First off, let me mention that I haven’t been in sales for long. Less than 3 weeks in fact.
This, I would say would be my first ever proper sales job and I knew what I was getting in to when I first applied. This is all telephone based similarly to a call center but with a more relaxed atmosphere focusing on customer service. Yes, we all have individual targets to hit and I’m hitting nowhere near that; less than 10% during my third week of training, actually.
It’s been a long time since I’ve experienced worry and even anxiety with any words relating to ‘phone calls‘. Like I said, I knew what I was getting into when I got in and I wanted to defy the odds and challenge myself with this. I’ve heard that other INTP’s can be pretty successful with sales but probably because of my lack of experience I’m not really getting into the gist of things yet. Before I say any further let me allow myself to talk about my previous job of working as an English instructor, aka ‘ESL teacher’ in Japan for a year before coming back to England. This job required me to teach conversational English 1-1 to students on a day to day basis, I also had targets to hit. 165+ students a month would be an ideal target and sometimes I would even hit more than 200 a month. If you didn’t know, the students will be the ones choosing their teachers in a competitive environment of over 12+ (60+ if you’re in a bigger studio) teachers on the same floor. Of course they are not going to literally pick and point which teacher they want when they come in; they have the leisurely time of doing that online via their mobiles or laptops beforehand. I wouldn’t say I was the most popular instructor there but I had a good % of bookings with an average of 4.8+/5 stars. In a way, the job was similar to sales as you had to be pretty cheerful, fun and engaging. Sometimes, it didn’t matter if you’re a terrible teacher as long you could make them laugh and entertain them a little and get a repeat booking.
When I left, it was bittersweet. I missed my students and the funny stories we shared but it was also extremely draining. Being cheerful, making small talk constantly and the repetitiveness of it all put a toll on me. Making small talk is something that I am capable of doing even if I’m not fond of it, I’ve done it enough times already. At other times, I just don’t feel like talking at all and just that’s probably because I’m still sleepy in the mornings. I’m not a morning person at all!
The hardest thing about telesales for me is probably that I’m unable push people and their boundaries a little more. I tend to give up after a first no which is not what a great salesperson do. I’m not a pushy salesperson at all and that’s why I’m struggling at the moment with my new job. Out of the whole day being on the phones, I’ve only managed to make 2 sales while the rest are making obviously more and are climbing onto the leader board already. The next sentence I say may upset some people and I don’t mean that everyone is like this; there are only a few percentage, I’m guessing. The one thing I don’t like about one aspect of sales…is using underhanded tactics especially proving false promises on certain services and products. Is something that I cannot bring myself to do. I’ve heard of others in the world doing this to achieve their targets, but if your product/service is well received, it would sell well on it’s own anyway. Being unethical or morally wrong disheartens me to the core. Scamming, lying, cheating and whatever is a definitely no. The way on how I manage my calls right now is usually dependant on the tone of the receiver, everyone has their own ‘customer service’ voice and mine would probably sound a little TOO ‘fake’ but very respectful at the same time. I would try to build rapport with them from the get go, usually the introduction by making myself sound a little bubbly but not too annoying. I’ve had my trainer listening to my calls before, gave me some constructive feedback and said my product knowledge was pretty good. (Only a week into training and we’ve not even learned half the products yet, so I didn’t really know what I saying 50% of the time, thank god for cheat sheets on the system)
What I do believe is that the product/service will sell itself if it brings value or benefits to the customer. Giving information to them and letting them have options is something that is starting to work for me. If you’re pushing hard without giving them any options then I think they’ll be more repulsed by that. The secret of a sales call is to not sound like a sales call at all, in my eyes. Sharing knowledge that you attained and how it might benefit them instead, is something that I would accept more if I was the customer.
Occasionally, I do get the grumpy or angry people over the phone telling me not to call them again or being overtly sarcastic towards me when I’m asking them a question. At first, this really bothered me.
HOW DARE HE/SHE TREAT ME LIKE THAT?!
My face would get flustered after the call and I would need to compose myself before the next dialer rang. Now, I’m taking this in my stride and not let this affect me. Similarly, people would hang up on me mid way when I’m speaking to them and I would feel offended. As of now I will quickly move on and get ready for the next caller and hope for the best.
Sales is an art. I respect and admire people who can do it well, big respect to them! I’ve been watching videos on how to conduct sales more effectively and I do recommend Victor Antonio’s podcasts and videos. Watching his videos showed that I needed to be more assertive and learn how to question other people. Someone told me to change my personality when I’m at work, as if there’s an on and off switch but it’s not that simple for me. I would rather provide all the information then give them an option to choose. A more logical way maybe? These are some of the things that I’ve been going through and I will update you guys the more I’ve gone through my training.