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  • Writer's pictureGil Zapata

My first sales experience

Updated: Dec 28, 2021

I never imagined a career in sales.However, the third job in my life was a floor salesperson at a retail clothing store in a famous mall in Miami, Dadeland Mall.This job changed my life forever. More important it provided me the sales experience that I would use ten years later.In fact, today I still use what I learned at this job.

Start a sales career when your young

I was only 18 years old in my first year of college.It was only a part-time job.Without a doubt, having a good manager can make the difference in the world.Glenny Savedra, was the manager of the store.She taught us how to sell high ticket price clothing at Cignal. Cignal was a store owned by Merry Go Round Enterprises.Years later the company went bankrupt. However, during the time I worked there, Cignal was a boom.We sold clothing line from Kenneth Cole and other major brand names.

First sales experience

I did not know how to sell. I didn’t even think of ever getting a job in sales. However, I became a very good clothing salesperson. This was not because I was a smooth talker. Our manager trained us very well. We learned everything about the products we sold. Also, we learned about our customers. In addition, she had a sales strategies on how we would achieve sales goals. This made the difference in becoming successful in selling high end retail clothing. Today, sometimes I still shop at stores. I notice that the sales people at most major retail stores are not trained to be the best. Furthermore, I notice that they don’t have strategies nor tactics. Most of them are just sitting around or walking around and just ask you, “can I help you with anything today?” When we sold clothes we would never ask that question. We could make comments such as “that color would look good on you. Or, we just received that merchandise last week and we have limited stock. Or, we would ask questions and make suggestions. I don’t see that in clothing stores today in the sales people. This first sales experience taught me so much, that later when I launched my first finance company I applied many of these tactics and strategies. What does clothing have to do with finance? Nothing. But, sales tactics and strategies from one industry to another are very similar. When I was 18 years old I learned that training staff on products and services is important. Aside from training, knowing as much information about your customer will develop better sales people at any organization. Last, having strategies is crucial to achieve sales goals. I learned this selling clothes. Much later in life as an entrepreneur I reverted back to these experiences. The point of this story is that sales experiences from one industry to another don’t vary too much. Also, that if you take your job seriously at a young age they can serve as milestones as a sales person, an entrepreneur or in business. By: Gil Zapata


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