Ever Wondered if a Career in Sales is Right for You?
As a follow-up to Verizon’s Career Development Lounge at NCCWSL, Verizon’s team representatives shared career advice with the NCCWSL community through their Women in Sales webinar. Verizon retail sales general manager Courtney Francisco gave insight into how to be successful in sales. Whether you’re an entrepreneur launching your dream idea or interested in landing a coveted corporate sales job, the lessons Francisco shared are helpful for women at any stage of their career.
1. Working in sales empowers you and builds confidence.
When Francisco first started working on Verizon’s sales floor, she was fresh out of college and unsure if she had what it took to be successful. She found that getting out on the sales floor, talking to people, and putting herself out there gave her an immediate confidence boost. “Sales empowers you and helps build your confidence. There’s some kind of swagger about it,” says Francisco.
You may never feel fully prepared, so don’t wait for the perfect moment when you’ll feel ready to share your dream idea or hit the sales floor; just get out and go for it! You’ll be surprised at what you learn — and you’ll get an added confidence boost.
2. Great effort leads to great rewards.
Francisco shared one of the main tenets of sales: “The more effort you put in, the greater the rewards.” Sales is a numbers game. You have to share your idea or product with as many people as possible. Out of the pool of people that you reach, only a portion will be interested in what you have to offer, and an even smaller portion will be ready to buy. To succeed you’ll need to work hard to reach as many people as you can every day.
The key to putting in great effort every day is to find your inner motivation and approach each day with enthusiasm and determination. Francisco shared that what works for her is a morning ritual. She starts the day by writing down three goals. From there she knows exactly what she’s working toward and can shape her day around achieving her goals.
3. Never stop learning.
Curiosity is crucial to success in almost any field — especially sales. Francisco recommends reading as many books on leadership and effective communication styles as you can. A few of her favorites include Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg and Fierce Conversations: Achieving Success at Work and in Life, One Conversation at a Time by Susan Scott. Conferences like NCCWSL also provide opportunities to network with high-profile women and hundreds of career and graduate school representatives while allowing attendees to practice building relationships and making good first impressions with other highly motivated peers.
No matter what field you choose, sales skills will eventually come in handy. Whether you need to use your influencing skills to get buy-in for an idea on a group project or showcase why you’re the perfect fit for your dream job in an interview, sales skills are essential in the professional world.