My First Sales Call - Is It Getting Hot In Here?

As with most important occurrences in our lives, we easily remember the first time. I can hear the wise crack now, but it is true, isn't it? A very important occurrence in my life was my first sales call.
Just out of college and through my new company's sales training course, I was ready to become a successful sales representative. Up to this point, the extents of my ventures out of the office were sales calls which had been chaperoned by a varied group of sales professionals. At first my sales manager had me tag along on some of his visits. These were mostly client review meetings, very matter of fact and honestly, boring. Next, I accompanied one of our most accomplished sales people to his numerous sales calls. I particularly remember these calls because he was a likable person and very good at his profession. He made it clear though, I was to observe and observe ONLY! Sitting in the background was not very exciting. After a while though, the process inherently made me more comfortable in front of real, live clients and prospects. Of particular interest was the 'give and take' of a typical (if there is such a thing) sales call.
My "role model" had obviously perfected an approach he felt comfortable with. It was working for him. Although he did his homework and fretted the small stuff during the pre-call meetings, you would never know it when he was in front of the prospect. He exuded affability and confidence. There was a distinct sense that he was there to assist the company and better their efforts. It was a wonderful introduction to the real world of sales. Until this point, the only point of reference was my high school years working in a retail store or what I was able to glean from various sales and persuasive marketing courses taken in college.
One beautiful summer day, I was approached by my sales manager. The big smile suggested something good was about to happen. It did. I now was a bone-fide sales representative with as territory and a sales goal. That meant an expectation of a certain number of sales calls per week which I jumped on immediately.
The first step was to peruse the call list of prospective clients provided to me in the territory package. I chose a familiar company name. It would be my first sale and one all would recognize. Do you sense an overabundance of confidence here?
I did the pre-call home work. Studied the company and determined it was a perfect fit based on our prospective client check list. The key contact was selected and set about calling this very lucky person.

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