9 years ago, when I was exploring my various career options, one of the most common recommendation from my not-so-sure-about-their-own-careers-friends was that I should consider being in sales. Just like many of us, I laughed it off. I thought that selling things to strangers was a rather strange career. As a matter of fact, I used to think what kind of friends will push their friend in to a nightmarish sales career. Are they frenemies or what?
Challenges of a sales person:
Getting into any sales job is easier, what is difficult is to – yes your right – to sell. Just like how a military always looks for daredevils who will go all out for victory, sales industry hungrily laps up such daredevils and fearless salesmen, who will go all out and give their best to close a sale. So what makes ‘selling’ such a challenging affair? One of the major reasons is the unpredictable human nature. A customer who on day 1 shows you so much interest in buying a x-ray vision glasses from you (so much so that u feel he is going to buy for sure) will on day 2 stare at you blankly as if he has never seen you before ever in his whole lifetime. Other challenges that make selling difficult are market/economic conditions, better competitor services/products perceived superior to that of yours by the prospects, ever changing needs of the customers, other people influencing the prospect’s buying decision, etc so there are many things that makes selling so challenging. But then again, this is one of the most amazing parts of this ever changing and unpredictable career. Despite of so many challenges, it is still one of the most rewarding career options. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that without an ‘able’ salesman, no organization can sustain and no economy can prosper.
Importance of a salesman:
As time went by, I realized that my friends were right. Selling is the most rewarding career of all; both in terms of money and non-monetary aspects. it is always a pleasure to see the other person benefiting from your products/services. Adding value to others’ life is the best one can do, and this is an opportunity a sales person gets everyday. In fact, it is his duty and he gets paid for doing this. A sales job may be sometimes about overpromising and selling hard ,”hello sir we are selling a sim card that will work even if your phone is switched off” ” sir our insurance plan is the best in the market and we have to achieve our target and if we fail to do so we would not be able to pay our insurance premium” and the best one I heard recently ” sir we know your organization very well and have great respect for it, do want to go for ISO certification” blah blah blah…but these jobs are very important as they bring bread and butter to lakhs of families worldwide. Sales is not about selling a comb to a bald guy or a refrigerator to an Eskimo (this could be relevant soon due to global warming. Such tricks may work only for a short time. What I am talking about is having a genuine interest in others’ well being, having a targeted marketing plan for people who can really benefit from your product or service. ’Sales’ is a constant thought of how a company can create and sell best products/services that would make people’s life better and better everyday. As one of the world’s greatest sales person rightly said, “Sales is transference of feelings” you can sell if you feel for others because the intentions become visible.
Think of the last time you bought a very useful or very important product or service due to the pursuance of a sales person. I bet, it wouldn’t be too long back. It could be a car that you have bought that is cherished by your whole family that wouldn’t fit on your motocyle, a fact explicitly brought out by the sales person, or a beautiful dress for your wife to compensate for forgetting the first time you held her hand while you watched your 40th movie together on a 2nd sunday of the 3rd year of your relationship (phew!). There are many other vital investments we make due to the pursuance of the sales people. I would like to share an incident where one of my clients, an insurance agent, was unable to sell life insurance to his best friend as the latter didn’t believe that he would die any time soon and will someday manage to save money for his family for the rainy days. However, due to his sudden death his wife was left with nothing and my client had to support her financially and she had to hunt for job, leaving behind her very young children. Though not his fault, my client still held himself responsible for not being able to sell insurance to his own friend despite being a ‘sales person of the year many times’ in his organization. So selling becomes a responsibility of a sales person to give the best to the prospects, to add value to their lives through their products and services.
You sell everyday:
All those who look down upon selling or sales people, a big news for them is that – we sell everyday 24/7.
A mother is a sales person when she tries to sell the idea to her child as to why he/she should drink that glass of milk, a son tries to convince his parents for buying a motorcycle, an applicant tries to sell his capabilities to the prospective employer during a job interview, a trainer sells himself and the training content during the training program. Adolf Hitler and Mahatma Gandhi had sold their ideas to their followers for different reasons. An inventor, an author, a soldeir, an artist who have dedicated thier lives for others just by selling themselves the image of a happy and satisfied end user, or the reader or the audience.
So now, before defeating any salesman’s effort to make you buy their product/service. think if it can really add value to your life or its only meant to add value to his pockets. Remember a true salesperson will first think about you and then about him interest. But be vary of someone who is trying to sell you an xray vision glasses, and no need to thank me for the advice.
This blog is dedicated to all the sales people of the world who are not just selling products/services but are selling love, care, safety, health and a better future.