I think the title says everything that we need to know, right? Sales is a tough gig folks. Been in sales ever since I started my career 12 years ago and I moved up the ladder fairly quickly. I was managing my own sales team year and a half into my first gig in sales.
This was back then when I didn’t know what the hell CRM was. Ha. Good times. I still cannot get used to the fact that every month the goals reset. It’s like a constant grind. There is no down months or quarters, it’s hustle, hustle and hustle throughout the year.
Honestly, the only time I feel at ease is around Christmas. It’s the last week of the year, I always take it off and spend time with the family. Fireplace, food, family and presents. The perfect combo.
Ok, so Syed what does all this got to do with sales being hard? Well, glad you asked.
You know I’ve been managing salespeople for a over a decade now. I have seen many struggle, many succeed. Many succeed and struggle at the same time. It’s a never ending vicious cycle that every sales person goes through. There are times and months when I see reps that feel truly defeated and I don’t see the level of pressure that the sales teams go through in any other department.
Truth is, my experience is limited. So I don’t want to diss on other teams, it’s just I know sales very well. I know exactly what us folks go through, how unappreciated at times we feel, and how overlooked sales teams really are. So yea, i’m not exactly painting the perfect picture for anyone wanting to start out in sales and that’s fine.
Perfect time for a shameless plug about my blogpost on why sales is the perfect first job ha.
I love this profession and frankly if given the choice, I would choose this line of work all over again. Because despite all the long hours and hard work, I just really really enjoy selling. That feeling when the money hits the bank account. Well as my boy Zak would say it, it just hit different.
Alright so why am I writing about sales being hard at 10pm, well as all good things start with me, it started with a reddit post. haha. No seriously.
I read a thread where someone was just tired of all the nonsense. They work hard, take advice, listen to what the manager has to say, they are on top of their stuff, being a top performer and all and still get shit on.
There are days for reps and we have all been there where you just feel exhausted. You drive home or make calls, maintain a pipeline and you just feel the weight of the world on your shoulders. Repeating the same line over and over and over again, the same demos, the same format, no matter how much you try and mix it up, the whole thing just becomes a drag. Day in day out.
So I don’t know who out there needs to hear it or needs to read this. I understand you very well. Been there way too many times. But yes, us salespeople we act tough, we keep our shit to ourselves, no moping about it on 1:1s, keeping our head down and just grinding. No pillar to rely on because “well maybe, others have it worse”. Add in the fact that you’re an immigrant, well, you just lost all excuses because our parents worked harder than us and never complained.
It’s tough. I know it is.
You know it’s times like these when you need a solid support structure. Your family, manager or friends, folks that you can rely on to help you get through those dark moments, because you bet they come and they attack hard.
Don’t suppress these feelings like I did for a long time and let them out. The longer you keep them inside of you the harsher the crash will be when you finally burn out. Or well when you have the “straw that broke the camel’s back” moment.
The truth of the matter is no matter how hard we all try, we never really are appreciated as a sales person (and like I said before, I’m sure it’s similar for other roles out there, I just speak with my limited experience about sales).
You are only as good as today, not yesterday or tomorrow. Everyone remembers the goals you let go, no one remembers the goals that you save. It’s a shitty cycle.
But here’s a nickel worth of free advice. You need to detach your sense of self worth from your career. This line of work that you have chosen my friend, can and will kick your teeth in. It’s unfair, fully of emotionally destroyed individuals that were a lot tougher than you and I that had to live through the pressure for providing for the entire workforce.
So yea, it’s never fair. You will be on the short end of the stick and it will suck. You will accidentally be given a blue bird and do jack shit but it closes and you are the second coming of Jesus himself.
For a day. Until the machine… Machines again. And it always will. So detach, save a bunch of emotion and let the chips fall where they may. When you’re knocked down, get the fuck back up and go attack the day.
I’ve been selling for a good part of the decade now. And I always try and focus on what is important, focus on what is ahead of me. Attack the problem one at a time. Focus on the chase, chasing the prospects, getting the close, getting commissions.
My advice to you is to focus on what you have accomplished so far, what you have been able to produce for your family, and get excited about the prospect that sooner or later (as it ALWAYS is) you will close business that continues to get you to your ultimate goal: (insert your goal) or if you ask me that’s: security for my family.
Everything in life is a trade off to some degree. I love sales because, well for the most part, I alone control the income, freedom, and security. Hard to imagine taking a salary, say as an engineer, and that’s it. That’s the income you have to work with, save maybe for a year and bonus, and 3-ish% raise.
Nah man, sales is where it’s at. But you have to stick with it long enough to form calluses that us tenured sales folks have to keep at the grind yet another day.
If not to your team, speak to a counselor/therapist if you’re feeling down and feel like that you’re in a rut. There is absolutely no shame in this. Being able to identify your pain, name it, and then build a support structure around it or strategies on moving with and through it will not just help you in your career, it will help you in your relationships and life as well.
Outwork everyone around you, rise up and force people to recognize you for the beast that you are. Go get it.