I have seen how often times people will get into sales as just a “job in between jobs.” They get into sales because it seems easy enough to do if you can handle the long hours, work the weekends, and handle the customers. If you can handle the pressure, multi-task well, and keep yourself fairly organized you can probably find a sales job somewhere and get by OK.
Lots of salespeople are doing this every single day in the modern world of sales. These salespeople have figured out how to work into their companies system, keep their nose clean, and sell enough to keep the boss happy. In the process, they make a little money for themselves. Often times these same people who were “just going to work in sales until something else came along” end up staying in the game far longer than expected. Some of these people even become good salespeople.
However, most of them receive only a very basic level of sales training. Most are shown some type of sales process but then are left to simply figure it out through trial and error with live customers. Eventually, through some determination and common sense, these salespeople are able to figure out a way to “make it work” for them, and they settle in.
These salespeople are often times good employees to the company, and they are usually liked well enough at the office by their colleagues. They never intentionally skate a fellow co-worker, they give their customers adequate service, enough at least to keep them happy. However, these salespeople rarely leave a major impression on their customers, so their customer loyalty is unpredictable. Have you met a salesperson like the one I have described? Hopefully, this doesn’t describe you! But if it does, what can you do?
See this type of salesperson isn’t a bad salesperson, and often times this salesperson is potentially a very good salesperson that just got stuck in what I call the “average trap” and couldn’t get out. The average trap is when you get comfortable, you get into a routine and you stop challenging yourself to grow and get better. Once you fall into the average trap in one area of your life, it can spread like a disease into all areas of your life quickly.
Are You In The Average Trap In Your Sales Career?
Do you set goals for yourself on a regular basis? If not, this is typically a sign of someone who is trapped in average thinking, average amounts of action, and likely living way below their potential. I have never known a single successful person that didn’t believe it was important to their success to practice goal setting.
You will have a harder time and it will take longer to reach new levels of success in sales if you do not set goals for yourself along the way. You should be constantly trying to improve your performance, using goal setting to raise the bar for yourself over time. Hopefully, your goals at the beginning of your career will look much different than 3, 5, or 10 years down the road. That’s one of the many benefits to goal setting. You can look back and see where you started and how far you’ve come, and that keeps you motivated and gives you a sense of purpose and accomplishment!
Has your sales performance improved over time?
If you’re new to sales then you may not have much data to compare to right now. That’s ok. The important thing for you then is to remember not allow yourself to stay stuck on a plateau for too long. You need to find a way to break out of it as fast as possible. One thing that has always helped me do that is to continue the growth and improvement of my knowledge and selling skills. Too many salespeople who have been selling for some time get stuck in a rut and stay there far too long because they stop doing basics things that made them successful before. Don’t do this!
Also, you need to keep track of your sales performance and analyze it. I would definitely sit down at the end of each month and use the data to prepare for and set goals for the next month. As your sales career progresses and you have more data to analyze you’ll be able to set goals more effectively and ensure you are continually improving your performance.
Have your skills improved over time?
A major red flag and indicator of someone who is stuck in the average trap is someone whose sales skills haven’t improved for long periods of time. You will find this one everywhere nowadays. There are far too many salespeople lacking in their sales skills who have been in sales for some time. Some salespeople call themselves professionals, but in reality, they have very basic selling skills and a lot of experience. It’s somewhat of an epidemic, and just because you have spent time in sales, doesn’t mean you are a true pro.
In today’s modern selling world it’s important to have the right skills. Those salespeople that have the knowledge and skills will dominate their space. Many of the skills you need in today’s selling climate have to do with technology. If you don’t know how to initiate a sale through email, text, phone, or close a deal through those methods then you will need to get your sales game up to par asap. You need to be constantly training and improving your skills along with staying current with today’s technology.
There Is A Shortage Of Great Salespeople In Today’s World.
Do you realize that there is a shortage of great salespeople? Salespeople are mostly “good enough” nowadays, and unfortunately, there are a few bad salespeople. The bad salespeople make it hard for the profession to shake off the stereotypes that get attached to it. But unfortunately, I don’t think you will ever have any profession where there aren’t some bad apples, sales included. This is why it is so important for these good enough salespeople, who make up the majority of salespeople in the world, to commit themselves to the profession and become great. The world desperately needs more great salespeople. The profession gets stronger every time someone like you commits to their career.
Don’t sell yourself short on this, and if you are new to sales make this something you commit to from the start. Even if your current sales job is just something you are doing until you find something you’re more passionate about. I get that! But you will need these skills, and you will most definitely use the sales skills you learn in your career to be successful in life. So commit to learning as much about sales as you can. You have absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain! The great news for someone who decides to commit themselves to becoming great is that this shortage of great salespeople around the world will make you so much more valuable to customers and companies. People know right away that they are dealing with someone who is different when they encounter a salesperson with confidence, conviction and who is clearly completely committed to their career.
What Are Some Things That Stand Out About Professional Salespeople?
The Professional Is 100% Committed To Their Career. If you’re going to be considered a real professional, you will need to commit to your career. We have covered this but it truly is a crucial point to understand about becoming great at just about anything in life. No matter who I study, no matter the era, successful people are committed, people. This level of commitment demonstrated by the greats is what allows them to move from failure to success when others would end up simply defeated.
The professional was to be great not average. When you are having a conversation with a professional salesperson you can just feel their desire, the passion for helping their customers as they speak about it. I know for me when I speak with people about sales and the responsibility that comes with being a professional, I get very passionate. There is no shame in wanting to be great in your life, the professional works towards daily.
A professional salesperson is committed to their personal development.
A professional salesperson is one that you will often time find using their free time to work on personal development and their sales skills. I know for me I try to be a constant student and learn something new every day. I am an advocate for sales training, and I believe it needs to be done daily to stay sharp! A professional is constantly growing and redefining themselves becoming better versions of themselves over time. A true professional is committed to their personal development.
One of the problems I see in many salespeople is they aren’t completely sold themselves on whether becoming a professional is worth the time and effort. New salespeople hear all the horror stories of failed sales jobs and think that’s what’s in it for them. They think a sales job mean they’ll be overworked and underpaid. Well, let me begin by saying that by now I should have made a pretty good case as to why you would want to consider putting in the effort to become a great salesperson. I want to sell you on becoming great because to me it makes no sense to be in sales and think otherwise. I want you to see that the effort it takes to reach your potential in sales is no greater than the effort to be average.
I actually believe it takes more out of a salesperson to produce below their potential than it does to take massive action towards achieving it. When you aren’t living up to your potential, it brings your spirit and will to win down. It brings your attitude down and limits your success. You are always better off working towards your potential and taking positive action! I believe we are created in God’s image, uniquely designed by the creator himself to do amazing things with the abilities he has blessed us with for our lives here on earth. If you are not using your gifts and abilities, it’s only natural that you will feel guilty about this. It’s only natural that you will have this little voice in the back of your head that is calling for you constantly.
Some people get good at ignoring that voice, and they do it for so long eventually it becomes harder and harder to hear. At some point, the voice gets so low and weak that it’s no longer there at all. This is the “numb” stage of the average trap. This is where you have been living below your potential for so long you are now sold on this level of existence and have accepted it. The good news is you can be “unsold” on this thinking, and that’s what I am hoping to do for you. When you are new to sales it’s like anything else in life that is new and interesting. Whether it’s a new relationship, a new friendship, a new car, a new career, whatever it is it doesn’t matter. When it’s new you are excited and it’s easy to be fully committed to it, you are sold. You’re sold and that’s why you exhibit such energy and enthusiasm day after day in the beginning.
You need to maintain that commitment and excitement for your sales career right from the beginning. Like every profession, sales has its ups and downs, but you have the ability to choose how you’re going to handle it and deal with it. Stay sold on your goals and the things you wish to accomplish in your career. Listen to that little voice that tells you to do big things and dream about great accomplishments. Learn to make this way of thinking your lifestyle.
Here Are Some Things I Think About To Stay Sold On My Sales Career!
Committing myself to greatness and maintaining professionalism at all times is very rewarding personally and professionally. My sales career allows me to have a purpose, I am able to help people through the products and services I sell. I create the buying experience my customers want and frankly deserve. My sales career makes my life about more than just me because I am responsible for all my customers.
I acquire ongoing knowledge because of my profession, which in turn makes me more valuable to my customers and the company I work for. Customers will pay more to do business with you if you are able to handle things for them efficiently, and professionally. It is a very rewarding feeling to know that someone is willing to pay a little more because they know you will be worth it. That is creating personal value and worth!
I have been able to create some wonderful relationships over my years selling. You will hopefully find this to be one of your favorite parts of sales as you get started. I would recommend to you that you get involved with your customers right from the start. Establish yourself a great follow up system. You are in the people business first and foremost, and people still choose to buy from salespeople they like AND trust every day. I have also developed a tremendous sense of “job security” since committing to and becoming a sales professional. I know that no matter where I go, I know how to sell. I know how to create an opportunity and sell, so there will always be work for someone like myself. A professional knows that his services are always needed because there is such a shortage of great professional salespeople in today’s world.
My sales career offers me the opportunity to make the income I desire. This is something you can really use to motivate yourself in sales if you are driven by financial reward. If you are not money motivated, that’s ok I get that too. Personally, I am more motivated by what money does for me than I am the actual money itself. But no matter your view on money, there is no denying the fact that the more money you have, the more people you can help and freedom you will enjoy. A sales career can offer great financial rewards, especially for someone who is committed to becoming a professional and focuses on their training. I love to train and it brings me a greater sense of accomplishment knowing that I can handle myself in the sales process and produce a successful income for myself and my family.
With customers researching more and more online now than ever before, today’s customer is full of information and looking for someone to help them sort it all out. There is a need for the salesperson just as much today as there was 20 years ago. As technology gets more and more sophisticated our customers will need us more in different ways. If you don’t commit yourself now, you will be left behind. A sales career is no different than any other career, if you don’t know what you’re doing you won’t be successful. If you are not successful you eventually won’t enjoy selling and may even develop a disdain for sales. If you have decided that you want to be great in your sales career, and you want to become a professional salesperson, make sure you commit yourself to continued training and learning. I am rooting for you to be a great salesperson because I love this profession and I want to see more great salespeople out there having success in their careers. I want people to look at a career in sales and see it for what it can be, a wonderful opportunity to create a truly successful life.
Wrapping it all up!
Well, I hope at this point I have made my case to you about the choice you have to make. Regardless, you will make a choice. Will you choose to become a professional, and enjoy a successful career in sales? Or will you choose to remain an amateur status, consistently falling short of your true potential? What kind of a choice are you going to make? In today’s world sales is all about “what have you done for me lately?” You deserve to enjoy a career that offers you personal, professional, and financial fulfillment. Your customers are going to change more and more, and if you don’t choose wisely for your sales career and decide to commit yourself to becoming a pro, you will be left trying to keep your head above water.
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