Let’s face it, our parents didn’t raise us to be salespeople. When I was a kid (Eisenhower) was president) I wanted to be Superman. For most of my pre-10 year old life I had a cape on! What did I know about careers. High school didn’t exactly clarify how I would occupy my adult life and college introduced me to some of the most boring topics on the planet-statistics, business law, accounting, marketing principles to name just a few.
After completing my three year hitch in the army I came face to face with my future. What the hell was I going to do? Let’s face it there wasn’t a big call for US Army Infantry 2nd Lieutenants in the civilian world. The life span of mercenaries was short so that was out. My first foray into the real world was in department store operations, where the true sign of competence and stature was the array of keys I had on my belt. More keys=more power.
A career in sales seemed like a good deal because, other than some people skills I picked up in South Viet Nam, I had no particular specialty or interest. I hate to think that sales was a last resort but it was. But not today! As you have read in so many of my posts sales is a profession. Shout that puppy from the roof tops folks because it is true!
Now here is an interesting tidbit that many of you haven’t thought of-sales is similar to sports in that there is a cut line! Think about it. An attorney can have an average career, lose some high profile cases and still make decent money but never get canned. (OK, a few get disbarred.) A physician can take out a liver instead of the tonsils and still practice medicine. But if your standard garden variety sales rep bombs and doesn’t make target they’re outta there! They will find another job but eventually the bombs catch up with them.
Why go into sales? Let me count the ways:
- You can make more money than you ever dreamed of.
- You can change companies, industries or markets and not sacrifice earnings.
- You can work as hard as you want or put yourself on idle (assuming that you don’t mind making less) but the choice is yours.
- You can work as long as you want and always have a job. (Of course when you get older you’re called a consultant. Like guess who?)
- You can be constantly challenged by new situations or new opportunities.
- You can move within the corporate structure and assume different positions and responsibilities.
- You can manage if that’s your gig.
- You can take a year off and come back without having to learn new surgical techniques or the latest court decisions.
- If you want to take a couple of days off for golf you can do it without being on the pager.
- You never get bored.
Sales is a great life!
The Final Word: Pretend that every single person you meet has a sign around his or her neck that says, “Make me feel important.” Not only will you succeed in sales, you will succeed in life. Mary Kay Ash