What The Military Taught Me About Sales

Tenacity

Everyone in sales knows the importance of not giving up. Tenacity is often synonymous with persistence, and can be defined as “relentless, stubborn.” You have to be tenacious and persistent without being annoying; excited without being overbearing. The military is an excellent career to quickly learn the art of tenacity. Without it, whatever level military training you go through would be pretty difficult. I’m certainly not saying the military is the only place you can learn this skill; many people develop this within themselves through their environment (upbringing, schooling, friends, family, etc).

Learning the act of pursuing something relentlessly is vital in sales. Most if not all sales-related books will tell you a very, very small percentage of sales are actually closed during the first sales call. Knowing how to go after that prospective client and chase down that final sale in the face of a ticking clock requires a lot of relentless talent – and stress management – which is an entirely separate topic for another day. You can think of it this way: talent and training both provide the insight into what will be a good sale, and tenacity provides the ability to go out and chase it down.

Learn to love the chase by tangling with tenacity.

The Importance of Relationships

Another concept the military instills in you is the importance of building relationships. When you join the military, it doesn’t matter what the interests, skin color, or background of the person are next to you – it just matters that whether they’re male or female they are your family, a volunteer, and have motivations very similar to your own for joining the service. This goes hand in hand with the importance of fostering meaningful relationships in sales. As I stated in a previous blog, sales are about creating meaningful and lasting relationships. The sales process is first and foremost about creating a bond between the salesperson and the prospective client and knowing how to operate around that fine line of personal and professional can be the defining factor between making or breaking the sale.

The Desire to Help

People enter the military for a variety of different reasons, but most people stay in to help their country, and overall make the world a better place to live. 9/11 highlighted the fact that there are people out there committed to ending our way of life and freedom. The military saw a surge of volunteers since then, most if not all of whom wanted to help others. Now that I have separated from the military, helping people is still one of the reasons I plan to enter the world of medical sales. Medical devices, regardless of the company, space or specific instrument help increase patients’ quality of living, without question. The military taught me a lot about a career in sales, and I look forward to joining another industry designed to help people.

Joseph Benevento originally published this article on JosephBenevento.com

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How To Enter A New Career With Confidence

So, you’re entering into a new career field. For one reason or another, you are making a life change that is of no small feat. It’s true, many experience much uncertainty, anxiety, and fear when entering into a new and possibly unfamiliar industry. But you don’t have to enter into this new stage feeling unequipped. In some ways, all of your life has provided you with the skills and experience to navigate through this new career choice.

In fact, I’m entering into a new career industry myself. And believe me, it’s not an industry I would have envisioned myself in a few years ago. And while it’s certainly a new challenge I’m excited to face, I’m not entering the industry without any relevant skills. Completely on the contrary.

You see, the trick to entering a new career is knowing how to use the skills you do have while working to acquire the new, needed wisdom.

Back to the Basics

Some people overwhelm themselves with the false notion that they must learn everything there is to know about a new career field before they enter it. But this simply isn’t the case. While educating yourself on your future industry is essential to success, it’s impossible and simply too time-consuming to attempt to learn the ins and outs of an industry you have not yet stepped into. Instead, spend some time returning to the basics of what it takes to succeed in any career field. Hard work, perseverance, and dedication are critical no matter what industry you land in. This false and unfounded idea that you bring no relevant experience to a new career because you haven’t been in that exact industry is simply not true.

In fact, many experts are urging companies to hire raw talent and hard work over experience and a perfect resume. If you can learn to harness and manifest the life lessons you’ve learned in your past career experiences, then there is no reason you cannot apply those directly to your new career.

Practice Patience

It’s important to show patience to yourself when entering a new career field. Know that there will be a learning curve and understand you won’t get everything correct right out of the gate. Allow yourself some time to acclimate to your new surroundings, and put into practice the new skills and knowledge you are learning. Patience is key to success, and success in a new career field seldom happens overnight.

In the end, staying diligent and positive about your new career field are key factors to long-term success. Remember, you’re not entering a new career without anything to the bring to the table. If that were the case, you wouldn’t be in the position you are. And while you may be the newest kid on the block in the industry, that doesn’t mean you don’t have a much needed new set of skills to bring to the neighborhood.

Joseph Benevento originally published this article on josephbenevento.com

The Synonymous Relationship Between Sales and Caring

Have you ever wondered how some people are naturals at connecting with others? You know the types; the ones who walk into a room and instantly command attention; the ones who form lasting relationships in mere minutes. Have you ever wondered the secret behind this type of behavior? The intrigue behind their most coveted skills?

The truth is, there’s no real mystery behind this sense of personability. In actuality, you don’t have to possess a seemingly evasive set of people skills to build relationships and add value to people’s lives; you merely must learn to instill their lives with meaning. In fact, this is the ‘secret’ behind sales. Sales isn’t about some deceptive practice that plays into consumerism. Rather, it’s about helping people find what they want and what instills their life with meaning and purpose.

What is Sales?

Put simply; sales is the desire to put forth an effort that will achieve a desirable outcome for someone. Sadly, far too many people have interpreted it as an avenue to acquire profit. But the true test of success in sales is discovering the intersection of revenue and relationship. The first step to take when working to achieve a client’s goals is to understand their desired outcome. What do they want? What do they need? By doing this, you not only provide an immense amount of value to the client, but you also do so for both yourself and your company.

For instance, make a list of your client’s goals and then make another filled with the tangible ways you can work to achieve their goals. Does the list reflect the initiative you are willing to take? When looking at the list, is it clear the client will see the value you are seeking to your relationship? If not, then you know you have a bit more work to do in learning and understanding your client.

How to Succeed

As counterintuitive as it may seem, if you truly wish to succeed in sales then you have to treat people as your counterparts, not as a means to an end. Take the time to learn someone’s name even if you don’t think a profitable relationship will arise anytime soon. Learn about their cares, worries, wants, and needs. Once this foundation is built, you can then learn what will be most beneficial to the client.

Again, developing a strong business relationship with a client starts first with developing a strong personal relationship. Show you care about their well-being, not just the paycheck you can receive from them.

Taking the step into sales can be an exciting, meaningful, and lucrative experience. And learning how to show you care and show interest can be the determining factor in positioning yourself as a cut above the rest.

Joseph Benevento originally published this article on josephbenevento.net

Cutting Through the Noise: Marketing in the 21st Century

Marketing in the digital explosion of the 21st century has brought an array of technological advances, predictive analytics, and marketing tools that the professionals of 50 years ago couldn’t have dreamt of. Indeed, the precision of paid search and SEO marketing that is available to professionals today is nothing short of astounding.

In some ways, marketing is more fine-tuned and more accessible than ever before—but it’s also more convoluted and crowded than ever before, too. The constant stream of communication in the 21st century is nowhere more evident than online. Every day, the internet slams consumers with vast amounts of information; from politics to reality television. So, how do you learn to cut through the noise without adding to it?

Bring it to the Basics

If traditional advertising created the era of ‘Madmen,’ digital advertising has created the age of the ‘all-out crazy man.’ But one way to counteract the noise and use it for your benefit is through harnessing the most traditional form – word-of-mouth – and revamping it for your benefit. This is where a quality and engaged social media presence is crucial. Learning to market yourself or your company in an effective manner is the defining line between successful marketing and a stagnant campaign.

Popular social platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn allow you to interact with your audience directly. Gone are the days of strict separation between the business and its and the consumer. Marketing your brand your product in the first person is a great way to build quality engagement and trustworthiness with your audience.

Lots of (Quality) Content

Consistent engagement is crucial. But if you’re not producing entertaining, interesting, and thought-provoking content, then you’re simply adding to the noise of the industry. As the craziness of the digital age reaches near epidemic proportions, it’s important to focus on quality engagement. How? Well, maybe you don’t need to post 25 nonsensical tweets in one day. It’s better to peak the interest of your followers than it is to overload and overstimulate their senses.

Learning to channel your passions into marketable motifs is also vital to marketing success. Instead of focusing so much on determining what the new trend is, try to figure out how to market the things you love. Unless you’re into something extremely esoteric, then you’re probably going to find people in the ether that enjoy much of the same the same things you do.

In many ways, marketing is the same today as it’s always been. But with so many messages present through so many mediums, strategic marketing is perhaps more important than ever before.

Joseph Benevento originally published this article on josephbenevento.net