This blog marks the start of a new sales career: my own. I'm on the brink of stepping out into the real world, and if there's anything I've learned over the last four years at Emory University, it's that I thrive in the midst of competition and pressure. I've played on the varsity women's tennis team at Emory for the past four years, which has enabled me to continue my competitive nature. Sales seemed like the natural career choice.
I have no formal experience or education in business; I am not an authority on the matter of sales, and I'm not pretending to be. I'm just a girl who hates losing more than anything else in the world. So, why would anyone care what I think? Because there's always more you can do; I'm going to find that extra bit it takes to win, and I'm going to build on it. Sales development, meet your new Yoda-in-training.
I have a bit of a temper on the tennis court. If I miss a shot, there are times I can't help but yell out some choice words a little too loud for most referees liking (they usually let me off the hook). My strength is that I can usually recover from that jolt of anger within the 30 seconds I have in between points, and be mentally ready for whatever comes my way once the next ball is in play. This sequence is what came to mind when I spoke with Morgan Ingram, creator of the SDR Chronicles at Terminus (another leading account-based start-up in Atlanta) and trailblazer in the world of sales blogs, at a recent networking event. He told me that the most important part of sales is keeping a level head, and honestly, I'd never thought about that.
I am going to lose in sales more than I ever did in my collegiate career, and that is a fact I need to accept. Finding that balance between being competitive, or invested in the outcome of my efforts, and being too emotional, might mean the difference between being a good salesperson and a great one. I'm not about to sacrifice that "great" title. If I hold onto the resentment of one failed sales call while on the phone with the next potential client, the results would likely be cringe-worthy. I'm going to save you, my boss, and myself that cringe, and try to learn from that mistake before I make it.
After the initial burst of anger and disappointment felt after losing a point, the most important thing for me to do is slowly walk to the back fence, take a deep breath, and figure out what I need to fix. Did I lose focus? Did I make an unforced error? Whatever the cause may be, the only thing I can do is learn from it and move on. An overwhelming majority of the time, winning a tennis match means winning 51 - 55% of the points. That means even if you win, you will lose just under half of the total points played. Just because I lose one sales call, doesn't mean I'm about to give away the match because of my frustration. That frustration is meant to fuel a fire that will ultimately lead to a successful sales call, followed by another, and another. I'm not quite sure what "winning the match" will feel like for me in sales, but once I do, you better believe I'm coming for that "great" title.
For more tips and tricks on sales, check out: https://leadup.io/blog/