My Medical Device Sales Career
One of the characteristics of many sales people is that we tend to be independent. That being said, if we’re smart, we’re always looking for ways to hone our craft and improve our skills. One of the biggest lessons I learned was taught to me by a senior representative we newbies called the Silver Fox.
I had the pleasure of sharing a hotel room with Rob during a training session during my first year as a sales professional. The training session was scheduled right after the end of a quarter when our numbers came out. I was severely disappointed to learn I had just missed my quota by two hundred dollars.
The night I was going through my reports Rob was also going through his. He asked how I did and I shared with him that I had missed my number. He said “no you didn’t.” I did not know how to reply because I was staring at my report that clearly said I did.
To explain what he meant he took me back through some historical reports. Every month there were adjustments in the amount of one hundred to three hundred dollars. Over the course of a quarter there were at least three hundred to five hundred dollars in total combined adjustments. The trick was you had to submit the adjustments to get credit applied. I had not done that so I missed my quota despite the fact I had actually achieved it if the adjustments were made.
Rob said, if you’re not doing your homework by going through your reports then you don’t deserve to hit your number. True enough!
That day I learned that the language of business is numbers and if I wanted to succeed at sales it meant that I had to work the entire job, not just the part that included presenting to customers.
To this day I cannot remember what the sales training was about. On the other hand, I clearly remember the lesson taught to my by the Silver Fox. Know your numbers and study your reports. By doing so, you will position yourself for success in sales. You will be able to formulate an effective business plan AND you will make more money because of it. Thanks for the lesson, Rob!
By Kevin Onarecker