I once worked for a sales manager who made it a point to ask every prospective new hire what they thought courage meant. Many people were taken aback when they were asked this question, and didn’t understand what it had to do with getting hired at a sales job. But anyone who has ever worked in a true sales role will understand that you need to display courage every single day if you want to get anywhere in this profession.
It takes courage to get out of bed and head into an office or a client’s office for a meeting knowing that your bills will or won’t get paid based on how well you perform. It takes courage to be the representative of your company, and know that the jobs of everyone else in your office depend on you being able to bring in new business. It takes courage to have the results of your work show up on a board in front of everyone, with nowhere to hide if you’re not performing.
It takes courage to pick up the phone and call a prospect that you know is more likely to scream at you or hang up on you than they are to be friendly or even possibly consider giving you their business. It takes courage to walk into an office building where the secretaries or security guards are trained to not let you get past the front door. It takes courage to change a conversation from small talk into a discussion about products and business.
It takes courage to pick up the phone to cold-call again, or knock on the next prospect’s door after the last person you called swore at you, insulted you and your profession and told you how worthless all salespeople are, or kicked you out of their office. It takes courage to stay positive and focus on the next deal when the one you just spent months working on fell apart over something you couldn’t control.
It takes courage to keep trying and push through when you know you could lose your job if you don’t make your numbers this month. It takes courage to believe that you made the right decision for yourself and your family by going into this crazy profession instead of working for a steady salary with minimal pressure. It takes courage to not beat yourself up over the mistakes you’ve made, and instead to focus on how you can succeed in this world.
Yes, it takes courage to work in sales.
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