Crossing Over: Transitioning from PR to Sales

Hey Friends –

Yes, yes. Been a while again. I’ve been working at Yelp as a sales rep for about a year now. That’s right – sales. I do inside sales and call small businesses talking to them about Yelp’s local ad product, Yelp’s deals product and more. It’s a completely different form of communicating with an audience. Crazy change right?

You see, I came from a rich history of PR (as some of you know). I’ve collaborated on social media projects for large national clients as well as SMBs looking to drive local traffic, I’ve done internal relations for organizations and I’ve worked at an agency as well as internally- and I loved it. PR will always have a place in my heart. But – measureables were hard to prove on a large scale. And – fate dealt me a new card… (long story short, I picked up my life from SF and moved to AZ taking a pay cut, getting into a new industry and ultimately taking a huge risk in something that I could only hope would satisfy my hunger for change).

Yelp was and is my metaphorical satisfying sandwich in life. Make sense? Hope so. 🙂

Now that you’re caught up – you may find yourself looking for that same satisfaction. It may not be a job change for you… so take this advice in stride… but PR to Sales is actually an easy transition.

3 Tips for A Successful Transition:

1. Find a job that puts your natural abilities/skills to good use while also being a company you truly believe in. We are in PR because we to communicate. We blog, we skype, we tweet, we poke, we ping, we text, we.. we.. The same communication skills come in handy in sales – you are innately drawn and passionate at communicating. You are good at rapport, “have a way with words”, listen and want to drive a client customers. As long as you work with what your momma gave you – you’re 75% there. Just make sure the company is one that you believe in the values of as well. Ultimately you’ll be contributing to the company’s bottom line and therefore should believe in the bigger picture of that company.

2. Be coachable. For those skills you can’t be naturally gifted with (Mom will love this post), you want to be coachable. Apply everything you are told once or twice. If it works, incorporate it into your pitch. If it doesn’t – try something else. But, you’ve got to try. There is no perfect pitch or perfect way to approach a client but there is a science to approaching industries, people, etc -> the folks who are training you are in that position because they’ve done your job, they’ve read articles you haven’t and they know their product and how to get it into consumers hands. Listen. Take notes. Let it saturate in your brain.

3. Remember – you are your own number. PR is about working under a clients budget and meeting certain measureables. In sales, you reap what you sow. If you want to be successful, you will work your butt off. Your number reflects on the opportunities that open up for you. It’s a great thing if you’re good – because you are recognized as an asset. It’s a struggle if you don’t hit your number as you could be expendable in the role. I personally appreciate it because my work can be measured and valued and the long hours and passion behind it pays off.

Let me know if you are making the transition and we can talk in more depth. 🙂


May 6, 2011. Uncategorized.

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