10 Signs That You Were Meant for a Job in Sales
Many sales reps spend years in other professions before finding out that a sales job is the perfect fit for them. Others know from a young age that their personality and interests will one day lead to a career in sales.
Trying to make the decision for yourself? Here are the top ten signs that you're meant for a job in sales:
1) You like being in control - Sales is unlike most other professions because you are in control of how much money you make. If you can't stand the thought of being locked into a capped annual salary and wondering when you'll get that next raise, sales might be for you. Just remember, while there can be a huge upside, there's a downside to the compensation structure as well.
2) You're an optimist - If you want to be successful in sales, you truly need to be a glass-is-half-full kind of person. Legendary military strategist Sun Tzu wrote that "Every battle is won or lost before it's ever fought," and any sales rep who goes into business with a pessimistic mind-state has already set themselves up for defeat.
3) You have a strong work ethic - Sales may be fun, rewarding, and exhilarating, but it's certainly not easy. Only those with a strong enough work ethic and motivation to reach out, build relationships, and follow-up on a consistent basis will make it into the winner's circle.
4) You're easily bored - Restless people who need constant stimulation will find sales to be the perfect outlet for their energy. The frequent changes, fast pace, and rigorous demands of sales leave little downtime in which to get bored. Besides, if you have downtime, your sales manager will let you know that you should be going through and calling all of your old contacts.
5) You're a good listener - The general public tends to associate salespeople with being good talkers, but any seasoned sales rep or sales expert knows that one of, if not the most important part of sales is listening. As the old saying goes, you were born with two ears and one mouth for a reason.
6) You're competitive - It might go without without saying, but competition is inherent in all sales jobs. You're competing with your co-workers, with your company's goals, with your own previous sales records, and with your company's competitors for the client's business. Even the quietest and most seemingly timid sales superstars are motivated by winning, and can't stand to come in second place.
7) You love interacting with people - If you don't like dealing with people on an everyday basis, then sales might not be the job for you. At a minimum, you need to be able to pretend that you love interacting with people, as the sales reps who thrive on forming relationships with their clients will be the ones who grow vast referral networks and a steady stream of repeat business.
8) You're motivated by money - In a market economy, salespeople are the front line for nearly all businesses, and are rewarded accordingly. While making a lot of money is a byproduct of working hard, providing value to customers, and meeting and exceeding sales goals, successful sales reps need to be driven by their incentive, which is making a great living and being able to provide for themselves and their families.
9) You're resilient - It's frequently said that a sale only starts after the customer says "no." In a sales role, you deal with many more rejections and objections than you do easy-to-close deals. You need to be resilient to not let all of the challenges and negativity that come from being on the receiving end of rejection get you down. As Shark Tank's Barbara Corcoran says, the difference between sales reps who makes $40,000 a year and those who make $8 million a year is how quickly they get back up after their defeats and how much time they spend feeling sorry for themselves.
10) You're not afraid to try - "Always be closing," is a ubiquitous term in sales, but its true meaning is often obscured by its overuse. Closing means going for the sale, asking for the customer's business, putting the client to a point of decision. Some sales reps do everything perfectly, but they don't close, because they're afraid to try. The cream of the crop aren't afraid to try, and they're not afraid to fail. And that is what truly separates the dyed-in-the-wool sales reps from everybody else.
Vidya is the head of marketing for AppMesh, the makers of SalesMesh. Prior to joining AppMesh, she worked for Salesforce. Her favorite sales movie is Tommy Boy.
SalesMesh is the personal CRM/sales app that works the way you sell. Automatically track customer interactions, notes, schedule follow-ups, collaborate with your network, sync to and from Salesforce all from your iPhone and iPad -- even when you're offline. Learn more here.