Why Choose Sales?
Lately, I’ve had a number of conversations with people who are considering sales as a career. Funny how things come in bunches.
From the outside, salespeople don’t always have the best image or reputation. I think we all enter the conversation with a viewpoint and opinion based on our upbringing and personal experiences to that point. Some people hear the word and think about Herb Tarlick, the slick-talking gaudily-dressed advertising salesperson from the TV show WKRP in Cincinnati. Others, like myself, have a professional salesperson in the family to use as a launching point.
From the inside, sales is a difficult career choice. Greater than 50 percent don’t make it past the first year and 75 percent won’t see year three. If you’ve never done it, you simply cannot imagine the effect of daily rejection over and over and over again. If it were easy, everyone would do it.
And yet we persevere. And yet we succeed.
As I think back on those “Why Sales?” conversations, there were a number of points made:
1. The Money—Name me another job where your income is directly tied to your success or failure in job performance. A pressman, bindery worker, or CSR can receive glowing job reviews but only see the topside of a three- to five-percent boost in salary. And that’s only if the company succeeded as well. Salespeople can see increases of almost unlimited proportion based on a good sales year.
2. The Lifestyle—Name me another job where you choose your hours and have the freedom to come and go as your schedule allows. Company owners have this kind of flexibility but few others. While it might be frowned upon to arrive at the crack of noon or depart for the day at 3 PM (especially on Fridays), I believe this is an earned privilege. More than money, this was my own personal number one reason for choosing sales as a career. I wanted to be a work-from-home father and this was the best way to make that happen.