It is fascinating to see how often job seekers, career-changers and working people say “I could never be in Sales!” They may not know what career path interests them, but they know one that doesn’t: Selling!
People say “I’d rather do anything than sell.”
Many people think that a sales job involves browbeating people and forcing them to buy stuff they don’t need.
It’s the opposite. Great salespeople literally solve problems for other people all day long. Of course, it’s not that simple — they have to find the people who have the problems they can solve, and that takes a lot of work. They have to build relationships, and that takes a lot of work, too. But they end up solving problems, helping people out and getting paid for it.
It is easy to forget that nearly every job has a sales aspect to it. Customer service involves a specific kind of selling.
If you cannot make the customer happy on a customer service call — either through your brilliant solution to their issue or your comforting words and tone — then their case will be escalated.
That’s not good. Your job is to sell the customer on the idea that everything is okay now — their problem is over and life is awesome again.
Technical jobs almost always including selling. IT folks have to convince users to comply with IT standards they may not understand or appreciate. Programmers have to sell executives on realistic project schedules, the merits of various design choices and much more.
We all sell to our managers all the time. We sell small ideas, like the idea that it would be awesome if you took a vacation day next Thursday to go to the ballpark. We sell big ideas, like our suggestions for the department or for our own career progression.
We sell ideas to our spouses, partners, friends and family members too.
We start learning to sell when we are small children — as every parent of small children knows!
Here are signs you should definitely think about a sales career, even if you’ve never thought of yourself as a salesperson before:
1.You like to listen to people and they find it easy to talk to you. You remember details about people you’ve met.
2.You enjoy asking people questions about themselves, and integrating their answers into your understanding of them.
3.You like to design solutions for problems that you, your friends and your family members face. You like to work out problems, either on paper or a screen or in your head.
4.You like to work toward concrete goals and you especially like to exceed them. You like the way it feels when your heart is pumping because you’re about to beat a personal milestone, even if no one else knows about it.
5.You feel constrained or held back by the traditional corporate and institutional rules, processes and time frames — for instance, waiting for your manager’s approval to take every tiny step. You would love to have more independence at work.
6.You have no trouble managing yourself — setting goals, breaking them down, and reaching them.
7.You are always spinning visions and big ideas in your head — bigger than anything you see around you in the real world right now.
8.You would enjoy interacting with a lot of people, keeping numerous balls spinning at once and charging forward toward your goals — probably not on a nine-to-five schedule or even close.
9.You don’t see a way to reach your financial goals following your current career path.
10.You want to grow muscles and get stronger as a business person. Your muscles will get huge in a sales job!
If you can’t imagine yourself in a sales role, that’s fine — but keep in mind that any time you can learn, practice, observe or participate in a sales activity, it’s in your best interest to do it.
We are all salespeople in one way or another — and the bigger your dreams, the bigger the selling muscles you will need!