A Second Letter to My 22-Year-Old Self: 13 More Things You Should Know About Sales

September 27, 2013

A Second Letter to My 22-Year-Old Self: 13 More Things to Know About Sales

Dear 22-Year-Old Me,

I gave it a bit more thought — eleven tips isn’t enough. It’s time to get serious, me. You might think you know everything after a week on the phones, but you don’t. So here are thirteen more lessons you are going to learn over the next couple of years. If you pay attention, maybe you’ll jump start your career a little sooner than before.

13 Additional Things to Know About Sales

1) Be confident in your prices.

Don’t give people the out by saying things like “I know it seems like a lot, but…”

2) Don’t think of your job as a “sales” job.

You are the ultimate connector. Build relationships, listen, and connect your leads with the appropriate account executive.

3) Newsflash: Sales has many components and can be broken down into stages.

Know what stage in the buyer journey you are working on and adjust accordingly.

4) If you are going to give something, get something.

This applies to all of life, but know that each white paper, eBook, and one-pager has a cost. If your prospect requests some information, make sure to get something in return.

5) You can’t keep repeating a sales process if it isn’t working.

Everyone is different and it is important to adapt to the person you are talking to.

6) There is a buyer profile.

Ask your boss why current costumers bought your product and service, who those people are, and how they benefit from your product. Then sell to people like them.

7) In fact, once you find those people — label them.

This will help you when you go back to reflect on a deal and repeat the process.

8) Do your homework.

This includes: Practicing your pitch, knowing your competitor, and having comebacks for common objections.

9) Remember, you’re 22, not 45.

Sound your age and know you are going to mess up. Don’t overcompensate by being stiff and formal. At the end of the day, people buy from other people, not from robots.

10) Be accessible and responsive at all times.

Be on top of your clients, even if you just write a short note to confirm that you received their voicemail or email. You can write out your long and thoughtful response tomorrow!

11) People buy from people they like.

Don’t underestimate the power of relationships in winning their business.

12) Shut up and listen.

Really listen. Once you’ve heard it validate it — show that you were listening.

13) Be your authentic self.

You rock. And customers value integrity and honesty over your product knowledge. Observe and learn from the top sellers around you, then develop your own unique selling style. Authentic works best.

What kinds of advice would you give your younger self? Let me know in the comments section below!

And if you haven’t read my first post, check it out here.


<strong>CeCe Bazar</strong> is an Associate on OpenView's investment team. She was previously a Sales Strategist also at OpenView.