Top 6 Lessons You'll Learn from Working in Sales

By Alex Smirnov

Posted in Sales Tips


Lessons You'll Learn from Sales

According to 59% of companies, not applying skills learned during sales training is one of the top barriers to becoming a top performer in sales. Starting out in sales can be challenging, but applying the skills you learn is vital to succeed - and the success is worth it.

Selling is uncomfortable at first, even for extroverted people who love talking. But, once you get over the first hurdles, you will get used to it. 

The difficulty might deter some people from pursuing sales as their career, and they miss out on some important life lessons as a result. 

Here are the 6 most important life lessons you'll learn from a career in sales.

1. How to talk to new people

The first major lesson you learn in sales is how to overcome the fear of talking to new people

Meeting new people becomes easier the more you do it - and in sales you do it a lot! Becoming comfortable with conversation will open doors for you.

Interacting with people daily makes you realize how valuable relationships are. The larger your network is, the easier it will be for you to make new connections. 

You'll have the skills to develop a professional and personal network that pays dividends. CBS news agrees, your network is the most valuable asset for a successful career. 

Developing networking and strong interpersonal skills early helps you get ahead in every area of life.

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2. Work smarter not harder

Although hard work is extremely important, keep this phrase in mind: work smarter not harder. 

One of the best things you will learn from sales is that there are a lot of different resources and apps that can make your life easier. Every day we have access to more technological resources to help optimize our lives and give us more time. 

By delegating your busy work to an app, you’ll be able to put your focus on what really matters: closing more deals. As a salesperson, apps that save you time can optimize each part of your daily routine such as lead generation tools, route optimization, CRM tools, and even organization apps. 

Badger Maps is a great example of a tool that will save you time by helping you optimize your daily routes and streamline every aspect of your job, from planning, to following up and capturing customer info. Let Badger Maps take care of all the busy work, while you take care of closing more deals. 

Combine these great sales objection tips with the best field sales app:

3. How to deal with rejection

Whether you're in sales or not, you'll face a lot of rejection in life. 

Losing an opportunity never feels good, but sales can help you handle it like a pro. 

You'll talk to a lot of people who tell you “no”, so you learn not to take it personally. You have to realize that when someone says “no”, they aren't saying no to you - they're saying no to the idea. Letting things go and learning how to overcome sales objections will give you the psychological skills to persevere in any situation in life.

Having a thick skin and dealing with rejection in a healthy way is a great life skill to learn from sales. Everyone you'll meet will have a bad day now and then. Shrugging off a rude response helps you stay focused on your overall goals.

At the end of the day, sales is a numbers game. You have to put yourself out there again and again. The best way to improve is to fail. You'll learn from your mistakes and become better.  

In sales, becoming better means closing more deals. All it takes is consistency. The best salespeople have been rejected countless times, but they never gave up.

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4. The art of persuasion (without being annoying or pushy)

Learning how to ethically persuade people is an investment in every area of your life. However, there is a fine line between being pushy and persuasive. 

Your prospects are typically fine without your product. But, every product exists because it is supposed to help make someone’s life easier or better. 

The sales process is different for every industry, but learning how to show your product’s value and allowing your prospects to be the decision-makers helps them feel more comfortable when buying. 

Finding that perfect balance between persuading and helping is key.

Persuasion is an art. There is an entire genre of self-help books and helpful articles on how to be more persuasive. A job in sales will teach you that understanding what your client needs is the first step to persuading them.  

When speaking to prospects, make sure to be confident, knowledgeable, and polite while using logic, truth, and positive language. They will not want to purchase your product unless they are sure that what you have to offer will fulfill the need they have.

5. How to listen more than you talk

Another lesson you learn in sales is how to actively listen

Your customer should be talking more than you. When talking with prospects, you should listen to their problems and help them find a solution. Yes, even if it means directing them away from your company. The prospect will appreciate the help and understand that you have their best interest in mind. 

By listening more than you talk, you learn how to ask the right questions at the right time. 

A job in sales teaches you how to ask the right questions to get your prospect talking. By listening to them, you allow them to become comfortable doing business with you. 

People love talking about themselves - so let them talk. Take advantage of the opportunity to listen well and build a relationship with trust.

By listening attentively, you will also learn what someone wants without them explicitly saying it. People often say one thing while meaning another. They may not realize what they are really communicating, but by listening, you will understand their real needs. This will make you a better salesperson and friend. 

Listening is a skill that many people do not take steps toward improving. But, it is one of the best ways to build trust between people.

6. Prioritization and self-discipline

Prioritizing your time is difficult and staying on top of everything can be challenging. 

It is hard to decide what to do to maximize your efficiency on the job. You have to take into account the level of importance and the urgency of each task.  

In sales, you learn that every decision you make has an opportunity cost to it.

How to prioritize in sales

With every decision being important for your productivity, organizing a schedule may seem a little intimidating at times. However, it’s very important to take one hour out of your day to organize and prioritize. This can help boost your efficiency for the entire week!

Once you have your schedule set, it’s even more important to stick to it. Being self-disciplined and following through with your schedule is an important lesson to learn in sales. Having a good work ethic and accomplishing your goals for the day are even more important than making your list of priorities. It’s great to have a list- but does it really help if it doesn’t get done?

Making the most of your time at work makes you happier and more productive. Which in turn makes your coworkers and clients happier as well. 

Prioritizing your time by focusing on the people that actually need your product is how great salespeople find success. There are only 24 hours in a day, and it’s impossible to speak with everyone. You must choose what to do during those hours to find success. 

Time is precious in sales, so you want to optimize it as much as you can to be as productive as possible. Learning to delegate some of the busy work to apps can help you be more productive. Less time doing administrative work means more time to sell and close deals.

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Conclusion

Overall, you can learn many life lessons from a job in sales since you develop skills that otherwise do not get much attention. 

Sales prepares you for many challenges you'll face in life such as facing rejection, increasing productivity, or being more open-minded and curious. 

It is also a great way to start your career. It forces you to improve some difficult-to-learn skills, and it forces you to step outside of your comfort zone. Those are the first steps to set yourself up for success

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Edited by: Emily Healy

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