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A study by Caliper Corp that indicated that approximately “55 percent of people making their living in sales should be doing something else.” Anyone who’s worked in sales knows that figure is accurate, as sales floors are full of people who want nothing more than to get out of sales the first chance they get.

Maybe some of these people haven’t found out how much money you can make in sales, especially when you use an AI-based sales automation CRM like Spiro to help you. Maybe they ended up in sales after plans for another career fell through or are trying it out to find out if it’s right for them. Whatever the reasons are, here are some definite signs that you don’t belong in sales:

1. You take things personally

If you’re thin-skinned and are easily offended, you don’t belong in sales. Not only will you be unable to handle the way other people treat sales reps, you probably won’t even be able to deal with your superiors or co-workers, since sales is one of the most competitive and trash-talking professions there is.

2. Rejection slows you down

If getting turned down takes you a while to get over, you won’t last long in sales. Salespeople hear rejection much more often than approval, and have to be resilient enough to stay the course no matter how many times they’re told “no.” Many salespeople believe that the actual sale doesn’t even begin until the prospect says “no.”

3. You’re constantly thinking about other careers

If you’re sitting in your office chair and looking out the window fantasizing about what life would be like had you gone to law school, it might be a sign that sales is not for you. It’s perfectly normal to wonder “what life would be like if…” but constantly questioning your profession means that it’s probably not a good fit. And by the way, being a lawyer would probably suck even more.

4. You’re afraid to ask for the deal

Everyone’s worked with sales reps who will do everything correctly, except close the deal. Maybe it’s something psychological that prevents some people from taking that final (and oftentimes most important) step, but it’s a deal-breaker when it comes to a sales career. Remember, “Always Be Closing!”

5. You don’t act with a sense of urgency

Patience is a virtue, except in sales. Sure, being patient with customers or while putting together a big book of business is important, but not when it comes to everyday life. If you’re not on a call with a prospect, you should be searching for another one. Surfing the web and picking snacks from the vending machine is for receptionists and government employees, not closers.

6. You don’t like salespeople

If you truly don’t like salespeople, you need to get out of sales immediately for two reasons. The first is that you don’t have the true appreciation for sales culture that is essential for long-term success in sales. The second is that you’re going to probably be surrounded by other salespeople all the time, which will make your workweek unbearable. And if you didn’t like salespeople, why go into sales to begin with?

7. Money isn’t important to you

Money may be considered the root of all evil, but it’s also the root of all sales. If money isn’t a motivating factor for you, then you’re going to have a difficult time succeeding in sales. Salespeople shouldn’t be shy about wanting to make a lot of money, and most aren’t, because the primary goal of your entire function as a sales rep is to make yourself more money by making the company more money.

8. You’re not an optimist

Some people believe that you can’t choose to see the bright side of things, that you’re either the type of person who does or the type of person who doesn’t. The problem is that if you’re the type of person who doesn’t, you won’t make it in sales. Success in sales requires not only optimism, it requires irrational optimism. Getting rejected day after day, and going through ups and downs, and untold levels of stress is only bearable if you can make the most out of every situation. Only optimists can be true salespeople.

Are you unsure if you don’t belong in sales? Take our quiz to find out.

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About the Author Ken Kupchik

Ken Kupchik is the creator of Sales Humor and the author of the funniest sales book ever written, The Sales Survival Handbook, which you can order on Amazon.com. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

4 Comments

  • Maureen "MO" Robinson says:

    Ken – Love that movie! I remember when it came out, our DOS rented a copy and showed it in a LONG sales meeting 🙂

  • Greg Woodley says:

    I can tell you a BIG sign.
    Not that I wanted to leave sales, just the company I was working for at the time.
    I had been on holidays. Parked my car in the underground carpark. Walked up the stairs, still felling pretty good. Put my hand on the door handle to talk in and nearly vomited ! Right then and there I knew it was time to leave.

  • I’d been in IT sales for three years so far and I love it. I was the obvious not-so “salesy” person at first, but I think if you really got the desire, the work ethic, and determination, you can really do well in it. Sales is weird-it takes all types of people to reach all types of people. -Yes even the non “salesy” ones.

  • Roger says:

    Get some NLP Training as related to sales, then you can sell to anybody…like in the book “Winning at sales, It’s a lot more money” on Amazon.com

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