I grew up in Bellmore, NY on the south shore of Long Island. I started playing tennis when I was 11 and by the next year was playing competitively. Tennis, like any other activity that you dedicate time to, teaches you lessons about handling adversity, being resilient, enjoying achievements and time management.
First Sales Job
My first job out of college was selling business forms for NCR. Training consisted of 3 weeks of product knowledge and role-playing in Dayton, OH. I was essentially on my own after that. There was little guidance on how to handle calls with customers, understanding customers’ interests, making presentations or how to manage customer relationships. While I made many mistakes, I had enough persistence to perform well.
Building Confidence, Learning from Mentors
I transitioned to selling technology/technology services and stayed in this field for 30 plus years. Early in my career, I took the foundation and sales Dale Carnegie courses which gave me a foundation for my approach to selling. In addition, taking Miller Heiman’s Strategic Selling and other courses provided a structure to pursue large/complex opportunities. These courses taught me a lot about the value of listening and played important roles in developing my confidence as a salesperson.
For me, the key to leveraging the training into success was the guidance provided by coaches/mentors I was fortunate to have access to.
After 37 years of driving new business, it is time for me to give back. My objective is to try to help young sales representatives and those that want to transition to selling solutions that require longer, more complex sales cycles.
Be a sponge, learn from others around you, find a mentor/coach, do not worry about making mistakes and keep going forward.