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Breaking out of the shell: Sales

TheBigIdea

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Aug 19, 2007
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St Louis MO
I feel something that has held me back from the fastlane has been my lack of experience in sales and the fear that sort of surrounds that. I actually am very good at sales at my proffesion because I know the product well and can show the value easily.

But what I want to do now is maybe pick up a part time job that is 100% sales and forces me to face any fear that I may have as to approaching strangers and selling.

I need some advice here as to what do you folks here feel would be the best type of job in which to do this. There is a company locally here that sells extended auto warrantys. I think they offer good training. That is basically what I want, training and experience that I can bring with me into my own business.
 
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Inphinity

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Aug 20, 2007
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I have a related problem, in that I can promote very well a product or service as long as I genuinely have faith in it. If I don't really believe in the product - I don't know how to begin trying to sell it. I don't even think I want to try, though lol.
 

8 SNAKE

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Aug 15, 2007
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Do you want to focus on a specific industry? Do you want to focus on C2B or B2B or does it matter to you?

Here are a couple of ideas that allow a lot of flexibility in working part-time:
Insurance sales
Financial planning
 

andviv

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Jul 27, 2007
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...I actually am very good at sales at my profession because I know the product well and can show the value easily.

But what I want to do now is maybe pick up a part time job that is 100% sales and forces me to face any fear that I may have as to approaching strangers and selling.

I need some advice here as to what do you folks here feel would be the best type of job in which to do this. There is a company locally here that sells extended auto warrantys. I think they offer good training. That is basically what I want, training and experience that I can bring with me into my own business.

Well, I think it is clear that you should look for a company that sells a product you believe in. This sounds to me like a conflicting-values issue. Maybe in the back of your mind the idea of sales is somehow related to "trick" the buyer? That may explain why you need to sell a product you know and can show the value. I say this cause that is my situation. If I don't believe in it there is no way I'd sell it. Does this make sense?

I could sell you a decent RE deal as I probably believe in it... there is a almost-zero chance I sell you a mutual fund --even though it may be a great deal -- as I don't believe in mutual funds that much.

Do you believe auto warranties are a great product and you would be proud of offering it and sell it? could you explain why is it a great value for the customer?

Take my advice with a grain of salt --make it a pound of salt. I am not a salesman. I help the company I work for with sales from the technical perspective as I do know what we offer and how we can really offer value and help the customer. I tried the route you describe, by taking a temp sales position with a company selling financial products I did not believe in, so I couldn't really sell anything, even though the sales training was good. I felt like deceiving my customers.

If you believe in your business, chances are you can explain it and sell it. Toastmaster meetings may help you to improve in your interpersonal skills.
 
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kimberland

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Jul 25, 2007
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Well, how I learned sales
is taking a part time job with a charity telemarketing.
They paired me up with an experienced salesman
who was donating his time to help the charity.
The people on the receiving end of my calls
were also a great source of learning.
Those believing in the charity
would tell me how to improve my "pitch."
It was like a top quality crash course.
 

tbsells

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Jul 27, 2007
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To me product knowledge and being able to demonstrate its value are two hallmarks of a good salesman. Most people do not want to be "sold." Most are more willing to buy from someone who can show them the benefit of a product and how they can afford it. If its a relationship type of sale where you have the hope of repeat business and referrals you better be willing to tell them when the value is not there or they can't afford it. You gain alot of respect that way. I'm a realtor who works largely with investors, repeat customers, and referrals. I have told most of them at some point "Don't buy it" or "I wouldn't do that" or "Remember that I told you so before you bought it." At first it suprises people, but then they realize you are not in this for a quick buck. Its powerful. You gain immediate respect and become a trusted advisor, instead of just a salesperson. Trusted advisors are valuable to people. They will use you over and over and refer friends and family to you.

I have sold real estate very successfully for over 15 years with no formal sales training. You sound like a person of integrity who has genuine concern for others. You do not need to be a "polished" salesperson. Just know your product and get to know your customers needs. If you provide the service the income will come. Most trained salespeople smell bad to most people. I know some real "polished" realtors with lots of sales training and very little sales. Sales is a service profession. If you know your product, take the time to get to know your customers needs, and communicate fairly well you will probably be successful. Its not rocket science.
 

tbsells

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I have a related problem, in that I can promote very well a product or service as long as I genuinely have faith in it. If I don't really believe in the product - I don't know how to begin trying to sell it. I don't even think I want to try, though lol.


This is not a problem. Its called character, which is an attribute.:hurray:
 
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tbsells

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Jul 27, 2007
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Real Estate sales could provide good training for you. The barriers to entry are low. Licensing doesn't take alot of time or money. Most large brokerages have good training programs. Hopefully you could make some money and learn about investing along the way. It might be a good idea to check out a couple companies career nights.
 

nomadjanet

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Aug 28, 2007
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The air conditioning & heating industries have very good sales training & they pay well. Almost anywhere in the country there are companies that will hire & train for this field. They usually have an appointment setter that sets up the calls so there is no cold calling & the client has a real need for the product before they call so the salesmans job is simply to find out the real need, find the right product to fill the need & present it in a fashion that the client can feel confident with. I personally have met muli billionairs that started out in HVAC sales and are now owners of huge business organization. I once took a course from Jim Abrams, he started out in HVAC sales and now owns the majorty interest in VenVest Investments. http://www.venvestinc.com/ He is a stone cold business genius but he started as a young man by selling HVAC units and no he was not a technican and knew nothing about HVAC when he started selling them but he knew about business.
Janet
 

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