When you love being a sales rep, or a business development rep, or a regional account rep, or a national account rep, you know it. This Valentine’s Day week let’s talk about loving your career and why it is so important to you and others around you.
First of all, you know that sales is admirable and regardless of the noise about how you should stop selling and start helping, or stop selling and start serving – you have been helping and serving for years.
You know that the profession of business-to-business selling is a real career – not something “in-between” until you go back to school, or get a more “respectable” position. You get it. Nothing happens until someone sells something. You don’t struggle when someone asks you what you do for a living. “I’m helping build an amazing company called ____”
You are a student of learning. The best sellers are. Every day you learn new things about your buyers which helps you to understand if they might be a good fit for what your company sells. You learn about new ways to connect and about ideas that don’t work as well as they used to. You refine.
You know it takes a lot of potential opportunities to find true win-wins between buyer and seller. Just because you could help someone or their company, it does not mean that it is mutual. You are willing to work hard, with grit and tenacity to build up the potential.
You close a deal and feel how thrilling it is for doing all the hard work helping guide your buyer to a good decision and at the same time creating revenue that helps the economy and it helps you too. It is worth the commute into the office, and all of the follow up it took to get you and your buyer there.
You have high integrity and honor. You are building the company you own or work for through ongoing outreach to those who can benefit from your products and services. Accounting can’t do this, and engineering can’t do this, and HR can’t do this, and some of your executives can’t even do this. You are the powerful and helpful intermediary that makes everything happen.
When you don’t love what you do, it lowers your quality of life. It certainly lowers the quality of the work environment for those around you who ARE happily building their territories. Don’t be a downer to them. If you are unhappy for days or weeks on end, do everyone a favor and LEAVE or transfer to another department if your company is big enough. Get selfish and demand more for your career and find something you CAN love – a team you CAN support and a company you are PROUD to work for.
Today – when you feel bummed out because of a poor call or lack of response to your email – look inward and ask yourself if you LOVE what you do. If so, share your enthusiasm with those newer on the sales team. Take 5 minutes to help someone. Write a three-sentence, handwritten note (you know what those are, right?) to someone who has mentored you and helped you grow and learn.
Embrace your role – or move on. Forget that excuse you’ve been hanging on to about your territory or that deal you lost (you never had) or that manager who doesn’t “get” you. There is nothing mediocre about professional selling. It is not marketing and helping others as a professional seller is NOT NEW. Be proud and love what you do. Support yourself by being positive and encouraging to yourself every day. If you do that, your numbers will grow, you will be happy, and so will those whose lives you touch.
Lori Richardson is recognized on Forbes as one of the "Top 30 Social Sales Influencers" worldwide. Lori speaks, writes, trains, and consults with inside sales teams in mid-sized companies. Subscribe to the award-winning blog and the "Sales Ideas In A Minute" newsletter for sales strategies, tactics, and tips in selling. Increase Opportunities. Expand Your Pipeline. Close More Deals.