A lot of people have their own opinions of what it takes to be a professional salesperson—and many times they’re either lacking all the information or they’re just totally off base. They think it’s nothing but golf outings and expense reports, forcing square pegs into round holes and living only for the next commission check.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Here are 5 Things nobody tells you about a sales career that may help some of those people gain a better understanding about what our profession is really like.
It’s harder work than you think it is: “All you do is talk to people”. Have you ever heard that one? Just like a musician who plays a two hour show, nobody sees the hours of rehearsal, the setting up of equipment and the long drive back home after the “gig”. The preparation required to be a professional salesperson is a job in an of itself.
It’s a full-time job: I’ve seen many people try to make this a part-time job and that’s fine if you want part-time results. But to be a true professional requires dedication, commitment and putting in the time to make this your vocation not your avocation.
It’s all a learned skill: As Zig Ziglar once said, “There’s no such thing as a born salesman”. The true sales skills it takes to be at the top of the field are all learned. Just as a dentist or doctor or nurse learn their craft, a professional salesperson has to learn theirs. Are their traits that can make one more successful? Absolutely. Just as you wouldn’t want to take someone who doesn’t like details and make them an accountant, you have to have the right make up, but everything can be learned.
It takes a lot of practice: Would you want your dentist to stop learning when he or she got out of dental school? Probably not. The same holds true for a professional salesperson. It takes continuous learning new skills and perfecting the ones you already have. The learning never stops.
It’s something you do for someone, not to someone: If new salespeople learn nothing else, I hope they learn this. Sales is simply finding out what someone needs and showing them how what you have fills that need to create a want. You’re doing that for them. They are the ones benefiting. Never forget that.
If you’re serious about a sales career, take these five to heart. They are the things nobody is going to tell you, but you’ll never find true success without them.