Try New Things to Grow Your Sales Career! 4 Ideas to Get You Started
Have you ever considered the relationship between trying something new and achieving success and happiness?
Whether you realize it or not, you likely spend the majority of your day doing the same things you’ve done hundreds or thousands of times before.
On one hand, having a routine is great for providing structure, efficiency, and comfort, but on the other hand, falling into one day in and day out can make you feel like a bystander in your own life.
When’s the last time you ventured outside of your normal routine?
In theory, everyone understands the importance of trying new things, but why is it so difficult to actually put yourself out there and immerse in a new experience?
It’s the fear of failure. The unknown. It’s uncertainty that holds us back.
As a s salesperson, today, we are going to help you push past your fears and explore the benefits of trying new things by sharing four ideas to get you started. Then we’ll look at how these new experiences and skills can help enhance your sales career.
Benefits of Trying New Things
While there are many benefits to having new experiences and learning new things, let’s look at a few key highlights:
- Learning something new will make you happier.
- Learning something new will boost your creativity.
- Learning something new increases confidence, self-esteem and self-efficacy.
- Learning something new sharpens your thinking skills and cognitive abilities.
- Engaging in a new activity can make you think time has slowed down.
- Learning something new can make you appear more interesting.
- Trying something new will help you connect with others more easily.
- Trying something new will inspire others around you.
- Trying new things is related to having fewer regrets.
Are you ready to break out of your shell?
Try one of the 4 ideas below to shake things up and ignite creativity in both your professional and personal life.
Idea #1: Take an Improv Class
Improv isn't just about making people laugh - it's a tool that helps improve your communication and cooperation skills, which can boost sales performance and help any team of people work together more effectively.
If you’re nearby to NYC, LA, or Chicago, you may also want to check out The Second City, Upright Citizens Brigade, or The iO Theater, but if not, you can look for classes at your local community theater or college. I’m sure there a few available.How could this help grow your sales career?
Improv teaches you a lot about yourself. It’s a new experience that forces you to step outside your comfort zone, but it’s also one that , no matter the result, will increase confidence in your own abilities.
Improv teaches you how to actively listen and pick up on non-verbal cues. This translates into better and more effective meetings with your prospects and clients.
It also teaches you how to react and adapt to new or unexpected situations. When you get an objection or an off-the-wall type of question, you’re taught to be ready for it.
Most importantly, improv teaches you how to stop fearing failure. It teaches you to believe in what you say and how you say it. All useful skills for salespeople to possess.
Idea #2: Become a Mentor
Nothing accelerates growth and learning like helping others understand a certain subject matter or just showing them the “lay of the land” for your industry.
Being a mentor, however, can mean different things to different people. To some, it’s more focused on teaching, while to others,, it’s geared more towards counseling.
Whatever your preference may be, if you’re itching to find or become a mentor, you’re in luck. LinkedIn just started a whole new program, Career Advice.
It’s a relatively new feature that allows members to connect with others across their networks to ask for career advice, industry best practices, or any other topic you’d like to cover.
How could this help grow your sales career?
Not only will becoming a mentor accelerate your own growth and development, but it’ll build your confidence as you become an inspiration to those around you.
If you’re thinking, “Wait, I don’t have enough experience to be a mentor,” think again.
There’s always something to learn or a new way of thinking. Just because you don’t have 30+ years of experience doesn’t mean you don’t have valuable knowledge and experiences to share.
There’s actually an entire program created for reverse-mentoring, where older workers are paired with younger ones to educate each other about business, technology, and new ways of thinking.
As you assist your mentee, you have the chance to reflect on and articulate your own expertise and experience -- something you may not take the time to do otherwise.
Along the way, you may spot patterns in your own attitudes or habits that you’ve never noticed before, which provides the opportunity for improvement.
Idea #3: Read a Book About Psychology
“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” – Albert Einstein
Thinking outside the box. Unconventional ideas. Thinking differently.
Whatever buzzword you’d like to use, simply put, this quote stresses the importance of stepping away from old, familiar ways of thinking to try new, original ways.
In sales, having an understanding of psychology is extremely valuable, but one often overlooked. By understanding how people think, it’s possible to question what will appeal to them, and then calculate how you can make something more interesting to that person.
Not sure which book to start with? Try one of these 10 books.
How could this help grow your sales career?
Learning about psychology will encourage new ways of thinking about the prospects, clients, and people you interact with on a daily basis. It also provides new strategies and techniques to incorporate into your sales approach and process.
For instance, when it comes to making a decision, we often believe having more choices available to us is the better option. However, this is an illusion; In actuality, the more options we have, the less likely we are to make a decision at all.
This seems counterintuitive because we live in a world of abundance. A world where we have every and any option available to us,but the wealth of choices can become an overwhelming experience.
Instead of showing your customers everything you’ve got, funnel people to the right places, at the right times. Use resource pages, and call outs that send people to smart groupings of products and services.
When we deliver information in smaller doses, the decision making process appears to be more manageable and your customers are less likely to feel overwhelmed or confused.
Idea #4: Make Something With Your Hands
When was the last time you created something with your hands? Maybe you baked a cake from scratch, planted your own garden, or completed a DIY project.
Whatever it was, consider how you felt during the project as well as how you felt after it was completed. Did you feel absorbed and focused during? Proud and satisfied when finished?
Research shows making things with your hands is great for decreasing stress, relieving anxiety, and improving mental health.
How could this help grow your sales career?
Creating something with your hands may be reminiscent of your childhood, but it applies to your sales career too.
Maybe you’re grappling for a solution to a problem you’re customer is facing,r you’re feeling stuck on a proposal you need to submit to a prospect.
Stepping away from your desk to create something with your hands is a great way to clear your mind and ignite your thinking skills.
We are living in a world that has become increasingly more dependent on technology and digital communication. Taking the time to step away from technology and step into a non-digital creative outlet will enhance your creativity and increase productivity.
Everyone can benefit from trying something new. It breaks up the monotony of everyday life.
Whether you’re in an active sales role or you’re managing the team, branching outside of your typical activities, hobbies, and interests will make you more accustomed and willing to trying new things.
“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn't really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That's because they were able to connect experiences they've had and synthesize new things.” - Steve Jobs
The more experiences you gain, the more you have to give.
So, the next time you’re feeling stuck in sales rut, venture away from your normal routine and go learn or try something new. You may just find the connecting dots you were looking for.
Ready for more sales inspiration? Make sure you’re collecting the right information from prospects. Download our interactive Information Gathering worksheet to increase your sales momentum.
About Steve Bookbinder
Steve Bookbinder is the CEO and sales expert at DM Training. He has delivered more than 5,000 workshops and speeches to clients all over the world and has trained, coached, and managed more than 50,000 salespeople and managers. Steve continuously refreshes his training content to reflect his latest first-hand observations. Through him, participants in his trainings learn the best practices of today’s most successful sellers and managers across industries. Steve understands that sales is a competitive game. To out-perform competitors and our own personal best results, we need to out-prospect, out-qualify, out-present and out-negotiate everyone else, not merely know how to sell. Through his specialty programs in Prospect Management, Personal Marketing, Great First Meetings, Sales Negotiating, and Sales Coaching, Steve trains sales teams to master the skills they need to overcome the challenges they face in today’s world… and keep improving results year over year.