For most people, the thought of sales people conjures up images of used car salesmen, watch salesman opening their overcoat to show their inventory, and high pressure, “tell you what I’m gonna’ do.” salespeople. But what about the other side—the side from the perspective of the salesman?
Sales As A Stepping Stone
What makes people go into sales in the first place? Selling is not easy. It requires a certain amount of brass, determination, planning, communication, hurt feelings, self-esteem, and a lot of work. For most companies, a sales position is a stepping stone position. Learn about your products, make sales pitches, and sell, sell, sell. Eventually, you will be promoted to sales manager, then perhaps marketing manager. Maybe even CEO.
However, some world class companies are recognizing that customers may be better served by working with career salespeople. These are the folks who have a genuine passion for selling, and are happy with their position. They are rewarded handsomely, which results in less turnover. Less turnover results in happier customers. Happier customers results in more growth.
Companies who employ career salespeople recognize a better potential for long-term accounts and customer partnerships. One company example is Flexcon, Inc. Flexcon supplies adhesive coated films to the label converting industry and has seen huge growth over the past 20 years. In some cases, they are more resourceful than 3M. My sales rep from Flexcon is the same rep I’ve been dealing with these past 20 years. He understands my business, and it is comforting to do business with long-term reps.
Sales: The Benefits
Sales has the potential to be the most lucrative job over time
While being paid on commission rather than by salary is uncomfortable for most, the best sales people prefer to work on commission. Often, sales is the only job with no income limit.
Sales is the engine that drives any company
No sales means no revenue which means out of business. For the big accounts, often times a personal relationship of trust and dependability has been forged with the customer. Sometimes this requires after hours wining and dining, events tickets, or golf outings, but in most cases this isn’t necessary. Sales professionals are in the best position to influence customer decisions which have the most impact on the bottom-line.
Sales requires problem solving
It just feels good when a new contract has been inked, and the customer is happy with the value they receive. Some sales positions are more consultative or technical, hence the term “sales-engineer.” Salespeople add value to their products and services.
Sales requires mobility
This breaks up some of the monotony of working in the same place, and with the same people day after day. New places, new faces, new personalities, and new opportunities keep each day fresh and exciting. This also permits better networking, building your contact list, and increases future opportunities exponentially.
Learn to embrace your sales position and consider becoming a career salesperson. While a sales career can be tough at first, once your accounts get built up, work can actually be fun. You get to meet new people and forge new relationships. You rarely work in one place and you get to travel. You get to help people. Your income potential is only limited by what you make of it. For those who can get over the initial rejections and keep a determined, persistent, positive frame of mind, a career in sales sure beats the heck out of cubicle work and a fixed income.