The Things Nobody Tells You About Becoming a Salesperson

From my perspective, I consider we live in a golden age for salespeople. In a world overwhelmed by confusion and noise, the salesperson emerges as a true superhero, someone you can trust to guide you through the murky waters of purchasing decisions. An authentic, committed salesperson who stands firm in their principles.


The future for salespeople looks promising. Those who excel in this profession not only enjoy substantial income but also find deep personal satisfaction in what they do. However, there are certain truths that often go unnoticed but deserve to be heard:


The importance of personal development: Being a successful salesperson goes beyond mastering persuasion and sales closing skills. It's essential to invest in personal growth, cultivating emotional intelligence, empathy, and adaptability.


The balance between technology and humanity: While technology has revolutionized how we do business, we must never lose sight of the importance of human connection. Salespeople must learn to integrate technology effectively without losing the personal touch valued by customers.


Resilience in the face of rejection: In the sales world, rejection is inevitable. However, successful salespeople view it not as a failure but as an opportunity for learning and growth. The ability to bounce back quickly and move forward is essential for long-term success.


The need for constant adaptation: The market is constantly evolving, and salespeople must be willing to adapt and continuously learn. Those who cling to outdated tactics and strategies risk falling behind.


This is the biggest elephant in the room. High turnover has always been a hallmark among salespeople. Over the years, I've heard of turnover rates from 25% to 95%... and everything in between.


In short, being a salesperson is TOUGH. If you're looking for an easy career where you can relax and forget, forget it. It's not for you.

Another reason for the high turnover rate is that many companies' training programs haven't adapted to the changing environment. While one of the best traits you can have as a salesperson is the ability to learn new things, many companies are advising their salespeople in the wrong direction.


Today's consumers don't respond as well to general salespeople. Instead, they're responding more than ever to people who can work with their specific needs. However, most companies are teaching their salespeople techniques and principles that may have worked forty years ago but don't work today. Or if the techniques do work, other techniques that are ten times more effective are ignored in the process.


It's common for many individuals to be drawn to the sales industry, at least in part, because of the potential for high earnings. It's understandable that you want to be adequately compensated for your hard work, and if you're generating significant value, you should certainly receive fair compensation. However, it's crucial to understand that success in sales goes beyond simply chasing a figure in your bank account; it involves genuinely helping people.


While many companies emphasize the importance of putting the customer's interests first, do they truly live up to it? Do they do it from the depths of their hearts? Would you be willing to do the right thing for your customer, even if it means a personal sacrifice for you? These are deep questions that must be pondered, as if your primary motivation is to achieve certain commission goals, this profession may not be right for you.


It's essential to understand that, in sales, you're building long-term relationships that can last for decades. Your focus must be broader than simply seeking the next paycheck; it's about cultivating strong connections and providing genuine value to your customers, which, in the long run, will translate into sustainable and rewarding success.


It's fascinating, isn't it? The diversity of personalities among those aspiring to be salespeople is astonishing. Some are naturally outgoing and have a knack for persuasion, while others are more introverted and reserved. However, both ends of the spectrum have their unique challenges.


Imagine speaking with someone who genuinely loves the sales profession but struggles in social environments. They may be brilliant at data analysis and report crafting, but find it difficult to grasp the nuances of interpersonal communication. There's a significant difference between creating a detailed Excel spreadsheet and being able to effectively explain your findings to a potential client.


The most successful salespeople are those who can establish a genuine connection with their counterparts, who can delve into the unspoken hopes, dreams, and fears of the person before them. They can identify potential issues a prospect may face and address them tactfully and subtly, without bruising egos. Additionally, they have the ability to guide someone from the status of mere prospect to becoming a client, communicating clearly and convincingly the value they offer over time.


I remember reading somewhere that there are people who feel revitalized after interacting with others, while others tend to feel drained and need alone time to recharge their energies. If you're someone who gains energy from interacting with others, you'll undoubtedly have a significant advantage in the world of sales. Your ability to connect with people and convey your enthusiasm authentically can be a powerful tool in your arsenal as a salesperson.


It's fundamental to understand that constant prospecting is a fundamental pillar for sustainable success in the world of sales. Avoiding periods of inactivity in your business requires a proactive and continuous approach to seeking new opportunities.


I've witnessed too many times how salespeople fall into a cycle of highs and lows, and I'm not referring precisely to the stock market. I mean those moments when they're overwhelmed by activity and then plunge into inactivity. When the buzz of activity fades away and everything becomes silent, that's when the prospecting fever comes into play. They frantically throw themselves into searching for new opportunities until they get some results, only to halt once again.


This cycle doesn't just occur periodically, like monthly or quarterly; it can stretch on for years. A salesperson may be at the top of their game for a few years, only to find their income steadily declining due to a lack of prospects.


Prospecting isn't just an occasional activity but a continuous system that keeps your sales funnel constantly filled. If you never stop prospecting, you won't find yourself in the situation of having to rush to fill your pipeline when times get tough. However, there's something else that nobody seems to mention about the art of prospecting and marketing.


Avoiding falling into the trap of the "marketing treadmill" is essential for long-term success in the world of sales. When I say you should never stop prospecting, I don't necessarily mean you should constantly hound your clients or harass them for referrals.


Notice the words I've chosen carefully: I mentioned the importance of having a system that keeps your sales funnel full. At no point did I suggest you should physically exhaust yourself to achieve it. One of the most important lessons I've learned throughout my career working with salespeople is that you must use both inbound and outbound marketing methods. Why?


The salesperson who relies solely on outbound marketing, such as cold calling, direct mail, or referral marketing, will find themselves limited in their business growth. These methods require constant and physical effort, which can hinder sustained business growth in the long run.

On the other hand, the salesperson who focuses exclusively on inbound marketing, such as content marketing, email, and social media, may find themselves indefinitely waiting for desired results. While inbound marketing is highly effective, it takes time to build an engaged audience and see the fruits of your efforts.


To achieve significant success, it's crucial to master both approaches. You must implement strategies that allow you to attract clients both in the present and in the future. You must be able to actively go to the market and generate revenue while building a system that provides you with leads and appointments even when you're sick or on vacation.


This could mean making calls during the day and creating content at night, or hosting seminars during the day and increasing your social media presence at night. The key is to find a balance that allows you to maintain a steady flow of opportunities without falling into the trap of the "marketing treadmill," where you're constantly running but not really moving towards your goals.


The ability to sell is one of those skills that is often misunderstood. I always feel a little uneasy when mentioning sales and salesperson in the same sentence because people often misunderstand the concept. Some think it involves mastering an endless series of closing techniques and persuasive lines that can be dropped in any meeting. But let me clarify: that's not the approach I'm proposing.


Ultimately, the essence of sales lies in identifying a problem and offering an effective solution. To truly excel in sales, you must excel in two main areas: the ability to uncover problems and the skill to provide solutions.


To identify problems, it's crucial to ask the right questions. You must be insightful and have the ability to read between the lines to understand the needs and concerns of your potential customer. But that's only half of the equation. You must also be able to offer a solution that effectively addresses those needs.


And this is where the idea of niche comes into play. When you specialize in a specific niche, it allows you to focus on solving a defined set of problems again and again. Over time, you become an expert in addressing those specific problems, giving you a significant advantage in your field.


When you master the combination of identifying problems and offering solutions in your specialized niche, you become an invaluable resource to your clients. Your expertise and ability to effectively solve problems position you as a reliable and trustworthy partner they can rely on to find solutions to their challenges.


Finding a suitable coach can be a real accelerator on your path to success in sales. Coaches have the ability to share a wealth of information and knowledge accumulated over the years. They can identify areas where you need improvement and offer you practical experiences to learn from. However, finding the right coach can present a considerable challenge.


Often, the problem lies in that when you find someone to admire and learn from, you tend to focus only on the results they've achieved, without considering the process that led them there. You don't see the years of dedication and hard work it took to build a solid book of business and a base of loyal clients over time.


Personally, I take pride in being able to help salespeople reach their goals and acquire more clients every day. I strive to offer a wealth of useful content, from emails to articles and podcasts, as well as providing specialized training courses that address both specific and general aspects of the sales process. I do all this because I'm convinced that the information I provide and the courses I offer have the potential to make a significant difference in the lives of thousands of salespeople, enabling them to provide better service to their clients and achieve their professional goals.


Ah, and it doesn't matter if you've been in the business for forty minutes or forty years; there are always areas where you can improve and grow. If there are aspects of your performance that you feel need attention, then you could definitely benefit from working with a coach. In fact, I would consider it an honor to be able to offer you my help and guidance, regardless of your current level of experience.


However, it's crucial to note that not all coaches are created equal, and choosing the wrong one can be counterproductive. That's why it's important to do thorough research and make sure you select someone who has the right experience, approach, and work ethic to meet your specific needs as a salesperson or for your sales team.


The idea of investing in oneself is fundamental to any aspect of life, but it takes on even greater relevance in the field of sales. As a salesperson, you face a multitude of challenges and constant learning opportunities, and you must be willing to commit both time and financial resources to continue growing and improving.


Learning from your mistakes is an integral part of the growth process as a salesperson. This requires time and dedication, as well as the willingness to accept the costs associated with those mistakes, both in terms of money and opportunity. Every mistake made is a valuable lesson that helps you improve and avoid making the same mistakes in the future.


I've always maintained the belief that if you're not willing to invest in yourself, how can you expect others to? This mindset reflects the importance of having confidence in yourself and your own potential. Even if all you get from investing in yourself is a boost in your mental confidence, that confidence can make a difference in your success as a salesperson.


Additionally, unlike other investments in life, such as material goods that can be lost or deteriorate, the investments you make in your own confidence, knowledge, and belief in yourself are invaluable and permanent. No one can take away the knowledge and experience you've gained through your investment in yourself.


Even in the case of a sudden loss of everything you own, such as material goods or financial wealth, the knowledge and confidence you've accumulated over time through your investment in yourself will remain your most valuable assets. These qualities will enable you to recover, rebuild, and continue moving forward towards your goals and dreams, even in the most challenging circumstances.


It's unfortunately common to encounter individuals who, for various reasons, are reluctant to invest in their own growth and development. Whether out of fear of failure, insecurity about their abilities, or simply a lack of motivation, many choose to stay within their comfort zone rather than seize the opportunities for learning and growth that come their way.


As an example, consider the case of my course Maestría en Ventas: Estrategias para el Manejo Integral del Proceso de Ventas. (Spanish) With over 16 hours of carefully designed content to help salespeople improve their skills and increase their sales, this course has proven to be an invaluable tool for those seeking to achieve success in the competitive world of sales. However, despite the obvious advantages it offers, many companies and individuals continue to find excuses not to take advantage of this opportunity.


It's frustrating to see how some people choose to sideline themselves from life, missing out on the opportunity to grow and thrive. Despite the success stories of those who have completed my course and experienced a significant increase in their performance and job satisfaction, there are still those who choose to remain on the sidelines, allowing fear or complacency to dictate their actions.


Personally, I've learned to accept that some companies and individuals will never reach their full potential due to their reluctance to invest in themselves and their professional development. Despite my efforts to offer resources and growth opportunities, I recognize that each individual must make the personal decision to commit to their own growth and development.


However, it's important to remember that investing in oneself not only benefits the individual but also their work and personal environment. Those who are willing to invest in their own growth will not only experience greater professional success but will also contribute to the growth and prosperity of their companies and communities as a whole. Ultimately, the decision to invest in oneself is one that each individual must make, but those who choose to do so can expect to reap lasting and meaningful rewards along the path to success.


Dionisio Melo

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