Ideas for Young Professionals
It seems pretty common that young reps will ask how they can make that “big move” where they can make “6 figs”….but only have a year or two of sales experience.
I’m not saying you can’t do it…but frankly, you probably need more seasoning. Here are some things I would focus on…that I 100% believe in.
1. NETWORK NETWORK NETWORK — You can never meet enough people. You never know when you might be meeting a potential client! This doesn’t mean to join leads groups necessarily…but just meet people on LinkedIn….industry conferences…sitting around you at a restaurant…join a volunteer group…whatever! Just meet people. Go to lunch with them. Get to know them. This builds your network but also gives you the knowledge and skillset of how to communicate with different people.
2. Build your portfolio — Collect awards. Collect positive sales numbers. Collect referral letters from co-workers, clients, etc If you aren’t liked and you have a terrible sales track record…why would anyone want to hire you? If you only have a small sales background and no numbers to show for it….same thing applies.
3. Become a student of the game. I’m not saying to buy into all these sales books and guru’s…but learn about different processes. Learn about how different types of people buy. Figure out what type of sales “is for you”. There’s a lot of $$ to be made in all kinds of different industries. Don’t get too stuck on ONE industry unless you are just hellbent on getting in.
4. Find a mentor. Kind of goes with #1 (Networking)…but find someone that does what you want to do and befriend them. Get to know them. Ask questions. Learn. Don’t be annoying about it though. Be genuine.
5. Don’t feel “entitled”. You’re not. Bust your ass like everyone else has to get where they wanted to get.
6. Get your name out there. Be creative. Talk with recruiters. Figure out which ones are worth your time and which ones are a waste of time. Keep in touch with them even when you are totally happy in your professional life! You NEVER know when things can take a turn and you may need their help. Feed them referrals too!
7. Don’t “job hop”….nobody likes a job-hopper