Sales: Must Be Nice
At the time of this writing, it is a beautiful and sunny 65° day here in Boston. After a morning that started at 5:30 a.m. and consisted of organizing and making sales calls, I jump on my motorcycle to run a quick errand.
Standing in a long line at the post office, the businessman behind me starts some small talk. Seeing the helmet, he asks about the bike. Upon hearing my answer he adds, “And what you do for work that allows you to ride in the middle of the day?”
I know what’s coming next.
“I’m in sales,” I answer. As I turn to walk toward the counter I hear a dig I have heard all of my professional life come from behind me: “Must be nice.”
Those three words represent ignorance on the part of anyone who doesn’t understand the job of sales. To them, we are slackers with low golf handicaps, year-round tans and a work ethic slightly more committed then the unemployed.
Unfortunately, it’s not worth the time to defend. I used to get genuinely angry, for I know what idiots like this never see, the early morning starts, the frustration of hearing, “No” over and over, long dry spells and the associated panic that comes with it, and all of the hard work that leads to success and the freedom to even be able to take a break in the middle of the day.
Must be nice.
The job of sales is really, really, really hard. There is no steady paycheck. There are no guarantees. And after all of that frustration and anxiety, we still have to deal with the judgment of others. I used to fight it. Now, I take a different tact…
Finishing my business at the counter, I turned to the businessman and said with a smile, “I have to run. I'm teeing off in 30 minutes. Yes, it is nice. In fact, it doesn’t suck at all.”
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