I know the title will be hard for many to relate to but – “sales” is hard.
No… it is not a complex job. Certainly, as many will believe, there are times that some of the activities involved in sales can be enjoyable. Going to a “function” seems easier than working on some spreadsheet report where you cannot make the numbers work. Taking a client for lunch certainly must be more enjoyable than trudging your way your paper bag lunch at your desk. And most definitely participating in a business golf tournament is miles ahead on the fun factor than eight hours in the office. Maybe, but…
Those things are not as much fun if you struggle walking up to some stranger in a room of strangers and introducing yourself hoping you don’t stutter or say something inappropriate. Lunch is not so enjoyable if your client asks why his last order was not right and it cost him a lot of money to make his client happy. Golf is not easier if the closest you get to the pin is when you pull up the flag for everyone else after they asked you to “just put down a 10 and forget about putting”.
From someone who did not naturally go into sales, the process of sales is certainly easier than many careers out there. But, it is arguably the hardest job I have ever had.
Why? Because, every day you have to figure out a way to earn a living.
• Who do I talk to?
• How do I convince them to buy my product/service?
• What if they don’t like me?
• What if I don’t hit the metrics and expectations of my sales manager?
The answers to those questions –
• You don’t
• Who cares
• And, don’t worry about it.
What I learned when I was in the selling game was that you have to talk with a lot of people to get to the few who might be interested. Trying to talk someone into buying what you have is a losing game. Build a relationship of trust and the sales will eventually come. People will like you if you are likeable. So just be likeable. And, meeting the metrics will come with the above and your sales manager, if they are worth it, will see that and do what they can to help you succeed.
There are a lot of great books on selling. Most have information that will help you get better. But there is no “magic pill or “silver bullet”. There is just a great attitude and hard work. The best sales people I ever worked with were likeable whether you bought from them or not and also out-worked the rest who looked for something magical to find success.
Written by: Bill Leesman