After I lost my job my brother gave me that advice. Sales, for a year or two. Learn how to sell, learn what sales is, hone your people skills. No matter what I would do after that one or two years, I would use those skills for the rest of my career.
Really, it was brilliant advice. I had spent years focusing on “hard skills,” technology, my degrees, working in my field… but I really hadn’t paid much attention to my soft skills.
I wasn’t too rough around the edges, and my nature was such that I would do fine in many settings.
But I was never educated in formal sales. Part art, part science, sales was something that was really for someone else… not me.
I liked his advice but chose a different path.
Now, almost 10 years into my journey with JibberJobber, I wish I had a couple of years of sales under my belt. I wish I understood what it takes to be a successful salesperson. I wish I had been on a sales team, and had the experience of closing big deals. Salespeople get the highs and the lows, and work through it all with a goal in mind. I was at lunch with a sales professional who said that sales is all about daily discipline. Discipline to make those phone calls, send those emails, do whatever paperwork and stuff you had to do to make closing the sale feel really, really easy for the customer.
I haven’t had that experience. But I wish I would have.
In 2016, I want to offer that experience to some of my JibberJobber users. I’ve already been in talks with people who might be on my sales team. People who have been in a professional sales capacity. People who have sold millions of dollars of things, or sold to many hundreds of customers.
I’ve been asking a lot of questions, and doing a lot of listening. I’m soaking it all up.
The plans are still in the making, but I hope that this starts in January. I find myself vacillating between “this is the most amazing idea ever :)” to “this will never work :(“… I know that I have to do this, and I want to EMPOWER my JibberJobber users.
I have a great idea, some great plans, and A LOT OF QUESTIONS. I have a lot of details to figure out, and we are still working on the product that we’ll sell.
I hope that doing this, and giving people the opportunity (which I’ll outline later), will somehow make up for me not taking my brother’s advice almost ten years ago.
Here’s to an interesting 2016!