I recently read a fascinating article by Chris Myers on Forbes titled “Three Reasons Why Sales People make the Best CEO’s.” Coming from an actual CEO it had a lot of legitimacy, and I found that it was a really interesting read. Reading this article inspired me to come up with a very similar post. The argument I am going to make is why I think every professional should be in sales at least once. If you would like to read the article by Chris Myers you can find it here.
Sales has this certain stigma attached to it, that it can’t seem to shake. Sales wasn’t my first choice. The only reason I ended up in sales is because at the time I didn’t have a lot of professional experience or skills and that was the only thing I could get an interview for. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed sales, and I was even more surprised that I was somewhat good at it. When I thought of sales I thought of that ever intimidating telephone and getting yelled at all day. Spoiler alert that isn’t a reality. Sure sales is hard, but it is also super rewarding. I for one am thankful that I was backed into sales, I think everybody would be better off if they gave sales a shot.
First and foremost, it teaches you how to deal with failure. This was a huge learning curve for me. I hadn’t experienced a ton of failure before I got into sales, and therefore I was terrible at handling failure. Here’s another spoiler alert, in sales you will fail, and fail a lot. At first, I didn’t handle these failures very well. Being in sales has forced me to not be afraid of failing anymore. If I fail, so be it, I will learn what I can from the experience and then move on to the next opportunity.
Second, it’s the quickest way to see your hard work pay off. People say they want to see their hard work pay off, well in sales that principle is true. The idea of getting paid on commission is something that terrified me at first, but I soon learned to love that concept. In sales, the highest earners are always the hardest workers. Sure I will give you some people have more of a natural knack for sales than others, but overall, the hardest workers will see the highest paydays. Another great thing to add on to this idea is how immediate the fruits of our labor will pay off. In a traditional workplace, you have certain time benchmarks that it is considered proper to ask for a raise. I guarantee you that these time periods aren’t near as short as the ones you can create for yourself in sales. You want a raise? Good, prospect for an extra couple of hours this week. In sales, you have this wonderful opportunity to be proactive and create your own luck.
Third, you will get to learn how to create relationships. The fun part of sales is that every day you will be creating new relationships, or cementing current ones. I can’t even begin to go into all the numbers of interesting people with interesting backgrounds I have been able to meet and learn from as a byproduct of this fact. You will also actually become better about relating to people in general. You will learn to listen to people to understand their concerns. You will learn to read people’s voice and body language. Skills that will go on to benefit you even in your personal life.
Some people are reluctant to jump into a sales position, I was even reluctant at first. I am a strong believer that everybody should at least give it a try once in your life. Even if it doesn’t work out for you, you will undoubtedly become a better person from the experiences you had and the skills you attained. Thanks for reading.