Taking a commissioned sales job and succeeding at it is no easy feat. These are the top reasons successful sales reps are mentally stronger than almost any other profession:
1. They thrive in the land of uncertainty – Every day is a clean slate and revenue streams are never guaranteed. They continue prospecting and nurturing leads with a smile on their faces when there is zero guarantee of a pay check. Every. Single. Day.
2. They know that everyone judges them – Telling someone that you work in sales more often than not receives an immediate assumption that you are a shady slime ball willing to bend any rule for a buck. The truth that they are some of the most integrity driven, ambitious, fun-loving, positive and hard working people on the planet is what keeps them standing tall in the wake of such uninformed perspective.
3. They trouble shoot problems for a living – The degree of control that a sales rep has is predominantly over their own schedule, attitude, knowledge and skill level… there a thousand of other pieces to the sales process that they have no control over whatsoever. Amongst these pieces, things go wrong; deals get lost, pricing changes, customers get frustrated and systems break. The sales rep is the one left shouldering all of the responsibility and finding solutions on the fly.
4. They eat negatives for breakfast – Starting each day looking at the quota clock can feel like impending doom. The pressure a sales rep places on himself to close more deals is immense, not only to put points on the board for his company but to make money, keep customers satisfied, win the deal before his competitor and set himself apart as a leader amongst his peers.
5. Recognition is brief – Sales is one of the industries that is often championed with incentives, bonuses and rewards. The truth is in comparison to the amount of time invested to battle through the earning of such recognition, the moment in which it’s received seems fleeting. There is a very “tough love” approach in the world of sales… seemingly impossible target increases accompanied by previous reps proclaiming “you’ll never hit that”, often follow a previous triumph.
6. They are always on the clock – To be a big closer you have to be available to your clients when they need you. In today’s world that means most sales reps check their email while they are in bed at night and before they get out of bed in the morning… It’s just part of the job. Knowing what to juggle and organize is one of their most significant feats.
7. Last month doesn’t matter – Every sales cycle ends and when it does, the parade of applause ends with it. You start over at zero and have to re-prove yourself endlessly. A hot new rookie can outperform a seasoned vet at a moments notice. In sales, being #1 is tough to hold onto.
Amidst all of these truths lies another more powerful one – Leading in sales takes true integrity. The self respect that sales rep’s develop, knowing that they choose to risk it all and bet on themselves instead of taking it easy and settling for less, is the kind of self-belief that champions are made of.
Long term sales success is the result of providing value with your hustle. And that is one of the most addictive games on the planet.