3 Ways Being in Sales Changed My Life (And How It Can Change Yours Too)
Some people think sales is pushy, annoying, awkward, or a contest to see who can tell the biggest lie.
Maybe that’s what sales is if you’re terrible at selling.
You’ve dealt with these bad sales people before, haven’t you?
People that give sales a try and it’s either not for them.
Others don’t stick around long enough to get comfortable with it.
There’s nothing wrong with either of those things.
But I’m one of the people who stuck around long enough to get comfortable with it.
When sizing up my sales skills, I wouldn’t consider myself Steph Curry great, but you grow a lot in 16 years.
Here are three ways being in sales changed my life, and how it can change yours too:
- Income Perspective
When I worked on a strawberry farm, I got paid 25 cents to fill up a quart.
My best week ever I made $92, working 3-4 hours a day, Monday thru Saturday.
My next job as a dishwasher and prep cook, where I made $7.25/hour.
But when I sold my first complete set of kitchen knives?
I made $400 for 72 minutes.
I will never be able to trade my hours for money, ever-again, as long as I live.
Go out and get a sales position.
You may not like it, it may not be for you, or you may push through the self-doubt that every beginner faces (at everything new, duh).
And you might discover why some of the highest paid people on the planet are sales people.
- Confidence to Speak My Mind
Sales requires you to speak your mind.
Once you become comfortable with that, it’s useful in all sorts of situations, like in dealing with my current boss, who reports directly to the president.
Or in dealing with the president myself, which I do with monthly (sometimes weekly) frequency.
These people are smart, powerful, seasoned, professionals who hold my career in their hands.
They can make one decision, sign a piece of paper, and all of a sudden my wife, baby, and dog go from shopping at the organic farmers market and living in a respectable house to well, a much less blessed quality-of-life.
When a human holds that kind of power in their hand, many employees would approach them with extreme caution. Don’t rock the boat. Be a yes man.
But not me.
Which is why, at the age of 35, I have a great career with an upward trajectory.
Being in sales teaches you to disagree respectfully, how to speak your mind, and how not to whine and pout when things don’t go your way.
- Conflict Resolution
My wife and I are pre-marital mentors at our church. We’ve been married almost three years, which qualifies us as total experts (please read that last sentence sarcastically).
However, one thing that we CAN teach young, engaged couples is how to fight –because you WILL fight.
In fact, some of you are in relationships where you’re fighting with your significant other right now. Put down the article and text the person the following:
(1) Here’s what I’m feeling: __________.
(2) I’m sorry that I ___________.
(3) In the future, I will ____________.
Oh, you think I’m being manipulative?
What this is called is “personal responsibility,” and it’s something you learn in sales when no one but you are responsible for your success.
When you learn personal responsibility, you also learn how to fight the PROBLEM instead of fighting the person you’re supposed to love.
You learn how to resolve conflict.
Sales people say, “I feel like my opinion doesn’t matter and that frustrates me,” instead of, “Why the heck do we always have to watch YOUR dumb shows during Netflix and chill?!?”
It seems so obvious, until you pour some emotion into it.
Oh, sales will teach you that too: emotional stability.
Speaking to just the men for a moment: get some of that. The ladies love it. And it’ll make you better at sports, too.
Are you getting what I’m saying here? Feel free to disagree with me in the comments.
Or feel free to shoot me an email if you want to talk about sales, your future, or what the heck to do if your significant other keeps falling asleep during Breaking Bad.
(Who does that?? Seriously!)
My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t be shy.
The fact is (and I say this all the time to young people) that you should be looking for a position that helps you BECOME something better than who you already are, not just something that will pay the bills or occupy the 12 hours per week you have available for part time work.
Follow Vector Marketing on Twitter @VectorMarketing.