Women in Sales Blog

What Britney Spears and a Young Sales Person's Career Growth Have in Common

Posted by Jan 21, 2014 12:46:28 PM Ali Powell


 

 

I like Britney Spears for a couple of reasons. I think she has had highs and lows and that tells me that she is human. There are many kinds of sales people. She is a sales person and I think she has done a great job at selling herself over the years. Whether she was selling herself as a teen age dream boat, or selling herself as a crazy person- she has done a good job at all of that. She has also done a good job at matching where the market is at certain times and selling herself and her strengths (or even weaknesses) well.

She went from in her early days being someone selling her innocence to now selling the fact that she has transformed from those days to more experienced performer overall. She used to be on MTVs after school programs that I used to watch when I got home from school and I wanted to be like her. I looked up to her because at the time I was a dancer. I think all sales people should have role models. People should look up to people, people should try to learn from people. I used to watch MTV and try to perform her dances and learn her dances. I know do this in my role in sales. I am constantly trying to learn how to be a better sales person and I am always "copying" or trying to take certain elements of people's sales skills and make them my own.

Then she had some tough times like we all do. I haven't actually shaved my head or anything but I have definitely had some times where I was a little lost. She also had a child and started a family over the years. Now she just came out with some awesome new songs and an album which seem to be doing well. She has a show in Vegas where she is a performer showing off her skills. She has evolved over the years as I would assume many sales people do as well. Stay aware of your evolution as a sales person because you can use those things to your advantage. 

She has a lot in common with the growth and career of a young sales person. 

I started at HubSpot over 3 years ago now. When I started I was young, naive, inexperienced but ready to learn, ready to succeed and would do anything to get there. I had experience in what I was doing (meaning sales) but not a ton. HubSpot took a chance on me - thank you everyone who did. I needed to prove myself to HubSpot at the time because they were taking a chance on me. They would give me the tools to succeed but I needed to prove myself. I actually struggled at first. I didn't do well right off the bat. I needed to learn what the heck I was selling and why. Why it helped people, what it did, and why someone would buy it. young_sales_person

I don't know Britney, wish I did...lol. BUT, I can only imagine that she went through similar things where she didn't completely know who she was selling to and what her image should be. 

Sales people go through stages. I know I am a work in progress always and probably will be for my life. Singers and performers are the same way. When they start out, someone gave them a chance by listening to some of their songs they recorded and a producer saw something in them and gave them a chance. 

After a little while being here and being in a really entry level sales position I started to develop a personality on the phone and in the office. More people started to find out about me and like what I was doing and gradually but surely I worked my way up and was promoted to a real sales person. I guess this would be my Mickey Mouse Club days... 

Before and even after I was promoted to a "real sales person" I went through highs and lows. Just like Britney I had to find my voice as a sales person. I didn't want to do everything the same way it had always been done and I knew that I had a chance here at HubSpot to make my voice known. Britney never has done anything the way it is supposed to be done. She is always taking chances on the songs she puts out there, what she wears ,etc. I think of my sales process the same way. There has to be something to being different. And now I can actually say that there is. It is important to be different and stand out. Typically those things will get you to being really good at what you do as well. 

She came from a small town, with modest up bringing and good parents. 

When people ask me what makes a good sales rep these days I tell them about my upbringing. My CEO the other day asked me some questions about myself and what made me ME. I told him about how I grew up, that I didn't come from much in the early days, my parents worked really hard and worked their way up in their careers. My parents enstilled hard work into me from when I was little.  Hard work is something that you can learn and your parents showing you that hard work is a valuable thing is important to success and what makes someone a good sales rep today. 

I don't take things for granted. I want to work hard because I have to. I need to make money to get to certain goals in my life. I was given the opportunity to go to a great college that my parents have paid for. I don't take that for granted. I also don't take the fact that I was given a job here at HubSpot lightly. I want to do well for many reasons but one of the things inside of me is that I have a sense of hard work just being normal inside of me. I don't want to slide by, it doesn't come naturally to me. Working hard comes natural to me and that didn't happen out of nowhere. My parents did that to me and my upbringing did that to me. 

Britney even at a young age was competing. Lots of good sales people are competitive and played sports from a young age. 

She was on TV shows, spent her time cheer leading competitively until she got her break with a record deal. I don't think she would have gotten the record deal and gotten this far if she hadn't have been competitive from a young age. 

From a young age (meaning 3 years old) my parents put me into dance classes. I danced from 3 years old until about 21 or so. I danced because I liked it and I liked performing. I liked being good at something. I also liked the stability that dancing gave me. I would be at dance every night after school for hours and then go home, do homework and go to bed...do it over again. That helped me to realize that once again, hard work pays off. If you work on something long enough you can get good at it. I think the same thing with sales people. Sales people can get better over time. If you work at something you will get better at it. 

I don't think of myself as competitive but my boyfriend points out to me all the time how I am. So, now I realize that I am actually competitive. I don't think it is in a mean way. I don't look at dashboards all the time, I don't check where other sales reps are at quota wise, but I do want to be the best. I want to be recognized for being good at what I do. I want to help other people get as good too. 

As you spend more time at a company you learn more about how to sell yourself and what your strengths are as a sales person. 

If you stay at something you are passionate about long enough you can really get good at it. I think Britney is passionate about her job and so am I. This has carried me a long way and I think really helps me to stand out to people I am in the sales process with. I work hard, I work seriously, I work hard, I work hard, I work hard...

Britney works hard too. Just watch her video above. When people and managers ask me how my day is going or what I am doing- I have always said I am just doing my job, just working. I really think there is something to that. Just put your head down and work hard. Do your job the best you can and get SHIT DONE. 

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Topics: women startups, sales skills, sales tips, Women in startups, Women in business, sales process, women in sales, saleswomen, smart sales

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