Sales is a beast that either people love or hate. Being a salesperson can be a tough life. One friend of mine said it was a life of eating lobster one month and ramen the next. Not so long ago, I sold for a living. New and Used Car Sales is probably the easiest sales job to get into, but it’s also one of the toughest, and that’s where I spent three years of my life.
Sales is also a very broad career area. From inside sales to outside sales, from traveling sales to car sales, there are all different types of sales careers that one could look into.
The most attractive thing about a sales career is the amount of money you *could* make (if you’re at the top 1%). With figures in the six digits, many people start a sales career because they see the dollar signs.
This post isn’t exactly about sales and the job, but more about a set of everyday carry items that will make your life just a ton easier.
If you’re in sales, you need to think about this from the aspect of what is going to help you make more sales faster. While some of these items are physical items that you can carry, a few of them are things that you should be using to make your life easier.
Zoho CRM – 100% FREE CRM
If you’re a sales person that is responsible for their own leads, have a CRM of your own that is separate from your company’s (if allowed).
This is especially true for Car Sale people and Real Estate agents (who are just salespeople too).
Using your own CRM allows you the freedom of keeping all your hard work if you find yourself in the position to switch companies. Your prospects, leads and referrals don’t have to stay with the old company. You have them in your own CRM and can immediately update them on your new place of business.
Zoho CRM is a 100% free CRM that gives you all the features of those expensive CRMs. It’s limited to 3 users, which is enough for most sale people.
Zoho also offers paid plans that give you more functionality too.
The free plan will work for most sales people as it gives you control over your leads, contacts, accounts and deal information.
You can also create reports and analyze sales and contact data.
You can configure your phone calls (paid feature) Social Media (free feature), and email (free feature) to come right into the Zoho CRM allowing you one-stop communications center functionality as well. Some say “you get what you pay for” but in this case, you’re definitely getting a lot more value than the $0 price tag would have you think.
All you have to do is go to the pricing page and scroll down about half way. Look for the section right above the FAQ, and click the Try Now link to sign up.
Google Voice – Rings Up To 5 Phones Free
Google voice has been around for a long time now, but for a sales person, it’s like gold.
Free calls to anywhere in the USA (within the US), voicemail, fully-featured text messaging and the capability to ring up to 5 phones for incoming calls, all for free, really makes this piece of software worth it.
The great thing about this service is that you can block spam numbers, have your voicemails and text messages sent to your email (which end up in Zoho if you sign up for that free service as well) and even if you change your phone number because you switch companies, all you need to do is swap out the phone number in the settings.
The main Google Voice phone number will still be the same.
Most salespeople will not need to sign up for a business plan.
The personal plan is perfect. Downloading the app to your phone will add that phone automatically during setup, and you can also add your landline numbers in the settings as well, up to 5 phone numbers total.
Reliable, Stylish (but not ridiculously expensive) Wrist Watch
A watch makes a statement.
It really doesn’t matter whether you actually need one or not, it’s more of a message to your prospect that you are aware, respect and are cognizant of their time.
The watch shouldn’t be gaudy or take away from your sales pitch.
Additionally, it shouldn’t be so expensive that your prospect looks down at their watch and feels inferior.
If you are selling in the tech or hip, cool startup space, you could be wearing an Apple Watch or similar, but the watches that prospects really notice are a bit more elegant.
At a minimum, you might look at a Timex Expedition field watch. With prices under $50 they are affordable to most and look darn good under a button down cuff.
On the nicer end, a Hamilton watch might be more to your taste, but I wouldn’t go for something that has a lot going on. Again, you don’t want to detract from your sales pitch and closing the sale.
Best Pens For Salespeople
When it comes down to the pen, elegant isn’t always the best way to go. Fountain pens aren’t the way to go either.
When your income depends on the prospect signing on the dotted line, you’d better be sure your pen is going to work every freakin’ time. Period.
If you’re going to have a “go to” pen for all your deals and notes we suggest looking into the insanely reliable Fisher Space Pen brand.
Specifically, we’re talking about the ink cartridges.
Fisher offers a number of popular ink cartridge styles that will work in everything from Rotring to Zebra (with slight modification to the Zebra). Space pens cartridges are pressurized, so they will work reliably in literally every condition a salesperson might find themselves in.
Offline Notebook – A Savior To All Salespeople
The pocket notebook is something that offers so much value to a salesperson. From writing quick jots to prospect phone numbers, referrals and reminders, having a notebook with you at all times can mean the difference between closing a sale or not.
The notebook makes it easy to take meeting notes when you’re on the phone and it’s convenient to carry with you everywhere you go.
The other benefit to using a notebook or pad is that even when your phone or tablet battery goes dead (you do carry a portable battery charger, don’t you?), you still can access your notes.
Business Expense Logs
Although you might keep your receipts and log them later, I found that having a small expense book with me helps to ensure that nothing gets missed, especially when it comes to tax deductions! There’s a lot of ways to do this, but Beach Publishing Company in Royal Oak, Michigan have a really nice set of weekly and monthly expense booklets that seem to work best if you travel for outside sales opportunities.
Snacks and Drink
Stave off hunger while you’re working in order to get more done faster. Usually a few health bars, beef jerky and perhaps a pack of chicken or tuna does the trick. If you work from a desk you obviously can store a lot more than if you’re on the road, but if you happen to be out and about, take a water or two along.
Swiss Army Knife or MultiTool
You never know when you’re going to need some kind of tools. I’d recommend carrying at least a Swiss Army Knife (SAK) for those just in case moments (unless you’re a frequent flier). The reason I recommend a SAK is that they just don’t look threatening. One that’s sitting on your desk is considered more of a tool than a weapon by coworkers and bosses. Alternately, you could also carry a multitool instead. Again, non-threatening but insanely useful.
Electronics and Cables
You definitely want to make sure that you have all the power cords, cables and adapters you need anytime you go out of your house. If you tend to be mobile all day long, make sure to have a good powerbank as well. I carry two microUSB and two USB-C cables, Quick-Charge wall adapters and an Anker Powercore 26800 powerbank along with my laptop and its charger.
Have a Spare Suit, Shirt Socks, Tie and Shoes (optional)
This one could be an option depending on how concerned you are with your image, but the suit stays in the car or closet in your office in case there’s a coffee emergency or you blow out the butt seam of your slacks. There are times when it’s a lifesaver to have a backup so you minimize your sales downtime. There’s nothing worse than having to meet a prospect in a dirty, stained or blown out suit. That spaghetti stain on your button down might cost you a sale. I personally don’t take chances.