Monday Mornings with Madison


Selling is one of the oldest human activities, essential to every civilization from the dawn of time. It is also one of the most pervasive of activities, since virtually every member of society offers something for sale, whether it’s their labor, knowledge, goods or talent. Although selling skills are essential if you want to teach children, win votes, or dazzle an audience, true salespeople are a breed apart. Vital in any economic climate, their skills are especially crucial today if we’re ever to emerge from the current recession. We need cars and homes and business ideas to once again be bought and sold, and that’s the work of salespeople. And yet many are reluctant to admit that they are in sales, hence the proliferation of such fancy titles as “Senior Account Executive” or “Business Development Officer” or “Business Procurement Specialist.”

Let’s be clear: when done right, a career in sales can be enormously rewarding, bringing with it uncommon benefits. Consider a few of those benefits and keep in mind some tips that can help attain them.

You have the freedom to choose your income.
Sales is essentially the only job that allows you to decide how much you want to earn. The harder and smarter you work, the more you’ll earn. After all, many top salespeople earn more than their bosses since they receive commissions on the sales they make without carrying the overhead needed to deliver the products and services. Tip: Do you believe that you can choose your income and then go out and make it happen? If not, it might be time to start challenging your beliefs by studying others in your industry who are doing just that. What are they doing and how can you adopt their techniques?

You have the freedom to choose your hours.
Being good at sales gives you the kind of flexibility of which people in the 9-to-5 world can only dream. The ability to generate sales means that top performers can take time off as needed or wanted, leaving other employees to execute the work. Tip: Are you working hard but not reaching your goals? If so, try cutting down on your hours or work one day a week less, and see what happens. The results might surprise you.

You have the freedom to choose your clients.
This idea may sound odd to those who would take any business from any customer willing to deal with them. But good salespeople know that you have to choose your clients very carefully, even when you are desperate for business. Some clients are just endlessly aggravating. They drain so much energy and time that you won’t be able to develop the low-maintenance, high-profit clients who will help you grow your business. Tip: Do you currently have clients that are simply more trouble than they are worth? If so, do yourself a favor and refer a few of those clients to one of your competitors. The other option is to tell them straight out that they will have to follow your rules if they want to keep doing business with you. You might lose those accounts but you will come out ahead because you’ll have more time to focus on better clients.

You have the freedom to grow and learn.
People love being around salespeople who are honest and who have their clients’ best interests at heart. That’s because success in sales requires you to learn a number of skills that will help you throughout life. You have to learn how to listen to others and understand them; how to stay confident and not take rejection personally; how to negotiate and find solutions; how to communicate effectively and how focus on the positive. Tip: Remember, the skills you acquire while selling are worth far more than the money you earn as a salesperson. Take advantage of all that you’ve learned to enrich your life!

“There is little difference in people, but that little difference makes a big difference. The little difference is attitude. The big difference is whether it is positive or negative.” W. Clement Stone

© 2009 – 2011, Written by Keren Peters-Atkinson, CMO, Madison Commercial Real Estate Services. All rights reserved.

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