With over 27 years of Sales & Marketing experience. I'm so excited to be a part of helping entrepreneurs, start-ups, local business owners, small to mid-size business owners, corporate sales, account managers, and sales professionals market themselves and succeed in business.
I was 9 years old, really, when I had my first sales job ever going door-to-door up and down our four-mile country road to wash windows, clean out cars, or brush pets or just about anything our neighbors needed help doing around their house. I made some good money being only 9 years old – and I walked a lot of miles!
That's not my grown up start, but I thought readers would get a kick out of knowing that my very first job ever was as an entrepreneurial fourth-grader. Since then, I’ve logged over 30 years selling something. I’ve been a top producer selling more than $1.5M to $2M per year in industries such as food & beverage, music distribution, copiers, computers, wholesale, networking solutions, enterprise software, online training, technical training, mortgage loans, wireless tower lease space, office supplies, all B2B and B2C type sales.
Always, I moved into management positions training new sales staff, and back-office management of staff. I spent my own money developing my skills set - especially being certified in web master sales, e-commerce, web development, and of course tons of sales books, business books, anything related to good business practices.
I completed my Bachelor’s in Business with a minor in Marketing & additional focus on Advertising Design. It only took me 10 years to finish because I always had to be working and selling something.
You see, nothing takes the place of "real world" experience where academics and experience are the best tools in any business person’s toolbox.
My first sales job as an adult was selling copiers. Here’s how it happened: I was hired as a technical trainer in the early 1990's when office computer networking was just becoming possible. The thought that staff could print documents right from their office desk was a technological breakthrough. However, so many people were afraid of the new computer technology. They just didn't understand the technology sold by our sales team. So I got paid $28,000 my first year to go out and show staff how to use it. It was a great time seeing ‘the light bulb go on’ for people as I trained them.
One day my boss called me into her office and said she wanted me to sell them. I said "What?" I liked my steady income; I was happy. Sales was 100% commission. I had no idea what I would make, if anything! I had bills and I knew my steady income meant I could pay them. But, she said she would give me a "forgivable draw" of $2400 a month for 90 days which is enough time to train. Here was the cool thing.... She said if I made more than the $2400 I could keep anything MORE I made. If I made less, I’d be covered for 90 days. Well, that was just too good to pass up- NOTHING to lose and three months to see if I could do it!
First month my commission check was $10,000; second month, close to $12,000. By my third month I began averaging over $15,000.
I was only 25 years old. Had she not given me the opportunity to really sell, I may not have had the chance to see my true abilities.
It was my ability to train clients, which was my original position, that made me a successful sales person. Yes a trainer. I spent more time educating my clients than selling. After I mastered sales of copiers and software solutions bundling, I went on to sales products in other industries. Each company had hired me because I had "made presidents club" being top revenue achiever selling products for my previous job.
Going through training to sell my new employer’s products revealed major training flaws. Countless times the training would not work in real-time sales. Finally, most of the companies I worked for would let me "just do what you do.” What did I do? Make friends, got to know my clients Business, what worked for them and what didn't and how, and did I really have something they needed? If not, I helped them find it even if we could not sell it. I built trust, I showed people how to succeed with the products I sold them.
I would have not thought it possible to use my personal experience and knowledge to help others. But I’ve always loved helping others. I'm not selling any crazy secrets - just helping clients to be the best they can be by doing what they love and loving being able to pay the bills. You see, running a business isn't a "get rich quick" deal. If anyone tells you otherwise don't listen. It doesn't work that way! It's hard work! But if you work smart, get educated, and practice what you learn, then, YES, you can have and achieve a financially healthy business, pay the bills, and help others all at the same time.
Owner of eliteBusinessGuide a sales and marketing referral networking coaching company and author and trainer at 7DigitSalesTraining.