Updated: Jul 19, 2021
Hi everyone! I hope you are having a fantastic morning, afternoon, or evening from wherever you are reading this blog! My name is Rizwan Tahmeed, a Grade 11 student at Woburn Collegiate Institute. Today, I had the pleasure to attend Illuminate Leadership Academy Lecturer Dannielle Sakher's presentation on her personal journey and sales. I learned so many tips for being successful, sales, and participated in an interactive and engaging pitch competition.
Before getting into the nitty-gritty of my highlights of the lecture, it was an absolute joy to attend this lecture. The session itself was really engaging and the takeaways were big even though the content was simple. Prior to the lecture, I always viewed sales as having the ability to sell items to make a profit and an area that is specific to the job of selling. However, Dannielle’s lecture helped me realize that sales are transferable and we are continuously doing it even if we are not in a formal setting.
One of my key highlights was when she shared tips that would help us to where we want to be and how to navigate ourselves on that journey. I found that her tips were absolutely true and very simple actions that I can take to further my personal and professional advancement. When I saw them, I was completely surprised since I initially thought the tips would be complex, but they were simple. When I looked over them after the lecture, it hit me that the tips are simple actions that students can take, but we don’t have the courage or urge to do them since they seem simple. However, they can create a big impact and open the doors to opportunities. With that being said, here are the tips I learned from the lecture below:
1. Most people know better than you: There is always something to learn from someone, no matter how small or big. These people have gone through a lot more situations, have more experience, and gone through hardships that I did not go through yet. Having a chat with these people and approaching them with an open mind is key.
2. Make the most of mentorships: People are always happy to help out, give advice, and tips and tricks since they want to see you succeed. When you have mentors available, use them to the fullest and always ask questions. You may be able to learn a thing or two every time you have a chat with a mentor
3. Be ready to enter an open door: I always like to refer to opportunities as doors that are open for only a limited amount of time. Taking advantage of those doors and trying won’t hurt even if it may not work out in the end. You need to experience failure to set yourself up for success. It may seem daunting at first, but it is part of your success journey and may lead to another opportunity.
4. You will not know until you try it: Always try something and then make a decision. Until you don’t actually do it and experience yourself, you won’t know if it is a strength or weakness. Even if you may not like it, it can help you discover something new about yourself, what you like and dislike, new skills, and even lead to an opportunity.
5. Sales is a highly transferable skill: When we think of sales, we often recall commissions and sales quotes. However, sales are more than that; we make a “sale” even if we are not in a formal setting, whether that be convincing someone, making a presentation, or convincing someone to become your mentor. No matter the position, sales can come in handy when least expected.
Another key highlight was the pitch competition I participated in. It was a long time before I did a pitch for someone. This time, I had to look for a random item and pitch it to the Illuminate staff, other students, and Dannielle. It was a nice activity for a change of pace and encouraged us to try a new thing, pitching! For me, I chose a pen and mentioned what made it unique, different, pros, price, and where it can be bought. Through this activity, I was able to receive feedback on what I can do better. I found that I can slow my pace, enunciate, and speak more clearly next time I do a pitch.
In terms of how I can apply these tips and knowledge to real life, I would say that there are several ways. One of those is taking the tips and actually putting them into practice. This means initiating coffee chats, asking questions about the industry I am interested in and being open-minded for new endeavors. Another way is to take the feedback and apply it when I talk to others or do a pitch. In addition, I can also connect with successful people and always update them on what I learned from chatting with them. In addition, when an opportunity approaches me, I can utilize and approach it with the mindset of flexibility, adaptability, and the expectation of learning something new or enhancing one of my current skills.
With the nitty-gritty over with, I can most definitely conclude that the tips, tricks, and personal and professional lessons from Dannielle helped me perceive sales in a new way and practice it at that moment while learning some of my weaknesses. Dannielle’s lecture was interactive, interesting, and valuable, one that I won’t forget