A COMMON pressure that new college graduates will face is to find the “right” first job. You would either be very determined to pursue the career of your dreams, or you would have no idea which way to go. If you identify with the latter description, then you might have a hard time finding opportunities in entry-level positions. Reasons for rejection, such as “not being the right fit for the job” will come up often, but that doesn’t mean you’re late. I know several alumni from my university who managed to land their dream jobs with distinguished companies and who left months later to find they wanted something different.
When choosing your first job, the top priority should be its ability to force you out of your comfort zone to get your feet wet. Getting a job in sales can fill this role. It does not require a significant number of specific technical skills compared to other available roles and it offers a series of learning experiences that will help you in your future career path.
An avenue for developing interpersonal skills
In retrospect, I never thought I would go for a sales position after college. I’ve always had this idea that a good salesperson should emulate the charismatic aggressiveness of Jordan Belfort in “The Wolf of Wall Street”. While I was someone a thousand leagues from Belfort’s level, I was able to develop my own commercial identity which complements my passive personality.
In my case, I can easily get anxious when trying to sell to someone who I know is not interested in purchasing the product. The knee-jerk response that won’t work most of the time is to sell the customer harshly without first knowing their reason. One response that was both effective and suited to my personality was the ability to seek out key information instead of being assertive.
To illustrate an example, let’s say that a couple is arguing, it would not be ideal to press on with your partner without hearing them first. Maybe the other person was just upset about a toilet flush that hadn’t been pulled and nothing more. Similar to selling, you will need information about why your customer is not interested before you set a course of action. Is it because they already have a supplier or do they find your prices too high? Navigate through their requests first and create a workaround pitch for it.
There are several other skills you can learn in selling that can work with your personality. You don’t have to be a Jordan Belfort to be good at selling.
You feel comfortable being uncomfortable
I would be lying if I said selling is easy work. You’re unlikely to get your first sale without getting yelled at by a customer. I was anxious the first day we were tasked with cold calling 40 prospects a day with the prospect of having an unpleasant customer experience on one of those calls. Calling 40 strangers a day seemed like an impossible feat, but over the months it slowly became part of my routine.
Selling is a process where we test our limits to their breaking point. You have to do repetitions to have painful moments that you constantly avoid. Dealing with these intolerable times on a daily basis will only help you build a more resilient state of mind, where uncomfortable tasks will only begin to feel ungrateful to you. Getting rejected after calling 40 prospects? Great. You improve your pitch on the next call.
Having the courage to incorporate uncomfortable times into your daily activities will only develop you as a person even more. It may sound masochistic, but it pays off in the long run.
A chance to broaden your horizons
I have been in contact with over a hundred micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) during my first few months in my first job. In my case, I can listen to the stories of different business owners and how they weathered the pandemic. With the rise of online information, customers don’t need salespeople to find a solution to their problems, but rather to find a solution to their problem that they didn’t think there might be. solution.
Despite the name, selling isn’t just about making a sale to get your share, but selling is a by-product of delivering relevant solutions to the customer. Salespeople are problem solvers by nature, they will develop unique solutions for different types of customers. This is the opportunity to broaden your area of expertise. There will be times when you will need to act as a consultant, industry expert, and marketer to understand the client’s needs.
I imagine there are a lot of people who feel lost about what job to choose. You still have to recognize that you are building yourself. So if you see a sales job posting on LinkedIn and you’ve never considered getting into sales, this might be your place to start. Ezol Ozan once said: “Some beautiful paths cannot be discovered without getting lost. “
Lance Atienza is an Account Manager at First Circle who joined the company in August 2021. He has experience in managing accounts and partnerships. To contact Lance, you can send him an email at [email protected]