What Scares People About Sales?
Chris Herd

Not trying to be an a-hole here, but my advice to sales people who struggle with it…

…and/or have a hard time making ends meet on their company’s BS commission rules (because they’re almost always BS rules and heavily skewed towards the employer), is this: MOVE ON. Be a better you than the “sales you.”

It’s often said there’s an element of sales in many business roles; there’s a grain of truth to that but it’s not remotely the same thing. A more accurate sentiment is many business roles require you to communicate an idea and persuade someone it’s a good idea, just as sales people have to communicate a product’s benefits and persuade someone it’s a good buy. But that doesn’t mean everyone has to “wear a sales hat sometimes in order to be successful.” False analogy. Selling is a very specific type of communication and method of persuasion. Most of the time if you try to pitch ideas like a salesperson, it’s going to blow up in your face. People generally don’t like dealing with a sales attitude when discussing ideas. It insults their intelligence.

Furthermore, in the same way there are way too many misguided lawyers in this world who do what they do for the wrong reasons, there are way too many misguided sales people. Unless your personality is truly suited to the task and you truly love talking about products and selling stuff to people, you shouldn’t be doing it. Period.

Sales is where you end up when you can’t do or won’t dare to do anything else. Nobody balks at a job as an analyst or engineer or designer so they can be a salesperson. Nobody. At least none I’ve ever met in 40+ years, working across multiple industries. The only time people willingly move to sales is when they’re escaping something worse, like customer service.

Don’t spend your life in sales or you will most assuredly regret it when you’re too old to do anything about it.

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