I dragged my butt out of bed at 5 AM. For six years.

But I learned more from my childhood paper route than rubber-band-wrapping technique or how to avoid hitting the snooze button.

I don’t care if you were mowing lawns or washing potatoes, your first gig took you from zero to moving. And I bet if you take a second to reflect, you’ll notice that you learned some sales skills in your experience that you still apply today. That’s what got me thinking…

If those sales strategies stuck with us all these years, they must be pretty important. That means there’s a lot of knowledge that we take for granted that could make an impact for others. So yesterday, I asked the question on twitter:

What sales skills did you learn in your first job?

Sales Skills from the Experts

The answers I received proves that life’s best lessons are never forgotten. These are seven of the best sales skills learned (and shared) by this community’s high-impact leaders. There are some awesome insights…

1.) Get sales skills even if you don’t have a quota to hit.

Because, guess what? There are no spare parts in an efficient sales engine. Do yourself a favor and heed Chuck’s advice.

2.) Show up like you give a damn.

No one said these sales strategies were going to be complex. It’s the small things that add up to make the greater impression. And if there’s anyone who knows about “every little bit counts,” it’s my friend, Pete the Planner:

3.) Work the system.

How many prospects do you have? How many leads in the pipeline? Do you know your average closing rate? Go ahead, you can use Excel (I won’t tell anyone). Just make sure you do the math, because you can count on this tip from business coach CJ McClanahan to pay dividends.

4.) You have two ears and one mouth. Use proportionately.

Telling isn’t selling. From software salesman to pizza delivery guy, this sales skill will always reign supreme (yeah, I just did that).

5.) Don’t let the line go slack.

I know you feel great about that initial sales call. But when you’re done patting yourself on the back, take a minute to send a recap with topics discussed and next steps. Lauren knows what’s up.

6.) Are you still listening?

Good. Because this is NOT a repeat of sales skill #4. Patience is an important a part of listening. So, next time you’re in a sales meeting and feel the urge to open your mouth, remember these words of sales wisdom from Wayne:

7.) Don’t bang your head against a wall.

It’s not a winning strategy. So, don’t waste your time talking to friendly people who will never buy from you. They are NOT your friend. Conner Burt, however, is a friend. And one worth listening to when it comes to sales skills:


But wait, there’s more…

BONUS: Sales Skills Feedback from the Facebook Feed

The conversation didn’t stop there. After sharing some of our twitter responses on Facebook, I found a few more golden sales strategies from more friends. Too good not to share (and more comments below that!):

sales strategies

The sales skills I learned with my paper route were simple: Be on time. Finish what you start. Say please and thank you. It’s the stuff your mom probably taught you. But that doesn’t make it easy to implement.

I’m just glad I had six years with that first gig to ingrain those skills in my brain.

Let’s keep the sales strategies rolling in the comments.

It’s almost as interesting hearing about your first job as it is to hear the sales skill you learned. So, please drop a note below…