1 Summary of Practical Training
I had been searching for a job for a while. I had already been in an interview to be a Sales Agent/Customer Servicer at XXL Jyväskylä. That try did not end as pleased, and I was not selected for the 2nd interview phase. I was a bit sad about it as during 2nd Academic year I had found my passion towards sales and wanted to develop that side of me. I was not sad for long and took that as a learning opportunity. Previously in my life I had always gotten a job when I had applied, so a prove of not everything being always certain was needed.
A while after that I found out that Telia, a Mobile Operator/Entertainment services provider was looking for a Sales Agent to their store in Hyvinkää, which is my hometown. I grabbed on to the opportunity and sent in an application. I do not know for what reason, but I posted the application in English although that was not required. I guess the template on their website being in English for me carried me away in that sense.
Almost two weeks go by and I get an email stating that I had been selected to be interviewed for the position. Me and my future boss agreed on to a time and I travelled to my hometown to complete the interview. On the day of the interview I headed to Coffee House, which we agreed to be the place for the interview. Arrived a bit early only to find out that I was there before my future boss (bonus points given to myself :D). My boss was nice enough to buy me a coffee as he arrived, and we began the interview. The interview went well, and in the end, I asked what captured his eye and made him choose me as a candidate. Funnily enough it was the fact that I had filled the template in English and that I was studying business in English. Another week goes by and I get an email stating that I had been chosen to the position. WOOHOO!
Beginning of the Practical Training
I began my journey at Telia with a two-day intensive training. The training was held at their main office in Pasila. In there we learned about the cores and values of the company, some of its operations, code of conduct, platforms and practiced possible customer encounters/how to sell effectively. Although the two 8-hour days are short in a sense, they were organized well. The point of the training days was not to overload us new employees with all the information, but rather prepare us with some key information that we can begin from and work on once we start doing our shifts. In my opinion that’s the perfect way to approach this kind of training. The person who was responsible of the training highlighted that fact too and also highlighted that the learning curve to be a great Sales Agent might take a while, so immediate good results are not expected.
My First Month
The first few weeks working at the actual stores was just me trying to find my own path of selling. The main point of the stores is to be First-hand Selling places, where a customer service is done alongside that. My first weeks were more of customer service oriented than sales oriented. The case was not that I was not allowed to sell, but rather that I was still a little bit insecure with it. I was able to sell mobile phones well as I had previous knowledge but selling services to customers was still my weak point. It is hard to sell something that you are not too familiar with yet. The TeliaTV was the hardest for me for the very reason that I had not used it before at all, thus I always asked my colleagues for help in those cases.
I landed my first sale at the end of the first week and that was a great feeling. It motivated me do more work to land more in. The sales came in steadily, but I still wanted to improve and land more. Of course, you cannot sell to every customer as they might have everything or might not be interested to buy more/upgrade their existing services. As the weeks went by, I was more and more confident with selling the services. I had discovered my path of landing a sale and worked on improving that. Why I say that I had found my path, is that each Sales Agent has their own way of getting a sale, although the result being looked for is same. With the help of my boss and my colleagues I was able to get great tips, which I’m still very thankful for to this day.
The Midway of my journey
The second month was more of a success than the first. It is all I was looking for. I was getting more sales per week, which meant, if being active service sales for required time, more money for me as provision. The second month also brought in a Summer competition between Summer workers. The competition was divided to 3 sections based on the location and lasted for three weeks. Each participant got points of goods and services sales and each week had a theme with sales, which equaled more points if you completed those type of sales. The competition gave me more motivation and the themes made me try to sell the required things to get more points. The highlighted focus did not fully take my attention and I was still trying to do other sales and be a top-notch customer service personnel, which I think was my strong point throughout my practical training.
The competition began well, and I was in the top three of the section my store was in. My boss was also the Manager of the store located in Hämeenlinna, and their summer worker had a lead on me, so my goal was to be better than him. After the first week the boss sends me and my summer colleague in Hämeenlinna a cheering post of our success in our section and told us to keep on the same path, which we did.
The last two weeks of the competition were steady, but nothing impressive came from my part. I ended up as 4th in our section and the colleague in Hämeenlinna was either first or second, I honestly do not remember anymore, but still better than me, so I failed my goal. The goal was nothing serious, but just acted as a motivating factor to keep grinding, so no harm was done. The competition had some prices for the best of each region and to the best of all three, so congratulations to them.
The Final Rush
The remainder of my practical training followed the same path. I was improving every week and my sales curve was progressive, which was Awesome! The curve was also seen in the rise of my additional provision, which of course warms a students heart and more importantly the wallet! Throughout my practical training my boss enjoyed my progressive curve, and I was even able to beat some of the full-time workers, which was really a great feeling for me. My boss was not just proud of me, but I was too. It was nice to see that I was able to develop myself during the summer. The environment and my great colleagues enabled me to do so and ever since the very start they treated me as their very own.
To conclude this small blog of my journey, I cannot do but thank Telia! They provided me with a great environment to work at and to develop myself on my journey of life. I learned some important things related to selling but alongside that I grew mentally. Some intense customer interactions with unhappy customers helped with that, haha. And to take a point on that, I almost always was able to cool down the situation and sometimes even make the person laugh (good job Timi! :D).
If you have interest towards sales, look for a job at Telia, or in Operator business as a whole! It’s a great place to work at, and if you become good, you’ll make a nice amount of money in return!
I hope you enjoyed reading my blog post of my practical training experience, I at least enjoyed working in that