I am not sure what Zig Ziglar tape I listened to back in the day but I vividly remember the point he makes - which is that salespeople have one of the most important jobs in the world. Everything you have and will ever have is the result of someone selling it to you at some point. Salespeople remain one of the greatest connection points between the product and the customers they benefit. Inventors with amazing discoveries would have their inventions piled up in closets and warehouses if not for the work of salespeople who bring that magic to consumers worldwide. In To Sell is Human, Daniel Pink argues that, in today’s world, we are constantly in a sales position - whether selling our kids on why they need to finish their homework or selling our ideas to our colleagues and collaborators at work. Sales is something that is woven into the very fabric of our daily lives as we try to influence decisions and gain traction around ideas or efforts.
The following are five reasons why sales is the best job to be in:
1. It makes you 100% bulletproof
The scariest part of sales for most people is their own fear of rejection. Cold calling a prospect and asking for a meeting or sending an email to a stranger can be really daunting when you are first starting out, especially if you yourself have a sales stigma. But just like hardened combat veterans that are portrayed in the movies, salespeople with a couple years of mucking through the trenches are invincible. You realize that rejection is just a funny part of life, and the phrase “there are many fish in the sea” becomes very real.
Do you think that a shark is successful every time it chases potential prey? Does a cheetah bring down every gazelle it chases on the African plain?
No, they don’t, but they keep trying. That is exactly the mindset to take when going after prospects. A prospect at an agency tells you never to email her again (happened this week)… who cares. There are 10,000 people just like her at agencies across the country, all of of which are potential customers for a revolutionary technology we are representing. It’s that person’s loss that they won’t get to explore the amazing solution that we are offering, one that would help solve her agency’s problem. Maybe they don’t even know it’s a problem yet? They will be back.
2. You get to help people solve their problems
Salespeople provide solutions to the world’s problems. Products and services are created to enhance something and that enhancement usually addresses some defect in the way we are currently accomplishing a task. When you listen to a prospect complain about the way that their current vendor is handling their account, and all the extra time and effort that they are spending on this problem - it’s quite liberating to be able to provide them a solution. The idea that by doing your job you can make someone else’s life easier and more productive is thrilling for me. While not really worthy of being called charitable as you are getting paid, it is certainly mentally rewarding knowing that my day is spent trying to make others more productive and effective in their daily life.
3. It makes you a great listener
The most common misconception people have about sales is that good salespeople are great talkers. While it is true that most great salespeople have the capacity to deliver a stunning narration about the product, service, or application environment, the most crucial skill to have is being a great listener. As a profession, Sales is mostly about offering probing questions to help craft a narrative. By learning more about the prospect’s wants and needs, the salesperson can better craft a narrative about how the product or service they are offering provides a much-needed solution. Eighty percent of salesperson's time ought to be spent asking questions and taking notes. The final twenty percent of your day can be spent in grand oratory fashion.
4. It’s variable and constantly challenging
This is by far my favorite aspect of sales! Regardless of what you are selling you are constantly on your toes speaking with different people that have very different wants and needs. It is the perfect job for someone who is generally extroverted and loves meeting new people. It is very unusual for weeks to be overly repetitive as the very nature of prospecting is thrilling.
5. Sales can be very financially rewarding
Money isn’t everything, but it surely pays the bills. If you commit to excellence in sales and putting in your 10,000 hours necessary to become an expert, it is highly unlikely that you will struggle financially.
Sales is simple… (X) amount of calls yields (Y) meetings. It takes (X) out of 10 meetings to qualify a deal. One out of (X) qualified deals closes as a sale. Fill in the variables, diligently adhere to the process, and money will begin flowing out. Sales is simple math.