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 can relate to this routine. As someone who used to work in sales, I remember how ungrateful the job was. Doing sales is one of the hardest desk-based jobs you can do. Because it’s your job is to convince someone to give you money. Sure, 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 a part of their hard-earned money.
Sales is most definitely not for everyone. I’ve talked to numerous people throughout the years who have dreaded the thought of having to call someone they don’t know and try and pitch them something. 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 made hundreds of calls that same week, I’d still sometimes get anxious when picking up the phone the following morning.
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 that it wasn’t so scary after all.
The same logic can be applied to cold calling. Your first call will likely 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’re already in the zone and are 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, that moment when they finally say yes to your proposal. The moment you get the contract sent back signed, the moment you get your sweet commission. There aren’t many things in life that are more gratifying than these feelings. After months and months of calls, emails, meeting and negotiations you’ve finally closed 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 not 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.