Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Sales is a lifestyle, not a job

I’ve come to understand that sales professionals will always be thought of as unintelligent and overpaid by the rest of their peers within any given company.  We talk a big game, walk around like we own the place and hand off our problems to the rest of the organization.  I’m also fine with that.

You see, while the rest of the company clocks in, clocks out and waits for their regular paycheck, we’ve taken the risk of being measured constantly and publicly.  We’ve decided to take our destiny into our own hands with low performance as a precursor to low pay or no pay at all.  There’s no coasting.  Succeed and you’ll be heavily rewarded.  Fail and you’ll soon be forgotten.  It’s “what have you done for me lately” every day.

Do I resent the fact that the individuals doing my dirty work hold contempt for my glory hogging?  Hell no.  I feel bad that they’ll never know the thrill of looking an unfulfilled quota in the face and kicking its ass.  Salaries are nice, but fat commissions checks are better, and settle with your own fate if you won’t leave the comfort of a sure thing for the anxiety of a deal on the brink.

Sales professionals take the job home with them.  The job is never done, because there’s always more you can do to support yourself or your family.  Nobody tells a sales professional that they should head home because they’re done for the day.  We don’t turn off our phones and kick back on the couch.  We stare at the screen waiting for the red light to blink, hoping it signals the next step for the next deal we bring in the door.  We wake up in a cold sweat, furious at ourselves for neglecting to do more than the last day.  The competition doesn’t sleep, so neither can we.

Vacation?  Sure, if you don't mind a dry pipeline when you return to a spot at the bottom of the barrel.  Hungover?  See how that headache feels at the end of the month.  Stressed?  Cry me a river.

I know this all sounds self-righteous, but if you’re reading this, you’ve probably felt the same mix of pride and shame as you park your shiny car next to the beater of those who chose to play it safe.  Sales professionals are not employees.  We’re contracted entrepreneurs.

Jealous?  We’re hiring