….the lowest paid easy job.
Get it? If you don’t, let me repeat:
Sales is the highest paid hard job and the lowest paid easy job.
This is quite an old saying which is quite popular and comes with a lot of truth. What this means is that if you want to get a job and you want to work really hard and bulldoze through all the challenges ahead of you, then sales will be the most lucrative job for you. On the other hand, if you want to get a job and you don’t want to work hard, sales will be a job that pays you the lowest.
I, personally, have never met any successful sales person who told me that his or her job is easy. At the very least, it was not easy when they started. Here, I am talking about those who are making five digits income and are driving that shiny new BMW 3-Series.
What we see in a successful salesman today is perhaps only 10% of what he had gone through in the last 5 years, or perhaps, 15 years. Sometimes, we look at this someone with envy and said that someone is good because he was born to be good at what he or she is doing.
“He’s lucky. I wish I was born with his ability”
“Boy, I could never do that.”
Society has taught us many pre-conceived notions about life. The problem is, some of them are true, and some of them are not. Often times, many of them are not true. Many people refer successful business people as lucky. Similarly, many people believe certain people are good at sales because they were born with a natural selling skills.
That’s not true. Sales is a skill that everyone can learn. If you like the job, and consequently perform well, then you will be on top of the world. Normally, sales job will come in the form of basic salary and commission scheme. The basic may be some small fraction, but the commission is proportional with the products you sell. The more products you sell, the more commission you earn. The more customers you get, the more sales you bring in. Hence you get more income. In other words, as long as you can sell, the sky is the limit.
One of the things I realized about this profession is that the longer you stay in the business, the more rewards you get and the more easily your job becomes. The most difficult part is always at the beginning.
I have a close friend who is a Sales Account Manager for an IT company handling a portfolio of major corporations including IBM, Maxis, Hewlett Packard, DiGi and others. He is now in his early 30s and is having a prosperous career with his monthly commissions (excluding of his basic salary) exceeding RM10,000. One day, I asked him, “What is your secret?”
He answered, “There really is no secret. I started this job with this company 8 years ago as a struggling salesperson. My company was selling all sorts of products and solutions by then but our products were failures one after another. Nevertheless I kept on trying and continued working and pouring sweat and we corrected our mistakes we made here and there. I did not make any single commission until my fourth year in the job.
Today, I spend little time to look for clients, as they will come looking for me. The commission I am receiving today is enough to enable me to reach my goal to retire in 5 years time and open up my own business with the fund I have.”
Does this mean we all have to become sales person?
Off course, I am not saying this to say that you should seriously contemplate to switch your career from being an accountant, astronaut or journalist to a salesperson. By all means, if you are good in what you are doing, and you enjoy doing it, please pursue with the job and contribute to the organization and society.
What I am saying is that everyone should start learning it. That includes you and me. We should start learning and improving our sales skills. After all, sales is not all about selling stuff and things. Naturally, we use this selling skills without realizing it on every day basis.
We use sales skill to persuade our parents to buy that new laptop (negotiation). We use sales skill to talk with prospective employers during last week’s career fair (presentation). We use sales skill in courting our first prospective date (initial contact). We use sales skill to pick whom we want to dance with (prospecting).
That’s a good enough for a start. It is time to move it to the next level.