Lessons From A First Time Salesperson

Since quitting my office job in November to someday run my own business, I have networked with many local business owners and asked them for tips on where to start.  The one common answer? Learn how to sell.

So sell, I did.  I joined Chloe + Isabel to sell jewelry online and doubly practice my selling efforts to raise money for a cause I cared about.  I dragged my husband along to sell our random household items at two community yard sales.  At the beginning of the year, I got a job as a merchandising lead at a local boutique, which was a fancy title for unpacking the boxes and putting the clothing on the racks.  That lead to another job as an assistant manager at an even fancier boutique.

Through all of these different experiences, I learned a few key lessons:

  1. You Have To Stay Disciplined.  It is so easy to get lazy or push things off to the next day.  What I love about sales that scares most people is that you truly reap what you sow.  If you don’t put any effort in, you won’t get any results.  And if you do put lots of effort in, but don’t stay focused, you’ll not only get no results, you’ll also be exhausted.
  2. You Have To Set Goals For Yourself.  They don’t have to be lofty or complicated or even that long-term.  Even if it’s as simple as having a daily goal each day to make sure you accomplish something, that will keep you on track.  A term I love at Chloe + Isabel is the Daily 5.  Every day, make it your business to reach out to five people and tell them about your business.  Simple, easy, leads to results sooner or later.
  3. You Have To Get Out And About.  Don’t just stick to the things or the people you know.  Find ways to meet new people you wouldn’t otherwise hang out with.  Join meetups, find local events to attend, reach out to local organizations to see if they need help.  As you build more connections, people will remember you.
  4. You Always Have To Make The First Move.  I absolutely dreaded approaching people before, especially if I was trying to ask them to do something.  Even if it’s a simple “Hello! How are you!” you always got to make the first move as the salesperson.  It breaks the ice, it establishes your presence and it sets the tone for the relationship going forward.
  5. You Have To Watch What You Spend.  It’s so easy to think you’re making money when after all the supplies and business cards and networking lunches and travel, you might be losing more money than making!  Keep a budget and make sure that you keep all your receipts for tax time – you can deduct those if you are using them for your business!

And all this lead me to my new job that I started today working from home as a recruiter, yet another form of sales!  More to come on how I am making my way towards The Effing Life and The Four Hour Work Week!

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