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Career Moments: My First Successful Sales E-Mail

23 June, 2015

Julia Valentine

Marketing / CEBer since 2010

It seems odd that an e-mail could be considered a “career moment,” but anyone who has worked in a junior-level sales role knows what an important career moment this is. And it was my first experience in sales success.

When I began my career at CEB, I had already trained for two years to be a technical author at a chemical engineering consultancy firm. Coming to CEB was a complete career change for me, from industry to function and even location—moving from the smaller city of Milton Keynes to the exciting pace of London. I was nervous about both making a lateral move and working in sales: a misunderstood profession in the United Kingdom.

My first few months were quite busy, learning about CEB’s business model, members, practices, and research and meeting so many new people that I would be working with every day. I wanted to make sure that my previous experience at my last company did not go to waste, so I put time and effort into thinking about how I could put my writing skills and my knowledge of the oil and gas industry to good use.

One evening, after a busy day of prospecting and research, I was ready to write an e-mail to the head of Human Resources at one of the biggest energy companies in the United Kingdom. It took me an hour to write it, and I was one of the few people left in the office at the end of that day, but I’ll never forget the feeling of pride in my work and the anticipation for the response.

The next morning, seeing the head of HR’s name in my in-box made my heart skip a beat! I did not know that a job could make someone feel like that. I was so excited to read her lengthy e-mail. She thanked me for the research I had done on her organisation and recommended we set up a conversation. The conversation eventually led to a sale.

This CEB career moment will stay with me forever, and I will always use it as an example of why everyone, at some point in his or her career, should experience the world of sales. The impact of that one e-mail was significant. It boosted my self-confidence and eventually led to my first promotion and first incentive plan!

CEB in London

Victoria House, one of two CEB offices in the UK

Are you motivated by goals and driven by results? Would you enjoy prospecting new business and engaging with C-level executives? If so, CEB may be the right place for you to start your career or take your current sales career to the next level. We’re hiring early careerists and experienced professionals throughout EMEA, APAC, and North America. Search for sales and account management careers

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