Anyone can become a salesperson. There’s no real barrier to entry and no barrier to continuing a career in sales. As with most professions, anyone can become a “subject matter expert,” but that does not automatically make that person a good salesperson. Just because you really understand the product—and can talk that talk—doesn’t mean you are a really good salesperson. Here’s why.
Non-selling employees generally go to work everyday and are greeted by co-workers who are welcoming and friendly. In most companies, people care about each other and are generally glad to see one another when they come to work.
If you are the salesperson in that company, life is very different. Everyday you have to leave that friendly environment, go out into the world and put up with getting:
• Blown off;
• Lied to; and,
• Strung along.
The list is endless. Better salespeople will use every lousy experience they come across as a way to learn something about how to get better. It’s a deep sense that you are a 10 no matter what happens in the day. It’s knowing that one bad day doesn’t make for a bad year. It’s brushing yourself off at the end of a bad day and knowing that tomorrow is a new day with a new scoreboard.
You have to ask yourself, why would anyone sign on for that? What is it that makes a top salesperson willing to go through such pain just to get a sale?
The reason is simple: Salespeople are different than everyone else in the company. Successful salespeople are motivated by something much bigger than a friendly environment. The pain of dealing with lousy prospects is dwarfed by the pleasure of a sale. It’s the ability to stay focused on that. It’s the belief that what you’re selling is something worthy of buying: When the prospect sees that too, it’s euphoric.
Successful salespeople have the ability to work within oneself to set goals that are their own, motivating themselves, creating their own scoreboard. That could be anything from playing games with yourself, to using your own planner in addition to the company’s, to seeking others who feel the same way. Successful behaviors also include reading books or articles that help shed light on this crazy profession called “sales.”
Successful salespeople seek improvement so often that they don’t even realize that’s what they’re doing. It’s OK to give yourself a little bit of time to feel bad when the clouds are hovering over you; we all need time for some self-pity. The good ones don’t stay there for long. It’s not an option to wallow in it.
Successful salespeople need to do whatever it takes, even if that means still working when everyone else has decided to go home. It’s living on goal time, not clock time. You’re not done, ‘til you’re done. Who else in your company would agree to take less money on the front end, commit to improving your bottom line and risk losing the rest of their money if they don’t meet their goals? No one. That’s because truly successful salespeople are motivated predominantly by the opportunity to control their financial destiny. The upside potential far outweighs the risks.
Successful salespeople value the independence, flexibility and financial rewards that come with being in sales. The security of a paycheck isn’t what will motivate them. Do you think you have what it takes to be a successful salesperson? In addition to a strong desire to succeed, successful salespeople strongly believe that being in sales is a good thing and are proud to say it.
How do you know if you are hiring a good and potentially successful salesperson?