Alright (hands up), I am very biased on this one.
Getting into sales changed my life. So, I do have a confirmation bias for sales/selling. Truth be told, I find it hard to listen to a bad word about it.
So now I work with startups and businesses on their selling systems and developing their talent. You might think that I’m one of those over cocky sales guys.. Just a little bit; yes. But; sales helped me to unlock the confidence, I had no idea lurked inside.
I have always been shy and having realised a sharp rise in confidence in an unnaturally short space of time, I have an innate understanding that confidence goes up and down. Various people have higher baselines for confidence than others, this is true, but it is possible to incrementally improve your baseline over time.
Not only have I been lucky to see the effects of this stuff in my own life, ive been crazy lucky to be able show the steps to others… They got the exact same results. So, there you have it, I stumbled into a system. Coming from a big family, I generally always have someone younger then me asking for advice. If someone very close to me asked me for guidance and mentorship as to how they should move forward in their life and career, I’d give them the following advice.
Read the 10X rule by Grant Cardone… but don’t be one of those people that over-uses the phrase ‘10x’. I mean come on, it’s e.v.e.r.y where now (it is getting rinsed just like YOLO was). I would then implore my cousin, to take a dive into the deep blue sea. I don’t care which industry. Sales shows up in every sector of the economy. Why don’t you pick an industry that you can get excited about? I found my start in sports wear retailers at 16 and graduated to mobile phones and then property, with an eye-opening stint working a chain restaurant in between!
Not exactly the ‘glam’ work, that you dream of when you leave a university. But I just didn’t feel a pull towards corporate life.; I actually wanted to stand knee deep in the brown stuff and dirty up my hands. Call me weird, but it is true. So I would say this to my cousin..
Find a way to be around people. Find a way to be around as many people as possible. Listen to them, listen to their problems, their hopes, their dreams. Learn how to make friends. Preferably, learn how to make friends in an instant.
Learn how to be a person of value.
Why sort of loving cousin would recommend a relative to a lowly career in sales, I hear some of you thinking?
Firstly. In 2019 the responsibility of the best performing sales individuals is to keep customers and help develop brand loyalty. Yes, that means showing people options and helping them arrive at the best decision for their needs. But this isn’t 1970. Salespeople cannot force anybody into making decisions that they were not interested in, in the first place. If this trickster did manage to get away with this, it wouldn’t be long before the pattern of deceiving people would show up on the internet. (The long arm of the internet is real, people).
Secondly, A great sales person has the ability to help the consumer envisage ‘a better way’. Believe it or not, these three words are the basis of a free market economy and the capitalist, meritocratic society that we live in. Striving for better is what consumerism is about. So when someone persuades you by showing you a better way of living, sometimes this can be a beautiful thing. Some of the best purchases ive ever made were those that I was weary about, but looking back, I’m glad I took the leap. Without a human to take the time to explain why and how this product service helps people like me feel like a success, I may never have known about it.
Thirdly, knowing how to influence, persuade, negotiate and sell is a ‘high value skill’ that can actually take you wherever you decide in your life. Think about it. At times within my younger years, I was damn scared just to walk out of my house sometimes (everyone can relate to that one, right?). After lots of years of forcing myself to throw myself out there and be a bigger, friendlier and more curious personality, I just became that person. Now, I don’t think that I have unlimited confidence like some have, but I am in a much more contented position. I feel like this is because I stared down my fears and didn’t back down (I wanted to on so many occasions). You can do it as well…. Beating that voice in your head is often the biggest opponent that you can ever face. That is why I would advise my lost younger cousin to take the road less travelled and give sales the best shot that they can give.
Sales gave me direction when I most needed it. It gave me the right friendship circle at a time when I needed it. It gave me a big goal, just when I needed it. Even if they or you for that matter fall flat on your nose, you know that you went for it. You will know that you stepped into the ring with the greatest opponent you will ever face, waited for the bell to ring, raised your guard and advanced into the unknown.