Tell me something you wish someone had told you earlier in your career so you didn’t have to learn it the hard way?

I'm bringing this one back to discussion since the title was weak. I know plenty of you have fantastic advice to give.


I saw this on LinkedIn a few weeks ago and thought I'd bring it up here for discussion.


What’s something you wish someone had told you earlier in your career so you didn’t have to learn it the hard way?

Do you think these kind of posts are helpful?
Attached poll
*Voting in this poll no longer yields commission.
🏰 War Stories
60
CuriousFox
WR Officer
47
Senior Account Executive
Working yourself into the ground rarely gets you the pay or recognition you deserve. Take care of you.
antiASKHOLE
Arsonist
12
Account Executive
This is all too relevant by the way. Burn out is real and it really sucks.
LordOfWar
Tycoon
8
Blow it up
Yes, and although it can be required sometimes, you will never get those nights you missed spending with your friends, significant other or kids back.
thestartupsaasfella
Personal Narrative
1
Vice President of Sales
Completely agree - quite a few startups trick young salespeople into this.
LordOfWar
Tycoon
40
Blow it up
Focus more time on finding the right prospects vs. quoting everything under the sun. Strive for economy of effort.

Your employer will not take care of you, you have to take care of yourself. When it comes to your career, being selfish is good, embrace it.

Don't try to steer the sinking ship, get off and find higher ground.

You're worth more than they are paying you.

Money can buy almost everything except for time. Time is the most precious commodity we have and everyone has a finite amount of it. Make sure you spend yours with people and doing the things you enjoy.
ChumpChange
Opinionated
10
Channel Manager
@LordOfWarAt the end of the game... the king and pawn go back into the same box.
LordOfWar
Tycoon
7
Blow it up
I intend to be shoved up the nose of an ethereal toddler and travel the cosmos forever.
CuriousFox
WR Officer
8
Senior Account Executive
Oh wow so many great nuggets of wisdom here. 🔥
jefe
Arsonist
4
Head of Sales
Too bad I can only upvote this once.
antiASKHOLE
Arsonist
26
Account Executive
That I am expendable. No matter how "good" I am, at a moments notice I can be let go for any reason. Kind of the fucked up part of "at-will" employment. My income is rented when I work for someone else.
CuriousFox
WR Officer
11
Senior Account Executive
Loyalty means nothing.
antiASKHOLE
Arsonist
7
Account Executive
It used to, but sadly it really doesn't matter anymore corporately. Still does interpersonally.
MrCommitted
0
Corporate Sales Manager
Then you simply have not found the right fit. If you are not respected, then something isn't right. It could be your employer, the thing you are promoting or you. It's up to you to figure that out and fix it.
SaaSsy
Politicker
4
AE
Absolutely! I remember at my first sales job and a member on the leadership team (not my direct supervisor) told me to track things better in our CRM bc "what if I get hit by a bus tomorrow?". Really eye opening moment that companies don't give AF about their people.
CuriousFox
WR Officer
7
Senior Account Executive
They don't care at all. They want to put in the least amount of effort possible while making you suffer.
SaaSsy
Politicker
2
AE
100% - I think a ton of sales managers seriously go to the same summer camp and just learn how to repeat "sell more", "just make it happen" "give 'em a discount to pull that in" and don't seem to really comprehend sales.
TennisandSales
Politicker
1
Enterprise Account Executive
yep and because of this, if shit isnt going well find a new place to go. no loyalty to the company, they wont show loyalty to you.
jefe
Arsonist
25
Head of Sales
Focus on the process, not the outcome. It's all you can control and if you don't, you'll drive yourself crazy. If you do, the outcomes you're looking for will come.
HeavenstoBetsy
Opinionated
13
BDR
Stop being a people pleaser. I was too much of a pushover and believed too much of what the buyer was telling me.
KB_FarmerType
Opinionated
1
Strategic Sales
How do you bridge that likeability trail then? Happens to me a lot, I know they are wrong and going wrong but if spoke in my vocabulary it’s going to come back to me ( they have been spoilt by my predecessors for giving everything they need)
Jackywaky
Arsonist
13
Sr. Customer Success Manager
▸You work to live but you don't live to work.
▸A company will pay you just enough so you won't leave.
▸ Loyalty won't pay the bills. You are replaceable.
▸Don't affect your health for a job. It's not worthed.

I can stay here all day long xD
TennisandSales
Politicker
13
Enterprise Account Executive
If you quit a company it does not mean you FAILED it does not mean you are never going to be successful. It just means it is not a good fit FOR YOU.

if i had acted on this 2 or 3 years earlier i would have saved my family alot of financial problems.
antiASKHOLE
Arsonist
9
Account Executive
I struggled with this for a while. I had my identity wrapped up in what I was doing and that took a huge toll on my self image.
TennisandSales
Politicker
3
Enterprise Account Executive
yep same. the company I worked for consistently pointed out that we are in the BEST company in the BEST industry and are set up for success.

which was great....until you were not finding success and then you thought YOU were the problem when that for sure was not the case haha
antiASKHOLE
Arsonist
3
Account Executive
Hence the Kool-Aid post haha makes sense.
Nairobi
Politicker
13
SR. BDR
Work for a manager that actually cares about you and your growth, otherwise goodbye.
CuriousFox
WR Officer
8
Senior Account Executive
The only reason I'm still at my current company is because I have this kind of manager.
quinoa
Contributor
4
order taker
These managers are few and far between. Team+manager+good product (regardless of what it is) will beat the shiniest newest tech product/company any day.
Nairobi
Politicker
3
SR. BDR
Exactly, that type of manager is so rare! Once you find one, stick with them.
Whatchamacallit
Politicker
11
AE
That I wasn't a know it all. This killed a lot of deals for me.
LordOfWar
Tycoon
8
Blow it up
One of my life rules is to never assume you know everything, that is unless someone is paying you to act as you do.
thedue
Valued Contributor
9
VP of Sales
#1 Don't always listen to others around you, in the same office, and team.They're different, likely not as good, and may already be working themselves into another role.Do, you!Listen to yourself. Be critical of yourself, but determine when you hear criticisms if they may be warranted, from the person who is spouting the criticisms.

#2 Execution eats strategy, fancy slides, and the nicest suit for breakfast every day. Make more calls, and texts, read more... know more than the person you are trying to sell than they know about their business.Don't ask them what they do and why they do it, ask them have you thought of this, or how are you evolving their strategy and whats steps, tools and resources are behind that impending change that is likely forcing them to grind their teeth.

#3 Listen, don't hear only, learn, and be humble and demonstrate humility. Be nice, too.
CuriousFox
WR Officer
6
Senior Account Executive
Others don't have your best interest at heart. Always look out for you. ❤
KB_FarmerType
Opinionated
2
Strategic Sales
Love it all

But on #2: practically if you are working with seasoned people- acknowledge that they know their business best, quite often you can not read up and become smart to add value to seasoned prospects, most often sellers can sound naive commenting their business
thedue
Valued Contributor
0
VP of Sales
You are right @KB_FarmerType

What you are selling and how those who buy, are buying, continues to change and evolve at a rapid pace.

The best way to figure out how to sell, is to ask someone who has recently bought you or the completion, why they bought and why it was differentiated.
NotCreativeEnough
Big Shot
7
Professional Day Ruiner
working for a big name company makes a huge difference early in your career.

I've always liked the smaller startup vibe of companies. But I've learned over the years that always hurts me in interviews. When I go into an interview and they've never heard of any of the places listed on my resume, they immediately put a wall up. Now that I'm at a larger company with more name recognition recruiters/hiring managers eyes light up when I tell them where I'm at now.

The more experience you get this is something that I don't think matters as much. But when getting started and building a brand for yourself having a huge logo to show as where you "learned" can really help out.
CuriousFox
WR Officer
6
Senior Account Executive
I am happy with big logos, but must admit my curiosity is getting to me about start ups.
KB_FarmerType
Opinionated
0
Strategic Sales
Curiosity- oh man- see that’s the problem 😂 at big corps , there is no use of it.
NotCreativeEnough
Big Shot
2
Professional Day Ruiner
In my opinion, startups are great for someone a little further on in their career. They already have a few big logos on their resume, and they already have the training and knowledge to walk into a company that offers very little training or support and still be successful. If you're someone who already knows what good looks like and how to execute, then a startup is a great place. If you have no clue what you're doing...probably not where you should land.
CuriousFox
WR Officer
3
Senior Account Executive
Seems fair enough to me. 🤷‍♀️
KB_FarmerType
Opinionated
0
Strategic Sales
I would lean towards an exactly opposite of that - early in career working in early stage businesses (see I am not using the word startup that your cousin is doing), you learn alot working first hand with people who are courageous and sharp (these people normally would be svp level caliber in large orgs)

You have no limits and build understanding and appreciation for why processes are needed.

While if you are right into big corp, yes you have a big logo but you may also build very high limiting beliefs that are hard to unlearn
NotCreativeEnough
Big Shot
1
Professional Day Ruiner
I do agree with a lot of those points. A lot of it depends on you as an individual. Are you the type of person that can go out and make shit happen on your own, learn what you need to learn, etc? Or do you need more formal training and processes in place?

I stand by my point that for career growth and future opportunity, having some big logos on your resume as where you began your career and learned how to sell helps you out a ton when looking for new roles in the future.
coletrain
Valued Contributor
6
Account Executive
Don’t take opportunities at face value. Remember, they are trying to sell you on the role just as much if not more than you are selling yourself in interviews.
CuriousFox
WR Officer
6
Senior Account Executive
Ask for them to back up their statements. Absolutely.
braintank
Politicker
5
Enterprise Account Executive
"Never lose alone"
bandabanda
Tycoon
2
Senior AE Mid Market
Would you be willing to elaborate?
braintank
Politicker
9
Enterprise Account Executive
If you feel you're losing a deal, don't be afraid to ask for help. A lot of salespeople try to solve every problem themselves and go into "hero mode" when shit turns south.

Instead, ask for help.

Best case scenario, the broader team comes in and gives you the support you need to win.

Worst case scenario, if you lose, you're able to say "we left it all on the field".

If you lose a deal where you have your VP, CEO, etc. involved it won't look as bad as if you lose a deal yourself.
MustardTiger
Personal Narrative
5
Director of Demand Generation
That I should be "interviewing" companies/jobs every year (checking comp, tech stacks, cultures, repvue, actually applying/interviewing if you see something interesting, etc). Save yourself the heartbreak of realizing you could have been happier, wealthier, and less stressed elsewhere for years simply because you forgot to check and see what's out there. This also helps stay practiced, that way if something does go horribly wrong, you're already limbered up to get that new job (and probably have a few good convos you can go back to from that process).
CuriousFox
WR Officer
4
Senior Account Executive
This is a hard one to learn the older you get.
revenuegenerator
Good Citizen
5
Sales Management
A better understanding of how equity works in a company
CuriousFox
WR Officer
5
Senior Account Executive
Man oh man. It's still a tough one to understand.
Shalom
Politicker
5
Senior Account Executive
Companies really do freeze people out sometimes. The leads arent "random round robin"
Aelife
Good Citizen
0
Account Executive
My company uses a chili piper to assign AE’s to demos and we only have two queues inbound and outbound. Aside from the overall weighting are there any other factors they can use to determine which AE gets an opportunity?
Sunbunny31
Politicker
5
Sr Sales Executive
Listen more than you speak.

Leverage the experts in your company.

Stand by your word.
ZSY
4
Sales Manager (Mid-Market)
Never over estimate what your sales leadership actually knows and whether they can actually sell.
CuriousFox
WR Officer
5
Senior Account Executive
How bad was it 😆
ZSY
1
Sales Manager (Mid-Market)
Less about being bad and more about what your own study, practice, and experience bring. Often, it is later in your career that you figure the real value of having been a true student of the game and how to effectively monetize that.
KB_FarmerType
Opinionated
0
Strategic Sales
This is a gem, don’t rely on them to be your inspiration
HappyGilmore
Politicker
3
Account Executive
Don't sacrifice your well-being/happiness for a job that isn't helping you grow.
CuriousFox
WR Officer
5
Senior Account Executive
You are responsible for you. ❤
HappyGilmore
Politicker
1
Account Executive
Totally, learned this in my second job. Probably should've left in early 2019, ended up staying at that same job until June of that year. Wouldn't change it but a lesson learned.
IntegrationMaster
3
Brand sales specialist
It's not an issue (objection) until you make it one.

A $$$$$ deal takes just as long as a $$ deal sometimes.

Stories sell, facts tell.
SticksAreUnbelievable
Good Citizen
3
ADR (Account Development Rep) Sales Representative
Be interested, NOT interesting.

I have a robust history with a story for every occasion. I’ve lived a super interesting life but in Sales, people want you to listen to them and learn about their life.

You can be relevant and connect but turn it back to them quickly and listen to what they have say.

I am much more reserved with sharing once I heard this tidbit and wish I had learned it much earlier.
CuriousFox
WR Officer
3
Senior Account Executive
So many times I've had to teach young whipper snappers this exact lesson. 🥂
Flavormaster
3
Regional Account Manager
When facing a tough situation with a customer (i.e. longer delivery date than expected , quality issues, etc) be brave enough to share the bad news with them as soon as possible, rather than keeping them in the dark until you try to "fix" the situation on your own.
CuriousFox
WR Officer
2
Senior Account Executive
Transparency matters. I can't say this enough.
askMeathead
2
VP Sales
Control the sales process with your questions.
DungeonsNDemos
Big Shot
2
Rolling 20's all day
Do your own research, and take everything with a grain of salt. Understand what your overall goals are and actually write them down!
In sales it's lots of highs and lows, so focus on your process and work to stick to the basics of how you know you will find success (strategy and activities).
CuriousFox
WR Officer
5
Senior Account Executive
I write everything down. It helps me retain information better.
KB_FarmerType
Opinionated
0
Strategic Sales
Hard isn’t it? I used to spend an hour writing after 7 minutes call . I think it helped but couldn’t manage time and was considered ineffective.
PineappleYa
Opinionated
2
AE
That a corps would rather hire external people for more $$ and risk churn than pay ppl more internally
KB_FarmerType
Opinionated
0
Strategic Sales
Everyone needs new ness I guess.
PineappleYa
Opinionated
2
AE
To not take on the xtra work unless it’s compensated no other promises are worth it ie its the path to xyz next step
Pachacuti
Politicker
2
They call me Daddy, Sales Daddy
Even when you know the answer, take a step back and let the other guy answer it.
ventox35
Politicker
2
Director of Business Development
you're not owed anything in your first job. you're chop liver. you can be replaced tomorrow if you don't get you $hiT together and learn how to work!
CuriousFox
WR Officer
4
Senior Account Executive
You can be the superstar and still be replaced tomorrow. It's how the cookie crumbles.
16

What is something you wish you knew early on in your career?

Discussion
27
7

If you could go back in time and tell yourself one thing before starting your sales career, what would it be?

Discussion
12