If you aren't in sales, you may not know:
1. Yes, there is a lot of money to be made… But, with that, there are major challenges with budgeting and planning when your pay fluctuates.
2. It isn’t always client lunches, awards ceremonies, rah rah meetings and rock star treatment. What you don’t see includes hard work, some irregular hours, quota pressures and tough customers.
3. It’s a job that inherently focuses on “what have you done for me lately?” The sales manager is always asking for more and so are the clients.
4. You never really get used to the word ‘no.” It’s disappointing the 1000th time you hear it just as it is the first time you hear it.
5. There are a lot of moving parts that affect your success and pay. If underwriting, credit, production or operations departments say “no’ to a special request or a particular order, you can lose a sale and even a customer.
6. Being confident, persuasive, resilient and creative may make you seem like a natural seller… But those qualities are just the price of admission. It takes a whole lot more to succeed long-term.
7. Not all successful salespeople are “people persons.” Many introverts are also effective and successful in sales roles.
8. The cheesy stereotypes you automatically associate with selling are not fair to assume about all sellers.
9. Selling is a noble profession. It’s not a fallback job. It’s a career that offers job stability, lucrative pay and incentives, great perks and benefits, and transferable skills that carry over to other types of work and into your personal life, too.
10. Sellers are not born, they’re made. There are skills to learn, best practices to master and continual learning to go after.
11. There are no “gimmes” in sales. You can’t assume that buyers will always purchase with you. Your competitors are doing their best to lure those customers away. In selling, you can’t get complacent.
12. While it may appear that salespeople have a lot of freedom, the truth is that it’s a grind to be in field all day every day. The wear and tear on your vehicle, the discomfort of high and low temperatures, the stress of being late due to backed-up traffic, the frustration when a customer is a no-show for your appointment, the need to look your best at all times… it’s not as footloose and fancy free as it may seem.
13. Prospects are not easy to reach these days, and a lot of time and energy goes into getting the initial appointment. That means there’s a lot riding on those appointments once a seller does get through – the pressure can be intense.
14. People can be downright rude, dismissive and unprofessional when interacting with salespeople. But as the face of their company, sellers must maintain a professional and dignified demeanor. That’s easier said than done at times.
15. Sellers benefit from training, just like any other professional. But time spent in training means time not spent on selling – not working towards quota, not meeting customer demands, not earning commission. That makes it difficult to see the value of time spent in training no matter how helpful it may be.
Add your comments of what people who haven’t been in sales might not know!
About the Author: Deb Calvert has worked as a Corporate Director in a Fortune 500 company and as a consultant, coach and trainer to nearly 400 businesses of all sizes. She helps leaders, managers and sellers become more effective in their roles. Deb is a certified executive coach, and one of 2015's Top 50 Sales Influencers. Her bestselling book, DISCOVER Questions Get You Connected®, is based on field research with buyers and what they want from sales professionals.