You wake up. Take a shower, brush your teeth, get dressed and go to work. You arrive at your desk, drink your morning coffee and check your emails. Once you’re done with all that, you open your CRM system and check what you have scheduled for the day. The workday of a salesperson begins.
I’m sure that a lot of you who work in sales can relate to this routine. As someone who used to work in the industry, I remember how ungrateful the job was. Ultimately, It's one of the hardest desk-based jobs you can do because you're trying to convince someone to give you money. I mean, it’s a lot more complicated than that. Many different factors come into play in the equation. But on a primal, human level I think that one of the hardest tasks is to convince someone to give you their hard-earned money.
Sales is most definitely not for everyone. I’ve talked to numerous people throughout the years who have dreaded at the thought of having to call an unknown person and pitch them a service. Sentences like “I could never do sales” were very a common response when I told people what I did for a living. And honestly, I don’t blame them. Even after I’d gone through thousands of calls, I’d still sometimes get anxious when picking up the phone.
But I always liked to imagine telesales like entering cold water. At first, your entire body is shaking, and you want nothing more than to get out of the water as soon as possible. But, after a minute or two, your body temperature stabilises, you start swimming and realise it isn't so scary after all.
The same logic can be applied to cold calling. Your first call may very well be a trainwreck. Chances are, you’ll stutter, say a bunch of confusing words and ultimately get hung up on. Come to the second call, and you’ll do a bit better and feel more confident. By the third call, you’ll already be in the zone and unphased by whatever obstacle that arises.
I’ll admit, there are certain times when I miss sales. And there are certain times when I thank god that I’m not doing that job anymore. But I think I speak for most people when I say I have a love-hate relationship with sales. You have to persevere through a bunch of people who don’t want to talk to you, build a relationship with people you’re probably never going to meet in your life, and always act professionally even though sometimes you’d love nothing more than to slap the person on the other side of the phone for being an all-round imbecile.
But, the moment when they finally say yes to your proposal. When you get the contract sent back signed and get your sweet commission. There aren’t many moments in life that are as gratifying these. After months and months of calls, emails, meetings and negotiations you finally close the deal. And you can finally give yourself a pat on the back and say: “You did good”.
People who have never worked in sales will never be able to understand this rollercoaster of emotions. But you understand them. And in a way, you get a weird sense of respect from your friends and colleagues. Because they could never do sales – but you sure as hell can.