I have been in my outside sales phase for nearly four months now. I can see why many trainees before me have loved this phase the most! I am working mostly alone and I have a lot of control over my goals and daily activities. At the beginning of my transition to outside sales, I met with my profit center manager and region manager to set my numerical goals for the first year. I have monthly and quarterly sales goals that I am expected to meet. The process I use to meet these goals is up to me, and I can always ask for help with strategy. I quickly learned that I needed to get organized; one of the most important activities a salesperson can do is follow up with customers, so I need to be sure nothing slips through the cracks. As my customers grow and multiply, relying on my memory just won’t work – I take notes on calls every day!
I was warned from the start, outside sales people face a lot of rejection. I have gotten around feeling down by using the mantra “If they say no, I’ll be in the same position I’m in now”. I focus on the positive feedback, which gives me confidence to keep trying. There are some customers that will turn me away more than once, but keeping at it has turned into some of my best orders. Many salespeople have even estimated that it takes 10 calls to get the first order! My experience is that this is true for some, but most customers are willing to give a new vendor a shot after just a couple of cold calls.
Back to the positive parts! I enjoy getting out of the office to go visit my customers. Usually I go to an office, but some customers are on a jobsite so I meet them there. These customer interactions make up most of my job now. My struggle has been to get away from spending my time doing inside work, and instead getting in front of the customer. But, having customers that need help from me is a blessing! This role is the most fun, the most difficult, and keeping me the busiest I have been!