For new grads joining the workforce, the first sale is always going to be tough. Despite Sales jobs ranking as one of the hardest roles to fill (for the last 10 years straight), we are just beginning to see formal Sales training at an Undergraduate and Graduate level. This means that most new grads joining the workforce have little or no formal sales training. This can make for a pretty intimidating first day. I went on a hunt for some advice on how to prepare from those who know the business best. With a combined 100+ years in sales, these thought leaders know a thing or two about making it big in the industry.

Advice For New Grads

I reached out to 9 of today’s most successful salespeople asking, “What is the one thing new grads should know before going into sales?”

It’s hard to distill years of sales experience into a single sentence but they pulled it off! Keep their wisdom in mind as you venture into sales, one of the most rewarding careers out there, and remember, it gets easier! 

A huge thank you goes out to the thought leaders and sales mentors for sharing their wisdom. Featuring sales thought leaders Alen Mayer, Mike Kunkle, Eva Lang, Shomari Williams, S. Anthony Iannarino, Kevin Kurbs, Matt Mazzie, Amanda Perkins, Matthew Tome, Bill Rice and Jamie Shanks:

7“Don’t be interesting, be interested!” Eva Lang, Business Development Consultant


“There is not, and will never be a shortcut to success like hard work.” Jamie Shanks, CEO, Sales For Life 9“Sell the problem you solve, not the product you carry.” Matt Mazzie, T Mobile


“Remember: Sales is more about listening and understanding than pitching and selling.” Amanda Perkins, Customer Success Advocate

8“The only way to learn is to make mistakes, and we’ve all made them. Ask questions all day. There is nothing shameful in saying, ‘I don’t know, but I will find out for you.'” Kevin Kurbs, Telerik


“Sales is hard. Asking someone to give you money is hard. But remember, we learned to say no to strangers, don’t take it personally. If you’re selling the right product, someone will buy.” Shomari Williams, Ideal Candidate

4“It’s not about you, your product or your process. It’s about your buyers, their problems & their process. Serve to sell.” Mike Kunkle, Sales Transformation Leader

5“Your income is going to be directly proportional to your ability to pick up the phone and create opportunities and how much value you create for your dream clients.” S. Anthony Iannarino, The Sales Blog


“First they need to ask themselves if they want to be in sales in the first place. If yes, ‘What can I do to learn?'” Alen Mayer, Sales Expert and Chief Sales Introvert

So there you have it! Keep their advice in mind and hit the ground selling!

What’s the best sales advice you’ve ever gotten? Have some advice of your own? Let me know in the comments.

Are you looking for a sales job? Sign up for Ideal Candidate and let the employers come to you. Find your match and make more money.