This week, I had the chance to go away on the first business trip of my career. With the exception of the fact that I had to fly out on the 10th anniversary of 9/11, this was a very exciting experience for me because it marked the first of many career advancing opportunities to come. I’ve been working for about 3 months now and up to this point the extent of my sales training has come from my mentors, John and Mike, and my experiences with customer visits. This was a great base for me to get started, but I was really happy to finally experience the formal sales training that Acclivus had to offer.

I’m a firm believer that to really learn and incorporate sales techniques you need to be out trying them on a daily basis instead of learning about them in a class room setting. However, I think the learn by experience route is most effective when you have a solid base to build off of. Up to this point, I feel like I have been picking up many techniques, but I was lacking in an overall strategy to my approach. I would meet with customers and know what questions to ask, but I was never really building towards anything besides just getting raw information I could use to put a “competitive bid” quote together. I was also just setting meetings for the sake of setting meetings instead of truly qualifying my customers to make sure they were a good use of my time. In hindsight, my overall work strategy over the past month and a half that I’ve been selling has been to create a lot of activity and hope that by sheer numbers I could close a couple deals.

Now that I have completed the formal sales training, I feel like it has filled in all of the little gaps that I was missing. I’m looking forward to getting back to work because now I think I can work a lot smarter than I was instead of just working hard. I’m also eager to use some of the new techniques that I have learned to try and uncover customer pain points and drive value to get away from the dreadful low bid situation.

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