I had a really interesting conversation the other day with someone who has been selling in the startup world for years.
It was an awesome chat for a lot of reasons. But perhaps the biggest takeaway I have, and thing I learned the most about, was on the topic of sales and managing salespeople.
The phrase that stuck out to me was: being genuine and transparent. That is what separates great salespeople from the rest of the pack. The best salespeople not only convince the customer to buy the product, they convince themselves. They believe in what they are selling so much that selling the product is not at all like conventional sales. It is more like just talking about something you are passionate about.
I was lucky enough to empathize with this greatly. In high school, I got a tremendous amount of sales experience.
I ran a produce distribution company that sold produce (as well as plants and other things) at a number of Farmers Markets and to restaurants. It was a tremendous experience.
I learned sales. The real kind of sales. The scary kind. Where you have to talk to people in real life and persuade them to purchase your product. I learned the power of waking up at 4 in the freaking morning to meet my truck on time at the market so I could set up the best booth location. And then I competed against 200 other vendors.
In the span of a few years, my booth grew 10x. More than that, we opened up ~ 10 locations at a variety of booths across the state. We hired 10+ people to run booths and sales turned into managing sales.
I cannot emphasize enough just how much I learned from this experience. Perhaps I’ll start sharing more lessons I learned, make some unique stories!
Originally published at Jordan Gonen.