On my travels as a sales motivational speaker, I meet a lot of people who “fell into” sales. Infact, when I ask people at sales conferences to ask the people sitting near to them, “How did you get into sales?” the vast majority reply, “Well, I kind of fell into it.”
So many people don’t choose sales as a career. They don’t sit in first school talking about how they want to be a salesperson. They don’t argue that they want to be Lord Alan Sugar instead of Rooney when they’re kicking a ball about in the playground and they don’t want to be a cold caller rather than an astronaut or a doctor.
And on top of all of this, many people are rude about salespeople saying that they are uneducated, illiterate, self-centred, selfish, pushy, arrogant, egotistical individuals. And they are rude about the job too saying that it is for people who couldn’t get a better job. Indeed, I once read an article in a national newspaper where the writer said that we should “feel sorry” for salespeople because they had fallen so low in life…
Is it surprising then that many salespeople do not want to be called a “salesperson”? They do not want the title of salesperson, preferring instead to change it to “consultant” or “account manager” or even “account director”.
And how many salespeople do you know who want to be sales managers? Virtually all of them.
Why? Because they perceive that this is promotion. Because they perceive that this elevates them above these criticisms. And because they perceive that it means more money, more prestige, more kudos, more respect…
And they might be right. Or are they?
Great salespeople can make great sales managers. And great sales managers can make great salespeople. But great salespeople do not necessarily make great sales managers. And great sales managers do not necessarily make great salespeople.
And these are important facts to swallow because if you don’t swallow them and you don’t apply them to yourself then it will cost you big! Big in money. Big in prospects! Big in personal satisfaction. And BIG in career opportunities.
Great salespeople need to be proud of what they do. Great salespeople need to recognize that their greatest asset is their ability to sell and to create new business. Great salespeople need to know that top quality salespeople are like world-class athletes and a selling career provides all of the rewards that anyone could ever dream of…
If you read the Sunday Times Appointments section this week you would have seen a huddle of None-Exec roles, Directors of public sector companies, MDs and FDs… but, the most interesting, best sounding and highest (stated) paid opportunity was…?
A sales opportunity…
London, New York, Singapore. £100k, OTE £250k (uncapped). Sounds interesting already right?
Success in life is about playing to your strengths and if you have worked hard to be a top salesperson then you ought to be proud of your achievements and continue to become a well-paid, well respected, sought after, world-class, sales superstar.