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Constantly being stereotyped?

Uncertain about your future?

Working long hours?

Then you must be a salesperson!

I remember when I first started out in sales, my family tried to talk me about of it. They warned me of the hard life I would be taking on. And, for the most part, they were right.

Here are a few short anecdotes about the hardest things about being a salesperson.

The Greedy Salesman

Almost every time that I told someone I was a salesperson, I got the same reaction. A blank stare, a long pause, and an “Oh.” It’s almost as if the vast majority of people can’t comprehend why someone in their right mind would want to go into sales.

Once, I was out grabbing drinks with some old friends from college, and one of them, a middle school teacher, asked me what I was doing now. When I said I was working in sales, his response was, “So you spend all day trying to convince people to give you their money?” And, he didn’t mean that in a joking way. He genuinely disapproved of my choice of career. The rest of the night was spent uncomfortably, with him making constant jabs at my immoral career choice.

Perpetually Single

Due to this stereotyping, dating can also be a challenge for salespeople. When I was younger and single, I saw many of my dates’ eyes glaze over the second that I told them that I was a salesperson. I was once on a date and thought everything was going great. After about half an hour, my date got to the obligatory, “so what do you do?” The second I said “I’m a salesperson,” she excused herself to the bathroom, never to be seen again. (Maybe she never read our post on all the great reasons why you should date a salesperson!)

Young and Dumb

As a young, naive sales rep, I wasn’t really ready for what I had signed up for. When I arrived at my first sales job, a new college grad, I thought that the days of pulling all-nighters were over. But, I was terrified of missing my quota, and the pay structure was almost all commission-based. Basically, if I didn’t close enough deals, I couldn’t pay my rent.

So, that meant instead of studying in the library at midnight, I was writing calling scripts and cold emails in my living room. On weekends, I was banging out calls in an attempt to reach my quota. Fortunately, it ended up paying off in the form of a big commission check!

The Nightmare Coworker

I’ve worked on some absolutely amazing sales teams where there was complete collaboration and everyone was focused on a common goal. However, I have also worked with a few individuals who were insanely competitive, to the point where it began to negatively affect my well-being.

At third sales job, there was one rep (let’s call him Mike), who was absolutely consumed with the need to be #1. His antics started off harmless enough – a bit of trash talk, but nothing too out of the ordinary for a salesperson. Then, things got much, much worse. He’d ask the other reps about the deals they were working on, and if anyone had a deal that seemed to be going well, Mike would take it upon himself to give that person a call. It took only a couple of poached deals for the other reps to catch on, but even that wasn’t the end of Mike’s antics. Also, he’d constantly make up lies to tell management about anyone who was closing more deals than he was, in an attempt to get them fired.

Legal Action

And, speaking of dealing with other personalities, I’ve had my fair share of rude prospects. One in particular really stands out. It was an early morning, and I was busy making cold calls. One prospect said he was going to sue me (not the company), because he had previously paid for our product and had never actually gotten it. I had no idea what was going on, but he seemed really serious, and not to mention, angry. After double checking with my boss, I found out the whole thing was completely false, but definitely left the call a little shaken.

The truth is, sales is hard. Basically, choosing to work in sales means suffering from:

  • Constant stereotyping
  • Uncertainty
  • Continual Pressure
  • Long Hours
  • Competition
  • Rude Prospects

But I love sales, and wouldn’t have it any other way! And I love helping people sell more with Spiro. Which is why we built Spiro. Check out how Spiro’s proactive relationship management helps reps close more deals and makes their sales lives a little easier.

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About the Author Adam Honig

Adam is the co-founder and CEO of Spiro Technologies. He is a natural sales leader with a mission to help salespeople make more money using artificial intelligence — or any sort of intelligence for that matter. Adam has been a founder of four companies which resulted in two triumphant IPOs and two legendary mergers. He is best known for speaking at various conferences including Dreamforce, for pioneering the ‘No Jerks’ hiring model, and for flying his drone while traveling the world.

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