Blog | 5 minutes Read

#SecretToSales - Learning the Craft of Sales

In this episode of #SecrettoSales, Topher Benderson tackles a challenging question - the ways in which the craft of sales can be learnt.

(00:00)[Lars] So we all make mistakes and I’ve been making mistakes for 31 years...

(00:21) [Topher] The vast majority of colleges don’t offer a program in sales.

(00:24) [Damian] Yeah.

(00:25) [Topher] Why do you think that is?

(00:27) [Damian] It’s hard to practice sales, without having real customers to practice on. You can do mocks.

(00:34) [Topher] You can role play.

(00:35) [Damian] You can role play. Especially in a setting where you’re not even surrounded by people doing real sales calls. It’s hard to have that same sense of—

(00:43) [Topher] Pressure.

(00:44) [Damian] Pressure. Reality.

(00:46) [Topher] So what can the profession do about this?

(00:48) [Lars] I think internships are a great opportunity for anyone to not only build out their network, but also gain mentorship.

(00:56) [Topher] In the sales profession itself, why is mentorship so important?

(00:59) [Damian] I can’t tell you whether you’re going to like sales or you’re going to hate it. All I can really do is more quickly understand that. And then from there, more quickly understand what type of sales and what type of company.

(01:12) [Lars] So we all make mistakes and I’ve been making mistakes for 31 years. If you’ve never done something before, you’re going to iterate, you’re going to noodle, and eventually you’ll get it right. One thing I would say to any young person that is seeking mentorship, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Don’t be afraid to ask someone who may be out of your comfort zone because of who they are, what they’ve done or their title. You’ve got nothing to lose. If you don’t ask it, you’ll never understand, you’ll never move anything forward. So get over being afraid.

(01:47) [Topher] What I really want to know is: who gave you the keys to the sales temple?

(01:55) [Lars] Many of the things that I have in my belly, came from Bruce Roberts, my front line sales manager from Xerox corporation. He was a great coach. We’d talk about what worked, what didn’t work, and I’ll never forget the mentor, coaching sessions. He made me feel like it was okay. Note to all people out there that are looking for a leg up. It’s actually not that hard, but you just have to get comfortable with asking for it. If you have someone you put your sights on who you want to be your mentor and they say, ’no they don’t have time.’ Just like anything else in life, pick yourself up and ask someone else.

(02:33) [Topher] #SecretToSales!