Careers in sales can be gratifying, however, starting a sales job can be challenging. Many sales professionals will tell you that it is a bumpy ride, but well worth it in the long run. A satisfying and profitable sales career does not evolve overnight, but these tips can help you be successful in the beginning.


Create Goals

If you are beginning your first sales position, start from the end and work backward. Knowing your goals and measuring your performance against them is the best place to start. Don’t forget to be reasonable because no successful salesperson is excellent right away. Sales skills take time to develop and building a strong foundation will lead to long-term success.


Sell Yourself First

If you want to be successful in sales, then the first key is being able to sell yourself. Dressing well, knowing your good or service inside and out, and knowing the company will all help. You must know everything about what you are preparing to sell. Think of the worst possible questions a customer could ask, and have an answer prepared. If you don’t know the good or service entirely, then it will be impossible to sell.

It is also essential to believe in the product you are selling and know the value it can offer. If you are not passionate about it, then why would your potential customer be? Be sure also to have a firm grasp of the company. Know their values and processes because it can frame your sales pitch. Lastly, make sure you are dressing the part. What you wear affects how your potential consumers perceive you and the product.


Making a Difference vs. Making a Sale

While a sales job does require sales, it is important to remember that you’re not selling the good or service. Potential consumers want to know the value of the product you’re selling them. Most of the time, no one cares about the good or service you are presenting to them. What they care about is the value and difference the product to make.


Identify Strengths and Weaknesses

Everyone has strengths and weaknesses, and it is especially important to understand those aspects of sales. Make a list of what you think you should improve on, and hold yourself accountable to get better. Work with your manager, coworkers, and mentor to improve on your weaknesses. Every salesperson has areas to improve.

Sales job are rewarding but also challenging, especially the first one. Sales professionals will all say that hard work pays off, and to remember that success does not happen overnight. Careers in the sales world can be very satisfying and profitable if you are willing to put in the effort at the beginning and continuously improve on yourself.  
Ryan Krutzig is a seasoned sales and operations professional based in Minnesota. Read more of his sales blogs or check out his leadership advice!