For the past 8 weeks, we have been interviewing several successful “accidental sellers” and sharing their stories. We have come to know how they started in sales when it wasn’t their intention to ever be in sales, and what they did to become successful.
The last episode aired last week when Donald interviewed a very special person in his life, his own mother, who Donald credits in shaping him to be the man he is today. As he wraps up the series, Donald wanted to share his three main takeaways.
The Accidental Seller Series Recap
This series has been well-received by listeners because they’re hearing their own stories in these interviews. Each story has been relatable and speaks to the struggles and successes that many experiences in the sales industry. The guests were very open about their challenges and feeling like a failure as being part of their journey. These are stories everyone relates to. From these struggles, a success story was born, and it’s these stories that offer a fascinating insight into what it takes to make sales a career. Through this series, Donald has learned three main points:
- The view of sales
- How they have a guide
- Sales was easier than they thought
The View of Sales
When you ask someone to share their perception of a salesperson, it’s common for someone to bring up the stereotypical used car salesperson. Many of the guests on the Accidental Seller series thought the same thing. This is the stigma around sales and it’s been embedded in the minds of many. Society has painted salespeople in such a bad light that naturally, salespeople are seen as people who are only looking out for their own best interest.
While this doesn’t apply to everyone, unfortunately, it has been proven to be true for some businesses and industries. For example, when a big bank has been caught in unethical dealings. As a result, integrity has to be proven as everyone in sales comes under scrutiny.
When there are opportunities to gain large sums of money, people can end up making the wrong decisions. It may not be true for all salespeople, but people who are caught in shady dealings make it harder for honest salespeople to connect with potential clients.
Several of the more high profile crimes get turned into movies. Consumers aren’t going to line up to hear about a great salesperson in the same way they want to know more about a salesperson’s dishonesty. There’s no drama in that.
These movies helped shaped the perception of many and have influenced people into thinking that sales is a career they would never touch. However, that’s not the sole reason people steer clear from sales.
Change of perception
De Juan, the second guest in The Accidental Seller series, shared his own definition and feelings about salespeople. His father was a good sales rep selling insurance. Growing up, De Juan saw how the business worked. His dad did hours upon hours of door-to-door selling. Watching his dad work, De Juan grew up thinking sales was an extremely hard job. It was a lucrative job but also very difficult. Salespeople were undesirable and homeowners would pretend to be out of the house so they wouldn’t have to spend their time talking to salespeople.
De Juan, believed joining a sales force was a waste of talent. He believed that if someone had the ability to connect to people and have meaningful conversations but used it in a sales position, it was a waste of skills. However, that view changed when De Juan finally got a good feel of what selling really is.
The job wasn’t a waste of talent or undesirable. In fact, it was something he could be proud of. In addition to that, he realized that you didn’t have to sell door-to-door to build good relationships. He discovered you could help businesses solve their problems and be greatly rewarded for it.
It’s the responsibility of the seller to break free from the stereotypes. Kids can be taught early on that sales is a lucrative career and should be considered as an option.
As a salesperson, you can help others recognize the value of professional selling.
John Barrels and his daughter finished a book recently to help enrich the views about selling, especially for future generations. It’s a great idea to give kids the proper education about selling, even at a young age. We can share the value of professional selling even in elementary school.
Everyone Needs a Guide
For anyone who has goals and dreams, it’s helpful to have a guide who is going to help us down the path and lead us in the right direction.
Ashley Reusch’s story is a great example. She wanted to take a break from college and her dad suggested that she try to get into sales. Like her dad, she became a car salesperson and sold new and used cars. Despite it being a male-dominated industry with a high turnover rate, Ashley thrived because she had her father to guide her along the way.
Wendell Jordan was helped by his sales manager. Although his sales manager wasn’t always there at the beginning, he was able to coach him later on. He offered Wendell insight and guidance that helped Wendell perform well.
Stephen had a guide too and Debbie also had her dad to help her have more involvement in the business.
Basically, all salespeople, regardless of what you are selling and regardless of the length of time you’ve been in the industry – all need help, we all need a guide.
Nobody knows everything there is to know about sales no matter how long they’ve been in the industry. Donald has been in sales for quite some time but he still takes courses and reads books. Learning is a continuous process and doing podcasts has helped Donald learn more and more about the sales industry. It also helped him gain accountability and guidance to be able to help others as well.
Even if you don’t join a paid mastermind, you still need someone who can act as a guide. It can be your manager, your spouse, or your friend. It is important to have someone close to keep you accountable and help you with your goals.
Sales Isn’t as Hard as They Initially Thought
The other thing that successful salespeople use is a formula or sales process they follow religiously.
Ashley’s father helped her become a better salesperson but in addition to that, she also used her own creativity to develop a training regimen. When she wasn’t working with her own customer, she would sit by the cubicle of the salesperson doing his pitch and would tune into the conversation. With a notepad and pen in hand, she’d take notes and try to learn from their experience. She knew she had to get familiar with the common objections and situations of her business. She prepared herself by learning from other salespeople she worked with. Ashley didn’t just wait for help to come around, she took action and created opportunities for herself. She looked for ways to make her success possible.
All the guests on the Accidental Seller series fell into sales by accident but they all created it as a path, they made sales a workable solution. Sales became a profession that helped them to support their families and enrich the lives of other people.
For all accidental sellers out there, your stories have a home here on The Sales Evangelist. The series is coming back next year and listeners cannot wait to hear how you have thrived and succeeded in this industry as well.
The Accidental Seller Series has given us some important lessons:
- There is still a stigma about sales and people have different views on what sales are about.
- All the successful people in this series didn’t attain success overnight, they had guides. They had people to help them achieve their goals.
- In the beginning, they thought that sales was a very difficult path but when they learned to pave their own path and followed their processes, they realized that their initial thoughts weren’t at all true.
The Sales Evangelist wraps up this series and will be diving into another series that no other podcast has ever done before. The upcoming series will be about historical figures and very persuasive individuals who were great sellers in their time. Their experience will be broken down to discover what made them so successful. The first key figure will be Jesus Christ and this episode will be uploaded during Christmas. This series is expected to help you improve your sales and skills.
“The Accidental Seller Recap – “Three Things I Learned” episode resources
Do you have an interesting story to tell? You can tell Donald about it via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook or you can reach out with any sales concerns.
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