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Contrary to popular belief, there isn’t a single “type” of person who can succeed in sales. Effective salespeople come in all forms, from your run of the mill extrovert to the methodical and contemplative types who quietly close deals while avoiding the limelight.
That said, there are plenty of people for whom sales is not a good fit. This usually has less to do with any inherent traits and more to do with what one values in a career. The people who don’t enjoy most aspects of sales are better off moving onto something that’s a better fit for them, rather than trying to fit a square peg in a round hole.
If you’re wondering whether or not sales is for you, take a look at some of the following signs.
1. You’re constantly switching jobs
Sales jobs tend to have high turnover, but something else may be going on if you’re constantly finding yourself looking at other opportunities. It’s one thing to change jobs in order to move your career forward, but it’s another to jump ship every time things get a little difficult. At some point, you either need to commit or find something else to do.
2. You hate uncertainty
If you want to know exactly how much money you’ll make every month, then sales might not be for you. It’s true that a salesperson who performs well can usually count on an above-average income, and will be more than able to pay the bills. However, a salesperson’s income will absolutely fluctuate month to month and year to year. If you can’t handle that, sales might not be for you.
3. Rejection is difficult for you to handle
There’s no way around it: if you work in sales, you’ll deal with rejection on a regular basis. Some people take it to heart, and are never able to move past the feelings that come with constant rejection. It’s important to remember that it’s never personal, and that everyone else is dealing with the same thing. Learn from it and move on, and if you can’t, then move on.
4. You prefer a low-pressure job
Different sales jobs will have different levels of pressure and stress, but there are almost zero sales jobs where you’ll constantly feel relaxed. Sales puts many demands on you by nature. These demands come from management, your coworkers, customers, your family, and even from yourself. If having a low-stress job is something that’s important to you, you won’t last long in sales.
5. Money is not a big motivator for you
There are some people who thrive in sales because they love the challenge or because it suits them, and not because of money. But it wouldn’t be controversial to say that the majority of salespeople are highly motivated by financial compensation. Salespeople are paid well because the job is difficult, and very necessary. But if you you’re a “money’s just not that important to me” type of person, then there are plenty of other things you might be better off doing.
6. You dread talking to people
Like we said earlier, you can definitely be an introvert and still succeed in sales. But, you can’t be someone who hates talking to people. Not only do salespeople need to regularly communicate with others, they need to regularly communicate with people from different backgrounds, with all sorts of personalities. If the thought of doing this makes you cringe, it’s definitely time to get out of sales.
7. You don’t believe in what you’re doing
This is isn’t unique to sales. If you aren’t somewhat passionate and committed to what you’re doing, then no amount of money, prestige, or sense of obligation will inspire you to be your best. There are too many people in sales (and many other professions) who don’t believe in what they’re doing. Of course, people have to pay the bills and not everyone can have their dream job, but sales is a unique position where your effort affects your outcome. So, if you’re doing it half-heartedly, then your results will be half-hearted as well.