Sales? A safe jump into the unknown!
Starting a new adventure is always a mix of excitement and concern. It’s like jumping into the unknown… you don’t know how things could go or where you could land but you’re so curious to know more that the concerns can’t stop you from going further.
When I received the positive feedback from the job interview and the HR team communicated that my first role would have been as an account manager in Tuscany, I felt hugely excited, not only because Tuscany is one of the best regions in the world with great food and wine :-P, but above all because my adventure as an Outperformer trainee was finally starting.
However, a question came into my mind… do I have the resources and competences needed to start this journey? Well, the first answer was… of course not! I was thinking… I don’t have any engineering background, how could I plan a customer visit and talk with him/her about technical details, how could I understand the different applications and be credible in selling power tools and consumables?! Where could I find all the information needed, how could I learn this huge amount of information in so little time?
Yes, you could say I was a bit stressed 😀
I shared my concerns with the HR department and they had a clear answer: you will have all the support you need, you’re not alone in this journey. And they were absolutely right!
From the very beginning I had access to training and the resources to increase my awareness about the products and the applications related to my trade (steel & metal). I also participated in some training on how to deal with the customer’ requests and objections. The training was not only theoretical but also practical, with a lot of hands on moments to practice with the tools and understand their characteristics.
However, this was just a small part of all the available resource, the most important learning journey happened on the job. Thanks to a great coach, the Area Sales Manager, and to experienced colleagues, I was supported in understanding the environment, learning how to use and demonstrate the tools, successfully plan the customers’ visits and define my sales objectives.
I had plenty of opportunities to go on field rides with experienced colleagues to learn how to approach the customer, recognize his/her needs and demonstrate opportunities. I also had the possibility to visit my customers together with my Area Sales Manager, to receive feedback on my performances and to define the next steps to improve my capabilities.
I started to feel everyday more competent about the tools and the applications and more confident in meeting the customers and providing solutions for their needs. I started to perform successfully and to reach my sales targets (oh yeah!!)
Many months have passed since my experience in sales, but I can absolutely say that even if at the beginning it could look like jumping alone with no safety protection into the unknown, it takes just few seconds to understand that you’re not alone at all and this jump is a “safe” one into an incredible adventure that will stick with you forever!