If you are a salesperson, and you probably are if you are reading this blog, you are an extraordinary human being.
I mean it. Research shows that less than 20% of the general population has the innate personality characteristics, that is, the aptitude, to become successful salespeople. In our search business experience, less than one in fifty people who apply for sales positions have the potential to succeed.
That is because selling is a particularly challenging way to make a living. It requires taking significant emotional and financial risk. Not to diminish other jobs, but while our counterparts in the office receive a regular paycheck, most salespeople are paid only if they go out and actually generate revenue. No sale = no check.
Selling requires courage. It is not easy to face buyers every day and, let’s be honest, it hurts when we are rejected, which is a natural part of the selling game.
And selling requires fortitude. It generally takes years of methodical work to build a solid book of customers and business that allow us to establish the type of annuity income we all desire to achieve.
Fortunately, the rewards of a great selling career can be incredibly gratifying . . . wealth, freedom and a sense of control over one’s own destiny. These things cannot be found in other means of making a living, short of owning a business, which requires intense salesmanship as well.
In fact, many of the most famous entrepreneurs, from Ben Franklin to Bill Gates, point to their ability to sell their ideas as a pivotal element of their success.
The reason I am bringing this up this week is because I know it is tough out there.
Customers are grinding over price like never before, sales cycles are longer and some of our customers have flat out disappeared.
But hang in there. Keep hammering away at your markets. And be strong.
Eventually, it will pay off as it always has and always will because great salespeople produce, and production is the strongest word in the vocabulary of capitalism and commerce.