There’s no shortage of sales advice out there, from books, to blogs, to speakers at events put on to help you become better at your profession. Much of this advice is valuable, but much is a repeat of the same general ideas repackaged in different ways by different people. There is, of course, nothing wrong with this, but the advice salespeople receive often starts and ends at the door into the office.
We wanted to give you something a little different in this article. Instead of focusing on the strategic or tactical aspects of being successful in sales, this article will focus on real life advice that we think every salesperson should know. Here are seven pieces of advice that are a little different from what you normally hear:
Plus, pair them with Spiro’s Proactive Relationship Management Platform, and you can’t go wrong.
1. Learn how to stay on an even keel
Sales has tons of ups and downs, there’s just no way around it; it comes with the territory. But you shouldn’t let the roller-coaster ride impact your emotional well-being. Of course, that’s easier said than done, especially for people new to the profession who haven’t learned to not get too high during the highs or too low during the lows. But if you learn how to stay on an even keel and take the good with the bad without freaking out positively or negatively, you’ll ensure that your performance is consistent as well.
2. Stay away from the huddles
A common aspect of almost every sales floor is the infamous “huddle,” that cluster of salespeople that gets drawn together by a desire to talk about anything except their job, unless it’s to complain. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with socializing at work and having relationships with your coworkers, this is the stuff that can make going to work feel worthwhile and keep you engaged. But when the huddles turn into a complain session about everything that’s wrong or why the leads are bad, it’s best to duck out quickly, because it will literally do nothing to help you achieve your goals, and instead will more than likely keep you from them.
3. Do your best, even if this is only temporary
There are lots of people who go into sales because it’s the best option for them at the time, or as a temporary pursuit perhaps until something different comes along. Whatever your reasons are, you should always do your best, even if this is just a stepping stone, or a detour. Think about it; you’re already going to show up and do the job, so you might as well make the most out of it. In real life sales, you can’t get by coasting…well, you could but you would be costing yourself money in the meantime. Even if you’re only doing this to save up enough money to open a restaurant, apply yourself the best way you can and maybe you’ll be able to open two.
4. Find (and remind yourself) of your “why”
It can be hard to make yourself do something if you don’t know why you’re doing it. This is true for any profession, but especially for one that requires as much motivation as sales does. What is your “why?” Is it more money? Is it your family? Is it because someone said you’d fail? Is it your nine-year-old English Bulldog, Jeremiah? Whatever your why is, remind yourself of it every day, so that when it comes time to do something difficult or something that you don’t want to do, you can look at your why and get to work immediately.
5. Put something away for a rainy day
Salespeople aren’t usually known for their frugality, and coupled with the financial inconsistency that can be part of a sales career, it’s a recipe for poor financial habits. When you can go months without making a big check and then make a bunch of money at once, it can take discipline to allocate the money wisely instead of just spending it in big chunks. Take a look at how much you earn and how you earn it and come up with a plan so that you’re saving for a rainy day, and not just trading up the BMW every time you close a huge deal.
6. Only work where you’re respected
There are plenty of toxic work environments out there, and sales most certainly isn’t immune from them. But make sure that you understand that not all sales floors are like that. In fact, far more will treat you with respect than ones that won’t so make sure you don’t tolerate a terrible environment simply for the sake of a higher commission split, because it’s really never worth it. Find a place that values you and pays you well.
7. Enjoy the ride
It might be hard to remember to do it when you’re in the weeds, but enjoy your experiences in sales. You’ll get to meet lots of interesting people, make a living, and usually not have to be bored. But don’t let the pressure or day to day demands distract you too much where you’re forgetting to enjoy your experiences. Because when you look back on your career in twenty or thirty years, you’ll definitely be happy if you can say that you took the time to enjoy it all.