Welcome to the fifth episode of The Accidental Series.
Some people are into sales because it’s their passion, while others were led to the industry because of their circumstances. We call them the accidental sellers.
Stephen Snyder is a district sales coordinator for Aflac. Growing up, Stephen loved playing sports and he aspired to become a professional athlete. In his college days, he was fortunate enough to play baseball. He was good at it and his life revolved around playing the game. Despite that, he didn’t become a professional baseball player. Apparently, life had other plans for Stephen.
Stephen realized that sports wasn’t for him after doing an internship during his senior year in college. He saw how tough it was to work in the field of sports marketing. You didn’t become the head of scouting just because you knew the game. His job as an intern required physical labor from 7 AM until the end of the game. A sports manager had to be at the field long after the game was over to help with any tasks needed, including covering the field with a tarp. Stephen thought that he could do more.
By the time Stephen finished his education, the economy was taking a downturn. Although he graduated with a degree in sports marketing and kept looking for work in his field, most available jobs were all about sales. It seemed everyone was either selling a yellow book or insurance. Salespeople were often associated with the “used car salesman” stereotype so because of this, it took a long time for Stephen to consider sales as a long-term career.
Stephen eventually reached out to his friend who had been working with Aflac. He decided to try sales until he could find himself a “real” job. Years later, Stephen is still with Aflac excelling as a salesperson. He realized the old stereotypes don’t have to apply. For Stephen, it was about meeting people and talking to them about the services provided by Aflac.
When he started with the company, Stephen was provided with a script. When a sale didn’t go through, he was made to think that it was because he didn’t stick to the script. Stephen is an introvert and although he is comfortable with talking to people, he’d always kept a protective shell around him where he could remain comfortable. The challenge he was facing in sales was how to prospect in his own way. Like any other salesperson, Stephen was also afraid of rejection.
There were many days he thought of quitting sales but when he actually got to thinking about it, he found that sales could be fun too. As a former athlete, he found the competition he loved could be applied to sales too. There was a scoreboard all the salespeople tracked their sales this brought out the competitive spirit in him.
Competitiveness and a good team atmosphere are great ways for an accidental seller to stay motivated. Salespeople thrive when they know that a mistake is made, they won’t be criticized, but instead, coaching is offered instead. As a salesperson improves and starts setting appointments, he sees his actions cause a snowball effect. This results in good sales.
Stephen’s first deal started with an elevator ride. He began talking to a man who turned out to be a business owner and the decision-maker in his company. They had a good-natured discussion and Stephen was able to land an appointment.
That business owner decided to pay 100% of the voluntary insurance product for his employees. It was one of the best deals Stephen’s company had seen.
After 11 years, Stephen continues to work for Aflac. Working for the company has given him so many opportunities and a certain level of success.
A salesperson needs to consistently find ways to improve. A scoreboard is one strategy to track success and stay competitive. This is regardless is he’s an accidental seller or not.
This episode is brought to you in part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a course designed to help new and struggling sellers to master the fundamentals of sales and close more deals. Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can also call us at (561) 570-5077.
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