4 Things Every Young Salesperson Should Know

August 12, 2015

You can know every closing technique, every email tactic and every sales tool on the market, but if you don’t know these four things, you’re in trouble.

1. You don’t know everything

No one knows everything. No one expects you to know everything. And no one likes a know-it- all. Be a learner, not a student. You did it for 18 plus years of your life and it’s a role you know well. Admitting that you don’t know everything about your prospects, company, role and yourself, while scary, puts you at an advantage. You become a vulnerable, genuine and authentic listener, as opposed to an overly-confident, annoyingly-friendly and seemingly-rude talker.

Listen, you don’t know about your prospects pains, because you aren’t in their role. You don’t know everything about your role or company, because at the expansion stage, it’s always evolving. You don’t know everything about yourself, because that would be boring.

And that’s ok.

Establish yourself as the person who is hungry to learn and ready to listen and endear yourself to those with whom you interact by being relevant and contextual with your words. Ask your prospects follow up questions. Don’t claim to understand things you don’t. Know what you know and what you don’t know, and be willing to explore that gray area. Spend time regularly with yourself, your boss and your team retrospecting on what is going well and areas that can be improved.

2. It’s ok to tell people what you want and need

While millennials have never had the reputation of being shy, being direct has never been a strong suit. We hide behind screens, texts and chats and are uncomfortable with confrontation.

But the reality is, it’s not only okay to tell people what you want, they actually prefer it. Tell your prospects what you want them to do next in the buying cycle. Tell your boss what you need from them in order to be successful in your role. Tell your co-workers when you want to focus. And tell yourself, that (while you don’t know everything) you know exactly what you need in order to achieve your goals.

3. Failure isn’t just an option, it’s a reality

Shit happens. It just does. And in sales, if you let those failures knock you off your game, you will never learn, you will never grow and you will never be successful. That’s just the way it goes. You are going to fail. Accept it. Embrace it. And don’t let it get you down.

Even the most successful sales experts have had their moments. And you’re bound to have yours too.

4. Being scared is okay

I hung up the first time I got someone live on the phone. Because I was scared. I was scared that I wasn’t going to sound intelligent or be able to hold a conversation, and I thought that made me bad at my job. But, that was far from true.

Being scared doesn’t mean you’re doing something wrong, it means you care. And that’s exactly what your prospects want and need. Building rapport with your prospects should not be your goal — rather it should be a result of adding value and delivering. The emotions involved in being scared are what should drive you toward that, not keep you from achieving it. Being scared isn’t just ok — it’s great. It’s the adrenaline rush you need to be alert and on-point with your prospects.

While being scared shouldn’t keep you from being confident, it should keep you honest. It should be your internal barometer for how you are doing and where you stand against your daily, weekly, monthly and overall professional goals.

When you’re no longer scared it might just be time to reassess whether or not you’re in the right role or company.


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