Why Sales is the best career in the world!
A lesson for recent graduates.
What do you think of when you hear the word ‘Sales’?! I can guarantee that the majority of you have a negative reaction to it. This is understandable! When I left University, I put on a form that I would do any job BUT Sales! You may have thought of ‘Del Boy’ or people harassing you on the phone when you don’t want their services. Perhaps you thought about the people you attempt to avoid on the street or the shop assistant forcing you to buy clothes you don’t need. The point is that many of us have negative pre-conceptions about Sales, so where does this negative attitude come from?
As a Master NLP practitioner, I am very interested to learn where beliefs are formed and how they enter our subconscious mind. Once you understand that 96% of what we do, think and feel is subconscious, it enables us to start challenging our belief systems and change them.
The reason we have these negative belief systems about Sales is because our understanding of Sales prior to entering the world of business is as a consumer. We have really only been exposed to business-consumer sales. We go shopping for clothes, electronics and other consumer items and quite often we know what we want to buy and we don’t want to be hassled into buying it. The reality is very different. Many consumer salespeople are pushy and most of us have had negative experiences. We have received a phone call from an Insurance salesman at 7pm just as our favorite TV show is about to start, we have felt guilty about saying no to the shop assistant and bought items we didn’t really want and we have been annoyed by the sales person on the street. It is these experiences which have formulated our negative pre-conceptions about the world of Sales.
The world of Business to Business Sales though is COMPLETELY different and after having experienced the best career in the world, which has enabled me to earn more money than I thought possible, travel the world, meet incredible people, network in awesome circles and be headhunted by top organizations, I want to demonstrate to you why business to business Sales is the best career in the world and why it should be any determined, hungry, enthusiastic graduate’s first choice of career!
I was lucky enough for one of my previous managers at the start of my career to convince and sell me on the idea of Sales and I am so grateful they did!
So how is Business-Business Sales different?
Firstly, we need to start with a quick business 101 lesson. What is the role of a CEO? I would hope that most of you would determine that their role is to generate profit and help the business grow for the shareholders. They are in business to make money, produce revenue and growth and profitability. Lots of people know this. What is the only role in an organization responsible for generating revenue and therefore profit to the business? Yes you have guessed it! The Sales team! The Sales team is the team responsible for liaising with customers, selling the products and services, which brings in revenue to the business and therefore profit! Once you understand this, you can see why any CEO would consider their Sales team to be the most important team in their organization. With this in mind, who do you think the CEO would want to train? To incentivize? To retain? YES, you’ve guessed it, the Sales team! Without the Sales team, the company would not be able to grow, which is its primary objective.
What is exciting for a Graduate entering the world of Sales is that they have an amazing opportunity because there is truly a lack of good Sales talent in the market. Due to the negative pre-conceptions of the industry there has been a lack of good talent entering the profession and definitely a lack of training. Therefore if you are an intelligent, bright, enthusiastic graduate who loves learning and is prepared to study the profession of Sales, then you have an amazing opportunity to earn more money than the majority of other professions, be head-hunted over and over again as all organizations need top sales talent, travel and be autonomous. It is also commonly known that over 50% of CEO’s came through a Sales route.
A Sales career is similar to the role of a consultant. You will develop an understanding of your client’s challenges by listening to them and then you will offer them the best solution to meet their needs! Your product or service will help the other organization either MAKE money, SAVE money or Mitigate risk. Before deciding whether sales is the right career for you, start thinking about what you want most in your career.
Is it autonomy? Creating a work/life balance?
Great earning potential?
Praise and recognition?
Making a difference?
The reason I love sales so much is because it offers all of the above and here’s how!
AUTONOMY– In a sales career, you are set targets which you have to achieve per month. The idea is to over-exceed this target; however the responsibility is all yours. Therefore, if you can do this by booking only a few meetings per week, then that’s what you will do. Once you start building great relationships with clients and start delivering excellent results, you will build a referral database and you may find you are working less whilst producing more and more results. How fantastic is that?
Great earning potential- The harder the work, the more money you will earn! You are rewarded for your efforts. If you work hard and produce more and more results, you will get paid more! Many other careers expect people to work really hard, often with overtime and they don’t get paid any more money for this!
Praise and recognition– If you do well your results are displayed for everyone to see; therefore you get praise and recognition from everyone in the company and not just your boss.
Making a difference– Your product or service has been created because it has features and benefits which can help its potential customers in the way they need! Your product or service is helping other businesses make money, save money or mitigate risk.
Solving problems– As a Salesperson your role is to identify your client’s problems and offer them the best solution to match their needs.
Not everyone is right for a Sales career and not everyone will be successful. You need to display the ART ‘the personal competencies required to succeed’ and then study the SCIENCE ‘the exact training required to succeed’. Sales is very similar to therapy and psychology. You need to understand that each of your clients have different personality types and different emotional drivers, which would cause them to buy. You need to put yourself in their shoes and have a solid business understanding. A brilliant salesperson will display high levels of empathy, high levels of emotional intelligence, listening skills, business understanding, and communication skills and be very presentable.
I hope this article has helped you realize that a career in Sales is the best career in the world!