So you may be new to sales, or maybe you have been in sales for a little while now and you’re asking yourself the same question many people in sales jobs ask themselves. Is this a way of life for me? For some people, a sales position may not be the right career. However, even if you are not a professional salesperson, or you find that a career in sales isn’t your thing, just remember that EVERYONE on planet earth sells to get what they want.How successful, happy, and fulfilled you are in life is determined in part by the level to which you can sell others on your ideas, wants, desires, products or services. Maybe a combination of all of them.
Selling is not only a way of life, It impacts the quality of our lives tremendously
One of the things I am most grateful for is that I have become a professional salesperson. I am also a constant student, always looking for ways to improve. When you understand the sales process from start to finish, you can always create income for yourself by selling. When you know how to sell, you never have to worry about providing for your family, and in most cases the more hustle you add to skill the bigger the checks!
If you are just starting out in your sales career and find that you’re asking yourself whether or not sales is for you, I want to share a few things with you that have stuck with me over the years and have truly helped me build a successful career. These next points will make you be more effective at the beginning of your career and build the foundation you need for lasting success, and avoid negative setbacks or mentality. You will question yourself less, instead of asking whether this is a way of life, you will hopefully begin to see selling as a great way of life!
For Starters, You Need To Be Honest
This couldn’t be truer in sales. You really need to remember that honesty is always the best way to handle every situation, Period! You want to build a sales career on a foundation of honesty. You want people to trust you because when they trust you they stay loyal. They stay loyal because they know you have their best interest in mind. You also want to have a reputation for honesty and fairness among your peers. If you are in a sales environment where you work on a team, it’s vital you’re always honest about your dealings with your co-workers. Nothing can ruin a salesperson faster than getting a reputation for dishonesty, or taking what’s not theirs.
So remember, your role as a salesperson is to supply the customer with enough information to make a good buying decision. You want to give honest facts, comparisons, testimonials, advice, and you want to be honest in every way. You also want to treat others in your office the same. Fair and Honest. In the end, it will always be worth it. By always doing the right thing you will have less stress, happier customers, better working relationships and bigger paychecks throughout your career.
You Need To Have A Great Attitude
This one goes without saying, you need a great attitude. I did an entire post on attitude, you can read that here. However, when you are new to sales there is a 90-day phenomenon that seems to exist. This is where a new salesperson will come in and start off hot right out the gates. Their sales performance is great, their attitude is great, and they make sales! However, it seems like after 90 days something happens to the new salesperson. Don’t lose your excitement, Attitude makes all the difference in a sales career! Maybe you get some negative information about your product, service, company, or whatever it is and now your attitude isn’t as good about things as it was before. You start to focus on things that you didn’t pay any attention to in the first few months, and the result is your sales performance suffers.
Keep your attitude where it needs to be. It needs to be great! No attitude other than a great one is going to pay you in sales, trust me. You cannot have a massively successful career in sales with a bad, negative attitude. No-one is going to want to work with you, manage you, or buy from you. Keep your attitude great, keep it positive, and you’ll have more success in sales and enjoy your career!
How hard you hustle makes a difference
For ten years of my sales career, I worked as a salesperson, and then sales manager and trainer for a large furniture company. My mentor during this era of my career was the CEO of the company. He took me under his wing and taught me the skills I have built my career on. He also taught me the quality of hard work and hustle.
He was and probably still is the hardest working person I’ve ever seen. He was tremendously successful with his business, a true inspiration for me. Ever since then I have known that as long as I am capable and willing to hustle, I can be successful in my life. Basically, my belief has always been however much I am willing to put of myself into something, I can expect to receive that in return. I can’t put 50% effort into something and expect 100% in return, right? I learned very quickly hard work was the way to see major success in sales, and life! So I hustled and worked hard. The harder I worked the more success I had. You really need to hustle, especially in today’s competitive selling environment. One of the biggest value adds to your customer is your amount of hustle. People like working with someone who hustles and isn’t afraid to do hard work. They’re usually willing to pay more for the level of service that comes from someone who hustles!
So if you’re new to sales maybe bringing some light to these things will help you realize that a career in sales is a great career to choose. You can shake off the uncertainty of whether this is a way of life for you or not. Commit and go all in. A sales career requires hard work, passion, persistence, and a great attitude to become successful. OK, so what if you are honest, you have a great attitude, and you hustle like crazy always looking to go that extra mile for people and still find yourself questioning things. You might feel like selling is something you could be really good at, and you like helping people, but for some reason, your performance is always up and down. Why is it so hard for you to have the consistency in your job that brings the consistent income as well? Well, ask yourself this:
Are you getting the training you need?
Regardless of tenure, every salesperson needs training. Actually, you need daily training, and you need training specific to your skill set, as well as a regular practice of the basics. This is no different than the old analogy we’ve all heard before about why professional athletes like Tom Brady practice the basics, run plays over and over, and watch hours of tape all week long before game day on Sunday. It’s no different as a salesperson, only your game tape is role-playing with a co-worker. Your plays are knowing your product knowledge so when your customer has a question you are an authority on what you sell.
You need to know the sales process, selling skills, closing skills, prospecting skills, follow up skills and techniques for every part of your job. To become a professional in your sales career you need to acquire not only experience but technical skill and understanding of the profession. If you are questioning whether sales is it for you, most likely you are not getting the results you want. Without the professional training, you need your sales results will always be up and down as well as your attitude about the job.
I am a big believer in training. You must keep the saw sharp and training daily does just that. I highly recommend YOU invest in your own training if your company doesn’t already offer training to you. I don’t mean Saturday meetings or a once a quarter get together. I am talking about technology that offers daily training and support to your sales career. If you are able to have success in sales you will enjoy sales. But it’s really like that with everything, isn’t it? I mean, if you are a teacher and you aren’t able to teach your students, how much are you going to enjoy being a teacher? Get the proper and ongoing training you need so you can succeed in your sales career!
Another thing that some people really struggle with when they are in sales is the commission. For some reason, this word has become almost as dirty as the word PROFIT! Or, the other side of the coin with the commission, and this I think is more common, is the fear of the unknown. Many people fear to work on straight commission or a pay scale that heavily weighted towards commissions opposed to a fixed salary or hourly wage. Are you unsure about working on commission? Well, everything is a commission in life!
I would choose being paid on commission over a fixed salary or fixed hourly wage EVERY SINGLE TIME. I always want to be in control of my income. I don’t want to be told how much I can make. That’s the beauty of a commissioned sales career. As I mentioned above, if you hustle and work hard, the sky is the limit. Assuming, of course, you work for a company that doesn’t cap your commissions in some way and personally I never would. Working on commission shouldn’t cause you to be concerned or stressed, instead, it should motivate and excite you to set your own income goal and then go out, take action and achieve it. Working on commission is freeing and truly the American way. If sales are your career, I wouldn’t get paid any other way!
Finally, remember this about the commission. It’s not a dirty word. Everything in life is a commission. When you find the right person in life and treat them right, the commission is love, friendship, and happiness. When you go to school, work hard, study and apply yourself the commission is good grades, scholarships, and opportunity. I could go on and on. It’s foolish to think only “salespeople” work for commissions. Commissions are a good thing and everyone works for a commission in some way, remember that!
Wrapping it all up!
A sales career can be a great way of life. Selling is a very important profession, and I hope I have made my case as to why it’s vital to your success in life regardless if you choose it for a career or not. If it is your career, remember that what you do every day is significant. You need to be honest and have integrity at all times.You need to have a great attitude and hustle. There is nothing that can replace the hard work you need to put in in order to have a successful career. Make sure you get the training you need and be willing to invest in yourself when necessary to acquire the skills and knowledge you need to consistently succeed at high levels and earn big commissions.