My first job out of college was an inside sales associate position, in which I was tasked with cold-calling busy professionals all day and kindly explaining to them why they
should spend their company’s money on a service they truly didn’t need.
To say I was unqualified was a gross understatement (and should have been evident in my interview, when I casually mentioned I enjoyed ordering food online because I’m scared of the phone).
For those who don’t know, sales is a sink or swim position. You either hit your quota and keep your job, or you don’t. For me, not even the Coast Guard could have kept me afloat in my first couple months on the job. I sucked. While the cohort I was hired with excelled, I floundered. I couldn’t keep someone on the phone for more than 15 seconds.
Knowing the end was near, I asked (well, begged) our top performing sales guy for help. I probably looked pathetic enough that he said okay. And it was then that he explained to me a secret to business that totally changed my career (not to mention saved my job).