would have been easier for me to build confidence knowing that I have one of the most important tools in selling.
  5. I need a mentor. When I entered sales, I only relied on the training given to me by my seniors about the service we are offering. I realized later on that aside from mastering our service, I must also learn selling techniques that are universal. It would have been an easier start if I already equipped myself with learning from different sales trainers before I totally immersed myself in the field.

Despite these all, I do not regret being in the sales industry and experiencing all those hardships because all those helped me become resilient and resourceful. If I haven’t gone through all these actual experiences, I wouldn’t have reached the results I wanted and become the person I am right now. I believe that I was destined to undergo all those for me to develop a desire to help others who are struggling in sales and help them become champions early in their sales career by inspiring them with my story.

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The Greatest Investment You Can Make

I often get asked why I spend a significant amount of funds to attend international training events when I could use that money for other investments. Some people feel that it is just a waste of resources. I, on the other hand, consider it a much greater investment because it is for my personal and professional development.

Sometimes, what we know does not give us the result we are aiming for. This is because we either lack the knowledge or we do not know the right approach. We have to acknowledge the fact that there are people who already have a lot more experience than us. It is through their experience that they were able to accumulate great wisdom and figure out a lot of life’s puzzles. Some of these people, after gaining a much deeper understanding of life and about success, made it their mission to help those of the younger generation and even those in the old generation who are still struggling. Learning from these people, for me, is priceless as I would save a lot of time and resources than if I will face different challenges without the guidance of experienced individuals.

Even before I started attending live training events, the wisdom of the likes of Tom Hopkins, Zig Ziglar, and Jim Rohn (through their books and videos) guided me in my early sales journey. I have been through a lot of downs in my career, and one of the reasons that always brought me back up was the learning they had willingly imparted for the public to use. This is the reason that I did not hesitate to take a leap of faith when shown the opportunity to be personally trained by some of the world’s great trainers who came after the great people I mentioned above.

When I took the decision, we only had enough resources and we were putting our savings to great risk, but I pushed through it anyway. Now, I never regret that I did because I can really say that I have developed in a lot of aspects of life, have gotten more value than my money’s worth, and have increased my income ten times more.

We should not wait for the right condition before we decide to engage ourselves in this development journey because when we are in a bad situation, we will really do our best to thrive or get out of that situation. It is in this situation when help, such as the wisdom of experienced people, is easy for us to accept since what we are doing is not working at all. More importantly, in situations when we are unsure of what to do next, we need the help of experts on how to turn our personal and professional life around. This is the time when we will be able to strengthen our determination and motivation since we have to make sure that our investment will be worth it.

All the training that I engaged myself in truly elevated my way of life. Without the confidence and motivation I gained from all those training programs, I wouldn’t have gotten the courage to pursue my passion. Indeed, “the best investment you can make, is an investment in yourself”.

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What Effective Communication Means to Me

Would you believe that one of my fears once was talking in front of a crowd? Well, I once was afraid because I might get mocked for my English-speaking ability. I know that I have the tendency to mispronounce words or have grammatical errors. After being exposed to many motivational and developmental training events, and realizing my passion, I got over this fear. This does not mean though that my pronunciations and grammar are now perfect, I just don’t let these weaknesses stop me from pursuing my purpose.

I met and know a lot of people who, until now, are afraid to be on stage or speak in public because they were conditioned that being a good communicator is to be an eloquent speaker. I am not downplaying the importance of eloquence but I strongly believe that it is not the factor that will make or break effective communication. It is just a bonus point.

To be a great communicator, I discovered that we should focus on nonverbal communication and on connecting with the other party, not on impressing. This, for me, is the meaning of effective communication. I can really attest that the way I speak, talk, or communicate is the most vital factor that helped and continuously helps me build relationships with the people I serve and inspire them to take action to fulfill their goals.

How can we become effective communicators? This is the right question to ask rather than asking if you have what it takes or not. Because as much as I believe that effective communication is more than eloquence, I believe that everyone can be an effective communicator. All of us can learn. Here are some practices that I committed to doing consistently for me to become better in this aspect:

  1. Read books. Although I am still far from perfect when it comes to grammar, I can say that I improved a lot. One of the reasons for this development is my habit of reading books. Not only did it help me improve my grammar, but it also widened my vocabulary.
  2. Listen to audios and watch videos that are in English. Observation is a great learning tool. One of the ways that I constantly do that helped my communication skills is to listen to motivational audio recordings every time possible, mostly when I am driving. In addition to that, I also watch videos of motivational speakers and trainers and learn those gestures which worked for me as a viewer. Having this habit is like hitting two birds with one stone because aside from learning the effective communication skills used by experienced speakers and trainers, I also learned the valuable lessons they share in their pieces.
  3. Learn the different kinds of nonverbal communication. To properly communicate my thoughts and ideas, I familiarized myself with the different kinds of nonverbal communication techniques. It is through our actions that the audience sees our energy, our genuineness, and our emotions. Thus, this is the most effective way to deliver our message to our audience.   Not only that, by knowing nonverbal communication, we can also assess the mood, the reaction, and the real feeling of our audience towards us or our topic. With this, we will know how to help them address whatever they are feeling.

Communication is a very important skill in dealing with other people especially if you are in sales. It is vital in building new relationships, and in keeping relationships. Let us always remember that it is not about what we say, but how we say it that matters. We have to learn how to communicate properly and effectively.

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Following My Passion: The Risks and Opportunities

When I was young, I was taught that to have a good life, I must secure a stable job. Because of this, I had always thought that once I would start working, I could do anything I want and would be happy. Well, I was happy but that part where I could do anything was not at all possible since having employee responsibilities deterred me from such. Besides that fact, I realized through my years of being an employee that I need to do what I am passionate about for me to have a good life – happy, fulfilled, content.

With only my immeasurable faith in God and the support of my loved ones, I left my stable and promising job as a salesperson. I currently run my own sales training and consulting company, and I truly enjoy it because this is what I want – to help others grow through my share of experiences and learning. This does not mean, however, that it was easy for me to follow this path because there were risks involved. What were those risks?

First was the uncertainty if the kind of service I offer was something that anyone would want to avail, even though I was confident that it is especially beneficial. The second was momentarily losing stability owing to the fact of leaving the comforts of employment, wherein I was only accountable for producing sales and performing a few tasks. Third, which was the effect of resigning from my full-time job, was the possibility of exhausting our life savings before I could even start to earn from this venture.

Clearly, there was much at risk when I followed my passion(heart). Nevertheless, I committed to pushing for it with my unwavering faith, the support of my family, and the motivation of my mentors. Instead of fearing for the future, I focused my energy on how I can achieve the goals I had set to fulfill my vision. When I totally embraced this new journey, I instantly recognized the opportunities that come with it.

One of the opportunities that following my passion brought me was personal growth. On account of having to adjust to my new situation, and of being accountable for everything that involves my venture, I learned new skills and knowledge and developed new qualities. Other than that, I also got all the time to develop myself professionally by attending all the relevant training beneficial to my company. Moreover, following my passion and starting my own company provides me endless possibilities and more opportunities.

Therefore, regardless of the risks that, in one way or another, made me a bit anxious before, I am extremely glad that I took a leap of faith in this venture a few years ago rather than be filled with what-if thoughts.

So if you think that following your passion is too much of a risk, I encourage you to identify if such risk outweighs all the opportunities that can come with it. Why wouldn’t you give it a try if it means obtaining a good life – happy, fulfilled, content?

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