If you ask 10 salespeople how they ended up in sales, I bet they all have different reasons and a unique path that led them to their current role.
For me, I started out as a technical consultant, but quickly discovered that I wasn’t any good at it. You see, I had a knack for making things look like they worked, but didn’t actually have the skills to make them work. I realized what I was good at though, was convincing people that I knew what I was talking about.
I started to think about turning this skill into a career in sales, but there were some harsh truths I had heard about being a sales rep that scared me away.
Here are the 6 truths about sales that salespeople just don’t want to accept, but need to.
1. Salespeople Get a Bad Rap
Just saying you’re a salesperson is going to evoke some “oh, okays” from the crowd. I like to remind people that there are bad people in every career – bad lawyers, bad doctors, bad street sweepers.The salesperson reputation is that you’re sleazy and would do anything to make a buck. It’s a harsh truth that people will judge you by your career choice, but that should give you more drive to prove to them that salespeople are good people too.
2. There’s Going to be a Lot of Rejection
Some people are natural born salespeople. It all comes easily to them – building rapport with strangers, finding the benefit for each individual customer, and being able to make the hard ask. But even the most amazing salesperson is going to get their fair share of “nos”. So admit it, you need to deal with rejection if you’re going to survive in sales.
3. The Money isn’t Always There
I used to find it shocking to hear stories of the top sales performer in Q1 scraping the bottom of the barrel the next quarter. There are so many factors that go into closing a deal, and a lot of them are out of a sales rep’s control. Maybe your company just went under a merger, maybe the customer you had a big deal in the works with had some financial troubles and pulled back on spending. The bottom line is, in sales you can’t be guaranteed that every paycheck is going to be a huge one.
4. The Customer Rarely Believes You
Not only do customers have preconceived notions about salespeople, but they also are typically on the defensive and need to be “sold” on the idea of believing what you are saying. That is why the process of a sale begins with building trust and rapport. Don’t be alarmed if your prospect doesn’t have complete faith in everything you are saying. Any relationship takes time, so put in the work to build the trust.
5. The Customer is Always Right
Remember this: even when the customer is wrong, they are always right. If you’re a proud person who likes to prove a point when you know 100% you are right, then this may be a tough lesson to learn in sales. You may have the data to back up why your product is the best, or the bottom line on the lowest price you can offer a client, but if your customer believes otherwise, you sometimes have to be the bigger person and nod in agreement with them. It’s a harsh truth of sales, but one you have to accept.
6. Not all Sales are Worth it
“Never give up” was my first sales manager’s mantra. And although it was very motivational, it also made me chase some sales that just weren’t worth it. If you’re working a prospect for more than 120 days, maybe it’s time you kill that opportunity and move on to something more hopefully. Wasting your energy on a deal going nowhere is quick way to burn out in sales. Admit the truth that the deal is dead, and move on to greener pastures.