5 Tips to Start a Sales Career

Written by Adam Grossman

An ordained rabbi, who has founded multiple ventures focused on workforce development, he is a cofounder and the Chief Development Officer at The Selling Factory.

Photo by Fauxels

More than 4 million students will graduate from college this year. Of those graduating,  2 million graduates are heading into sales. To put that number into perspective, it is greater than the number of people who work at Meta and Apple combined. 

Sales is a challenging and rewarding profession. You meet new people, solve problems, and close deals. It’s exciting and nerve-wracking. Success in sales depends on closing the right deals in the right way, so you have to learn how to adapt. It is also a position that requires a lot of time and effort. To support the new graduates heading into sales, here are five tips to ease the transition and ensure your success in sales. 

The 5 Keys to Success in Sales

#1: Be your authentic self.

One of the essentials of sales is to understand who you are. Speak with your own words, hold your own beliefs, and recognize your value.  Whether you’re on the phone, in-person, via email or text, be direct. Be straightforward about your intentions because people appreciate direct communication. None of us are experts. We’re all growing, learning, and developing as we go. If there’s something that you do not know, be honest and say so in a non-imposing way. If you’re nervous about the conversation, admit it. By being honest about yourself and your intentions, you will find conversations are more engaging and more relevant.

#2: Listen more than you talk.

The adage “you have one mouth and two ears to listen twice as much as you talk” provides a foundation to a career in sales. However, many struggle to accomplish it. This might be due to multitasking, focusing on the end goal, talking mostly about themselves or their product, or giving feedback too often. A good listener will respond, “tell me more, ” “what is your thought on that,” or “I can see how that would be frustrating.” These phrases ensure that you stay attentive, avoid making judgments, and gain greater insights about a prospects needs. Ultimately, this results in more trusting and mutually beneficial relationships with prospects. 

#3: Always be learning.

Selling is all about adapting to new situations, technologies, and people. Whether taking courses, observing peers, reading (books, articles, blogs), asking questions to mentors, or listening to podcasts, make sure you are constantly learning. This leads to improving what you are doing well and identifying any challenges that are preventing you from growth. Additionally, expanding your knowledge gives you more perspective and viewpoints to build rapport, offer analogies and leverage social proof to best guide prospects. The more you know allows you to address more situations leading to greater confidence in conversations.

#4: Get comfortable with rejection.

To be inducted into baseball’s hall of fame, a player (non-pitcher) usually has to attain a career batting average of over .300. This means to be considered as one of the best players of all-time, a player has to fail 70% of the time. The world is not going to end if you fail a test, get a bad grade, or if you get rejected by someone. Many sales hall of famers will fail 98% of the time. Recognizing that failure will happen and not taking it personally will separate you from your peers. 

#5: Be Persistent.

As stated previously, sales has a high failure rate. Due to this, it is easy to get discouraged or frustrated when you do not see results right away. However, sales is a numbers game, and persistence is the key to long-term success. If you keep pushing forward, eventually you will find success. When you encounter challenges, stay motivated by remembering your goals, the long-term benefits of your efforts, and the people who helped you get to this point.

Unlock Your Potential

The world of sales is filled with opportunity, and with a strong foundation, you can do well in the field. The essentials of sales provided above will help you get started, but it comes down to your desire to learn and grow. As you move ahead, surround yourself with successful salespeople, and emulate their behavior, and most importantly, their mindset. Those that put in the work, are open to coaching, and willing to learn from mistakes will find sales to be a fulfilling and rewarding start to a career.

Victoria Zamitalo

Campaign Manager

Victoria received a BA in History and Economics from the University of Florida in May 2023. She is a driven sales professional with over 5 years combined experience in customer service, consumer relations and outbound sales, and is deeply passionate about fostering close relationships between consumers and sellers. She aims to train the next generation of sales professionals in not only the tricks of the trade, but also interpersonal skills that make sales the exciting and ever-changing industry that it is.


Mia Semel

Campaign Manager

Before graduating with a B.A. in Sustainability Studies, Mia took on multiple roles while interning at The Selling Factory, including sales development, recruiting, and leading campaigns. She is an active listener and effective communicator, specializing in fostering genuine connections and finding common ground among differing perspectives. She aims to find practical, creative solutions regarding sustainable development, biodiversity and the climate crisis.


Kira Grieve

Senior Campaign Manager

Kira graduated from the University of Florida and received her Master of Science in Entrepreneurship. She is passionate about helping businesses grow and connecting with new people. Some of her hobbies include traveling and hiking. She hopes to visit all of the National Parks one day!


Jared Glosser

Vice President

After graduating from UF in 2014 with a B.A. in history, Jared started his professional career Fundraising for a non-partisan political lobby in South Florida. In 2016, Jared moved back to Gainesville to work for a non-profit, recruit students for international travel opportunities, and pursue his MBA at UF. Jared has been with The Selling Factory since 2019 focusing on operations, client onboarding, and client success.


Ian Massenburg

Chief Operating Officer

A graduate of University of Florida (B.A. 2001), Ian Massenburg brings over 18 years of sales executive and sales management experience to The Selling Factory. Before coming on-board, Ian worked alongside Brad at Infinite Energy, and then spent his next 3 years as VP of Partnerships selling SaaS products B2B. Ian brings his vast knowledge and experience to the team and to our partner companies served.


Damien Paulk

Campaign Manager

Damien is a University of Florida graduate that recently joined the team full time after working as a Sales Development Intern for one year. As a Campaign Manager, Damien looks forward to contributing to the growth and success of The Selling Factory. When Damien is not at work he enjoys exploring Gainesville with his girlfriend and dog or watching the Gators dominate college football.


Brendan Viehman

Campaign Manager

Brendan graduated from Liberty University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Project Management. For the past 5 years, he has enjoyed working with blockchain technology and cryptocurrency development. In his free time, he surfs and makes personal finance videos for his YouTube channel.


Savannah Howard

Campaign Manager

A graduate from the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications, Savannah obtained her Bachelor of Science in public relations with a concentration in French. After almost two years as a sales development intern for The Selling Factory, she joined the leadership team in 2021 taking on the role of Campaign Manager. In her free time, Savannah enjoys going to concerts and festivals and cooking for her friends and family.


Zack Kampf

Campaign Manager

Zack is a creative technologist with experience in advertising, event planning, and game design. He started as an SDR in 2018 and has been with TSF ever since. Upon graduating UF in 2019 he became a campaign manager and is currently seeking a master's degree from NYU. In his spare time, you can find him at the intersection of Art & Technology!


Josiah Blakemore

Growth Manager

Josiah has over 10 years of sales experience, worked with Brad and Ian at Infinite Energy, and also spent time selling SaaS as Director of Partnerships at SharpSpring. He’s always been very competitive and has a love for sports and games. He enjoys solving problems and coaching team members to do the same!


Sue-Ming Frauenhofer

Marketing Manager

Sue-Ming received both her B.S. in Psychology and M.S. in Management from The University of Florida. As a student, she took on multiple roles while interning at The Selling Factory, including sales development, marketing, and recruiting, eventually leading to her current role as Marketing Manager. She enjoys refining her taste in music and visual art, engaging in mindfulness and meditative practices, and frolicking outside with her sidekick pup.


Adam Grossman

Chief Development Officer

Adam is an ordained rabbi, who has founded multiple ventures focused on workforce development. Hired as CEO by a failing non-profit, in over 5 years, his ingenuity saved the organization, which led Slingshotfund.org to recognize it as one of North America’s most innovative Jewish non-profits. His expertise to identify, cultivate, and on-board talent ensures our student teams meet our partners’ needs.


Brad Gamble

Chief Executive Officer

After graduating from UF in 1999 with a B.S.B.A, Brad Gamble has dedicated himself to sales management, branding, coaching, and building companies. He served as the VP of Sales & Marketing for Infinite Energy until 2014, when he founded The Selling Factory. He has dedicated himself to teaching critical skills to tomorrow’s leaders, and helping companies achieve sales success and revenue growth.