Experiment. Fail. Learn. Repeat.
“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking.It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.”
- Albert Einstein
Vibrant, green colored leaves change to a muted red, orange, or yellow as summer ends and fall begins. These changes are inevitable, as daylight dwindles and the autumnal moon stays high in the sky. Outside of these seasonal changes, we experience various transitions, shifts, and adjustments in our own lives. How we adapt to these changes defines us and helps us become better people.
If you look at my background you will see years of experience in research labs. I started my career washing petri dishes in a microbiology lab and ended up leading university-wide psychology experiments by my senior year. I studied hard, learning all about the different principles and theories that influence chemical cascades and neurological processes. However, there was something missing; something I felt was lacking. There was something inside me that just wasn’t happy in a laboratory setting. So I decided to try my hand at sales: my father is in sales, my uncle is in sales, my grandfather was in sales. You could say sales runs in my blood!
I have not abandoned my passion for science because I changed professions, rather I feel as though I have strengthened that passion. There is one practice I have taken from the lab and applied into my current role as an SDR: Experiment. Fail. Learn. Repeat.
Experiment – In any laboratory setting, you must develop a hypothesis and determine what materials you need. We do the same thing at Vorsight. We understand that you need to tweak talking points, change the approach, and adapt to new situations. You have to remember that no one call is representative of the rest. We live by this mentality to experiment by “changing it up”.
Fail – I’d say it’s fairly normal for your experiment to fail (a lot might I add). When your cell culture dies in the dish, you have to reexamine the nutrients or conditions of the experiment. I cannot imagine not being able to write down every step, every chemical, and every result while I perform an experiment. It is this piece of the puzzle that can be the most valuable when it comes to recognizing failure.
We have a nifty tool called ExecVision that records our conversations and acts as our lab notebook. ExecVision gives me access to all my conversations on calls, lets me see where I failed and where I succeeded. Without ExecVision, I would be a lost little neuroscientist in the world of sales!
Learn – You must recognize why your experiment failed or why it succeeded. Was it because you added more tryptophan than glutamine? Could it have been the tone of the phone call? This is my favorite part of the job because I strive to be a life-long learner. I read books on the metro, learning new techniques as I flip through each page. If you choose to not learn from others, then learn from your own failures and come back stronger and more confident. This is especially important as an SDR because almost all of your daily activities provide you with an opportunity to learn. For example, even if a call doesn’t lead to a meeting, it’s still an opportunity to reflect on the conversation and change things up for the next call.
Repeat – One of the most crucial parts in any field of science is the practice of repeating experiments that yield similar results. If you run an experiment and find a neurological difference between non-verbal and verbal communication in men and women, then congrats! However, if your experiment is not repeatable, then it can be dismissed as pseudoscience. Taking that into account for a sales career, you should shoot for consistency in your results but consistency can be stale if you don’t change things up as you continue to learn. At Vorsight we are taught that the two most important parts of the role are consistency and accountability. A well-developed, repeatable process is the key to continued success.
From theories of emotional intelligence to principles of human behavior, you can apply a lot of the foundations from the lab into a sales setting. I have only been at Vorsight for two months, but I have found my voice. I continue to experiment with my phone calls, continue to fail, continue to learn, and am looking forward to repeating this cycle again as I learn to become a more effective salesman.
I challenge those of you in the world of science to try something new: now is the time to find your own voice. No matter what path you choose, understand that you will experiment, fail, learn, and repeat over and over again.
Connect with Alex on LinkedIn to learn more.