The sales industry over the years has had many black eyes. It has been beaten up with negative stereotypes of pushy sales people with questionable ethics. Everyone has a bad salesman story.

But don’t feel bad for the salespeople of the world;  they often end up leading large corporations (Steve Jobs), sports franchises (George Steinbrenner), churches (Billy Graham) and even government (Ronald Reagan). Being in sales is a boot camp that will tear you down and build you up again as a leader.

I remember when I first decided to give sales a shot back in 1999. I had just gotten out of the Army and I decided to go work for a health club in Culver City, California.  I thought that because I was in good shape, it would be easy for me to sell new memberships. It took all of a week for me to realize how much I hated sales.

Sales tested me in ways I never imagined. I almost gave up on it; then I realized that getting into sales was one of the best decisions I’d ever made. All of the pain and discomfort was actually molding me into a better person, both personally and professionally.

Here are eight areas where sales will challenge you:

1.      It will test your EGO.
This is especially tough for the macho man who thinks he knows everything. Sales will force you to realize how much you have to learn.

2.      It will bring out your insecurities.
We all have them. Getting into sales will put you face to face with yours.

3.       It will force you to face rejection… and lots of rejection.
You will be rejected over and over again.

4.      It will test your patience.
Not everyone will buy, or as quickly as you’d like. People will change their minds and cancel their appointments with you.

5.      It will show what you are made of.
You will be tested many times. It might make you consider quitting.

6.      It will reveal laziness.
There’s no skating by in sales. No matter how good you think you are, there will be lots of hours of hard work and persistence involved.

7.      It will pay you what you’re worth, based on your effort & determination
If you’re worth $20k a year, then that is what you’ll earn.  But if you’re worth $250k a year, that’s also what you’ll earn. Your abilities and your effort will determine your paycheck.


Now, if you make it past the tests listed above, the industry will reward you greatly:

1.      It will give you a level of confidence you never thought you could possess.
Confidence comes from doing something over and over again until you become an expert at it.

2.      It will give you control in areas of your life that you never had before.
You’ll have control over your time, finances, people you work with, and the list goes on.

3.      It will show you how to solve problems that previously seemed impossible to solve.
Knowing how to solve problems will help you in every aspect of your life.

4.      It will teach you to communicate more effectively with your loves ones.
The communication skills that you have to develop to excel at sales will also improve personal relationships.

5.      It will make you tough.
You stop worrying about things you use to worry about.

6.      It will enable relationships with individuals that elevate your thinking. 
The higher you move up in the world of sales, the more senior level people you will be associating with and selling to. Building relationships with leaders of large organizations will allow you to learn from their insights.

7.      It will let you design your own lifestyle.
You’ll have the opportunity to travel to places you always imagined.  It will allow you to provide the kind of a life you always wanted to provide for your family.

8.      It will give you the opportunity to be a leader in your church, community, family, and business.
Sales molds you into a leader, what you do with newfound leadership skills is up to you and your imagination.

You will first need to go through the tests in order to experience the glory.  Stay strong and keep charging. Good things are around the corner. 

  1. William Vogel says:

    Sales is a wonderful profession and a training ground for dealing with much of life’s challenges. Sales is presenting a truth, a product or concept enthusiastically with a desire to convince. It is projecting a truth or deep felt idea to another person.. Most great salesman don’t begin great, in fact most are very bad but become finely tuned with much practice and with deeply ingrained commitment. I was blessed to have been introduced to sales some 40 years ago and I can honestly say just as Patrick stated, the lifestyle and opportunities sales will afford you are worth the rejection and the insecurities you will face.

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