It is not hard to fall in love with sales. Few other jobs offer great pay, expense accounts, and flexible hours like sales. However, when you are struggling, it is easy to become frustrated with the volatility of sales. Most have experienced the euphoria of closing a huge deal or being 25% over quota, winning awards, and having great clients. Whereas we also experience moments of disenchantment, like when a manager gives an unattainable quota, your largest client cancels, a product glitches, or you spend your day dealing with unhappy customers. The highs are very high, and lows can be exhausting and unmotivating.
If you focus on the bad, it is easy to put yourself in a tailspin of negativity. But remembering the parts of the job you enjoy helps change your outlook. As Valentine’s day approaches, I thought it appropriate to break down the four reasons I love sales, not including the money, expense accounts, or flexibility.
1. Meeting New People:
During my twenty-plus years in sales, I have met an array of people. Some brilliant people whose insight changed my outlook on business. Some are funny, quirky and, without question, some are unpleasant and rude. Regardless, I find it fun to meet these different people with whom I can discuss business and strategy. No matter the person, you can always learn more about your business or their business by engaging in meaningful discussions. Not everyone is a keeper for the Rolodex, but appreciating people and their quirks make it easier to build working relationships. In fact, some of my closest friends were once buyers.
2. Exposure to different industries:
With most careers, employees will stay within their industry segment their entire careers. Whereas in sales, you can visit a health insurance provider one day and a car dealership the next. Every business has its subset of issues and needs, along with its market dynamics. I can discuss business for hours learning how they are successful or how they are struggling. The exposure to a larger universe keeps sales exciting and keeps you learning about new business. I have found that most organizations will go through similar problems, but at different times. Working with clients helps you navigate your future clients around the same market obstacles, making you more valuable to your clients and organization.
3. Being in touch with market changes
Markets are always changing and the impact of these changes range from world-altering to minor blimps. I started selling in high school and continued through earning my masters. My first job was in retail selling wine. I then moved into direct mail, digital advertising, trust and safety, and with startups. I worked with newspapers when Craigslist exploded, decimating the classified section yet digital advertising for publications was expanding at the same time. When you work in sales, you have a front-row seat to see how executives handle or don’t handle these market changes.
4. Contributing to someone’s success
Maybe being part of team sports helped me learn to appreciate winning as a team. I am always genuinely excited for my customers when they start seeing progress. Being able to concentrate on things that help us grow together to accomplish goals is fun. Having the ability to appreciate client wins is a significant milestone. It means you are investing your time and sharing your knowledge with another individual. You are elevating above a salesperson into a trusted advisor. In some ways you are graduating from the player to the coach.
Keeping yourself engaged and active is how you keep thriving in sales. Success in sales can be fleeting, so finding different ways to stay engaged when the money is not flowing helps you stay sane.