If perception is reality, salespeople have a major obstacle to overcome. Right or wrong, salespeople have apparently earned themselves a less-than-glowing reputation over the years. Many people, in fact, still consider salespeople to be less than honorable, or simply people between “real jobs.”
Frankly, I cast much of the blame on sales managers and sales trainers…especially those who have never actually “carried the bag.” I take offense with a manager or trainer telling me it is my duty to “overcome” people’s objections or to sell people “up,” or to recite any phrase designed to take advantage of an individual’s lack of knowledge, experience, or decision-making ability.
There will always be people in the world who are out to make a fast buck at the expense of others without a trace of guilt or a second thought. I can’t change this. I can only remind you that the behavior of these few individuals does not have to prevent you from becoming a consummate professional.
Begin by asking yourself these questions:
- “What am I doing here? In this job? In this company?”
- “Am I here to help people…or would I prefer to harm them?”
- “Am I planning to be a sincere, honest and straightforward business professional…or does lying, cheating and dishonest behavior fit into my plans?”
- “Am I eager, qualified and prepared to bring something of value to the party…or am I here looking for a free ride?”
If your answers to the first parts of these questions are positive, then you have the fundamental attitude to change your life forever.
Not everyone is cut out to be a highly skilled sales professional. But, those who are can literally write their own ticket in nearly any field they wish. Selling skills (which are nothing more than people skills after you isolate a few industry-specific nuances) are easily transferable and cross most industry boundaries quite easily.
And for us commoners who haven’t been gifted with multi-million dollar athletic talents, sales is one of the remaining careers where you can realistically make all the money you want. The ceiling you place on your earnings is self- imposed.
I want you to remember the one thing that virtually every salesperson forgets over time:
A career in sales can, and should be, fun.
Hunting for customers is fun. Calling people who don’t know you from Adam and trying to schedule an appointment with them is challenging and fun. Addressing people’s concerns and supplying the correct solution is fun. Having lunch, or dinner, or coffee with potential clients is fun. Helping people is fun. Meeting people is fun. Doing research on the web before calling your next person on your list is fun. Signing an order is fun. Travel is fun. (Although the travel part is fast becoming less fun all the time.) Getting paid for your hard work is fun. Spending the money you earn is fun. Sales is fun!
Mike Marchev freely shares his experiences, strategies and observations with travel professionals in an effort to keep them on top of their game. For a complimentary copy of his 12-Word Marketing Plan send him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SPECIAL OPPORTUNITY: To be placed on the distribution list to receive Mike’s Marketing Memo filled with tips and proactive ideas send him an email byCLICKING HERE.
Mike’s daily column is made possible by AmaWaterways.