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Sales: The ugly truth

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Very few people end up in sales as a conscious choice — at least not at first. I can honestly say that I haven’t heard many young adults say “I want to be a professional salesperson.”

As students, they may take part-time sales positions to support themselves and pay for their education. Some discover that they have a natural aptitude for it, while others struggle to make ends meet. Along the way, they end up working for different companies and sales managers. However, seldom do these managers tell them the ugly truth about sales.

Support staff members often envy salespeople who aren’t glued to their desks and seem to spend a lot of time on the golf course, expensing dinners with clients or traveling across the country. These people seldom understand the ugly truth about selling as a career.

Friends in other professions may feel pangs of jealousy when a salesperson tells them how much they earn. But they don’t know the ugly truth about sales, either.

Here’s the truth about sales and selling: It’s a tough, grueling career. Very few salespeople will claim that their jobs are easy. Even veteran salespeople or individuals who have worked for the same company for long periods of time will tell you it is still very difficult.

Increased competition, long hours, prospects who are next to impossible to connect with, daily demands to achieve metrics (such as dials, talk time, meetings and appointments), not to mention the constant pressure to hit targets and quotas — that is the reality.

I know I’m preaching to the converted here. After all, if you’re reading this post, you probably sell for a living. I guess the point I’m trying to make is that selling will always be difficult. It will never be easy. However, if you find the right product to sell and the right company to sell for, it does get easier — in some respects.

If you are good at what you do, take pride in knowing that you are keeping the wheels of business turning. After all, without sales, every business on the planet would cease to exist. You may not get the recognition you think you deserve. But know that your results help keep the lights on at your office.

Finally, you can take solace in the fact that it takes a special type of person to succeed in the world of professional sales. And you are that person.

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