There’s no shortage of sales advice for rookies. We can all talk about how to make a cold call or write the perfect prospecting email until we’re blue in the face. But we can do better than that. Sales Engine seeks to help salespeople sell more efficiently and effectively at all levels so we decided to launch a blog series that provides an insightful resource for salespeople early on in their career. The “My Start In Sales” series “tells it like it is” (namely, that we’ve all been there and done that — and that’s a good thing!). We will feature one veteran salesperson in a standard Q & A format every few weeks. We’re excited about sharing these successess and failures with you.
Current location: Evanston, IL.
Current gig: Executive Vice President, Acquirent LLC
One word that best describes how you work: Sporadic
Current mobile device: old school gameboy…. Just playing! iPad
Favorite to-do list manager: Evernote!! In the process of going paperless…. Slowly but surely.
Tell us a little bit about what you do now & whether or not you currently work as part of a sales function at your company.
I am a partner in the outsourced sales firm Acquirent. I wear a couple hats and one of those hats is sales/new business development for our company
How did you get your start in sales?
I was rep #4161 at the large computer hardware/software reseller CDW.
How did you get the job?
After studying exercise science and nutrition at Miami Ohio, it only made sense that I was going to sell computers for a living!
Did you picture yourself working as a salesperson before you started?
Absolutely…. In kindergarten when teachers asked “what I want to be when I grow up” salesman was top of the list. Just playing, I kind of tripped into sales as I was not sure what I wanted to do professionally out of school.
What do you wish you had known before you started selling?
One thing I wish I would have done earlier is read more sales and business related books. Unfortunately many individual’s (myself included) education stops after they walk out of school. It took me a couple years to finally realize that I needed to always be reading to stay current/ahead of my competition.
Do you have a story to share about a mistake you’ve made as a salesperson? What did you learn from this situation?
I have a hundred mistakes that I have made in my career. It took me a while to realize that mistakes/failures are inevitable and not to run from them but to embrace them. Through mistakes and failures one finds success.
Have you ever encountered the “sleazy salesperson stereotype”? How do you respond to this?
Absolutely and this is what tends to give sales a negative connotation. The problem is that many don’t try to be sleazy, but lack formal sales training/education. This is why I am an advocate of continuing your sales knowledge and education.
What is one tool or resource without which you would not be able to do your job?
The phone and Salesforce.com
What are you currently reading?
“Go for No! Yes is the Destination, No is How You Get There” by Richard Fenton and Andrea Waltz
Are you an introvert, extrovert, or ambivert?
Extrovert, for sure.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
My favorite quote is “insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results” Albert Einstein. I would say that is my favorite advice but he never told it to me directly. I would say to not take rejection personally, it is all part of the game.
Currently Geoff serves Acquirent’s Executive Vice President and Partner. He brings a strong background in new business development, sales strategy and sales management to Acquirent and its clients. Today Geoff is involved in building and managing many of Acquirent’s client accounts.