Confidence is Key
Everyone in sales agrees that having confidence in yourself is the key to success. But that confidence often doesn’t come naturally. So, what traits add up to and help build that confidence?
To find out, we reached out to Amy Walther, Vice President of Sales and Business Development for Westell, a leading provider of high-performance wireless infrastructure solutions focused on innovation and differentiation in communication.
We spoke with Amy about her journey as a woman in sales and where her success and confidence comes from.
Three Things That Led to Her Success
- Drive. As a young person, Amy always wanted to be successful. Growing up in a ‘not-so-well-to-do’ area, and having to care for her ill mother, helped Amy realize she didn’t want to struggle. She also knew she wanted to make money. As she says, “If you don’t want to make money, you shouldn’t be in sales.”
- A positive attitude. Amy believes that no one can be successful if they’re not a positive person.
- Having fun and enjoying the people you work with. Amy is a big believer in getting to know the people you work with and getting to know their families. By doing so, you create a connection and establish trust.
How Amy Found Her Confidence
Amy’s early years were shaped by her “quiet little girl” self. She observed the things happening around her and realized she always wanted to be better and do better. Because of that, she found herself saying, “Wait a second! I can do all those things!” Her innate competitive nature also helped.
The first thing Amy says to someone getting started in sales? Find your confidence—because it doesn’t come naturally. She says this is something she’s constantly working on with her daughters, so she tells them they are worth it. According to Amy, the sooner you can gain confidence, the better.
So how did Amy gain so much of hers? In her late 20s, Amy tried out for a professional NFL football team’s cheerleading squad. She made it, even though she was 10 to 12 years older than the other cheerleaders. She says, “If you can do that in front of 80,000 people, you can do anything.”
In her sales career, Amy says that it helps to work with someone who will give you a chance, but sometimes you need to promote yourself.
The Transition Into Leadership
Amy’s transition into sales leadership was not easy. She moved from banking into sales, which meant she had to start over. Knowing your content and specializing in something is extremely helpful, but she didn’t just naturally move up the chain. Being a woman, she was often typecast by bosses. Her advice? Keep pushing through.
She also says it’s very helpful when your company believes in you, but you need to earn it. Now, as a boss, she doesn’t do the things that she didn’t like being done to her. She says that micromanaging is never good. Instead, she establishes trust with a very small, close-knit team.
Her Thoughts on CRM
Amy loves CRM but admits she should use it more. The key to her is having a company enforce its use. She says, “If you don’t use CRM, you won’t be successful as a sales person.” Relying on a little piece of paper you took a note on six months ago won’t help you keep track of what your customers may need when they need it.
According to her, the opportunities that come from CRM are priceless. It’s all about tracking and checking in with your customers.
For more on Amy’s journey to becoming a Sales Leader, listen to her interview on Sales Lead Dog podcast.