For the past few months, I have been lucky enough to be a sales intern at an athletic care company called SBR SPORTS. SBR SPORTS creates products for athletes that keep them comfortable, happy, and healthy. Some of their products include TRISWIM, a chlorine removal hair and body care line; and SKIN SLICK, an anti-chafe spray-on lubricant. Their mission is to promote knowledge and education for total body health. My time at SBR SPORTS has not only taught me about sales but also about working in a professional organization and enhancing my communication skills.

When I first started at the company, I was so overwhelmed to do something completely different than what I was used to. As a sales intern, most of my job is cold calling. At first, the idea of trying to sell products to strangers on the phone seemed terrifying but it is now something that I am completely comfortable with. Luckily, I sell products that I trust and am passionate about so I can confidently talk about them.

Before I started calling, I would research the companies I would be contacting. Once I had an idea what each company was about, I would call them to inform them about our products. The most important thing about sales is active listening. It’s not about making a sale or hitting a quota; it’s about listening to the wants and needs of your buyer and doing what you can to help them. An effective active listener allows the speaker to talk and thoroughly understands what he/ she is saying. As a sales representative, I would try to incorporate this idea by offering them free samples so they were satisfied with the product before making a purchase.

Following up is a huge part of my internship. Although I have probably talked to about 100 people, it’s important that I remembered who everyone is. I learned that client retention is key because you want your buyer to feel important and needed. If they ended up liking the product then I would give them an order form to fill out. Although my goal is to make sales, the most important thing I learned is that rejection is okay! Not everyone is going to be interested and it’s nothing personal.

The skills that I have been taught as a COM major have helped me so much throughout this internship. Even though I only talk with people over the phone, communication is crucial in sales. For example, my tone of voice needs to sound excited and passionate otherwise people will lose interest. I have learned that people buy from people they like and trust, so it is important to remember that sales are about the customer, not the seller. And of course, being an active listener is the best thing you can be!

I am so fortunate that I was able to incorporate what I have learned from the School of Communication throughout my internship. I am happy to say that once this internship is over in the fall I will become a part-time employee and continue my knowledge of sales. I have learned so much at SBR SPORTS and I look forward to growing and learning in my professional career.