How Can Sales Experience Help Me in College?

“How can sales experience help me in college?”

This is not an unusual question!

I started working with Vector Marketing after my junior year of college. I often think how different my college experience would have been if I had learned these three things my freshman year.

In my role with Vector today, some students have said to me, “What could working with Vector Marketing teach me?”

As I look at the skills that our sales representatives learn, it’s pretty cool to see how they can help them in college. The top three that helped me in college were time management, goal setting, and how to communicate.

Time Management

Do you ever wonder how some people get so much accomplished in one day? I used to ask that question. For me, this was the most beneficial skill I learned by working with Vector.

Everyone has 168 hours in a week, so I think: how can I maximize my time?

The first thing to do is make a list of what you need to accomplish during that week. Then I take a calendar and put in all the things that I have scheduled. I like to use a weekly calendar that has times on it from 7 AM to 12 AM (Passion Planner is a great option). Here I put in all my classes, family commitments, fun stuff planned, appointments, dates with boyfriend/girlfriend, sleep, workout, etc. After that, I look at the list of items that I need to complete that week and put them into the calendar. This way you know what and when you are going to do things.

This strategy works best for me in managing my time. You may find something else works better, but organization of what needs to be accomplished is key.

Goal Setting

What are your goals? The first step in goal setting is to figure out what you want to achieve. You need to be specific. Simply stating you want to get good grades isn’t a goal. A more specific goal would be: My goal is to get a 4.0 this semester.

The next step is ask and write down the answers to these questions: How, why, and when? There will be times you want to give up on your goal. There are going to be challenging times, and the key to get through these times are to remember why you are doing it. By reminding yourself of why you previously set a specific goal is a great way to motivate yourself later on.

Planning is also a key to achieving your goals (an easy way to do this is by trying the time management steps above).  Have check-in points along the way to see how you are doing with achieving your goals.

If things aren’t going as planned, correct them. Tell everyone about your goals. Yes, sometimes people will laugh that your goal is too big, but that is ok. Be sure to have a plan to back up your goal if someone questions you about it. No goal is too big or too small, and the only way to see improvement is by evaluating what you want and setting yourself up for success.

Communication

In sales, you need to ask questions and speak to people in order to make the sale. As you ask questions, you find out what motivates people and what they are looking for in a product.

The same thing happens in college. As you take classes, you need to speak with professors and other students to figure out what they are looking for in projects or tests.

When I first started working with Vector, I was pretty shy and didn’t like speaking in front of groups or asking questions. I quickly learned if I wanted to achieve my goals, these were two things I needed to learn. By working with my customers at Vector I learned how to communicate with others.

As you can see, time management, goal setting, and communication are all tied in to one another. Especially in sales, you will always be successful if you manage your time well, set goals for yourself, and communicate with people effectively.

Have any questions about the skills that are learned in a sales position? Feel free to e-mail me at hbrown@cutco.com

Follow Vector on Twitter @VectorMarketing.

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