Sales isn’t rocket science but it is hard. Just about anyone can figure it out, but it takes a lot of work, discipline and persistence. A thick skin helps too.
Sales is indeed a hard profession.
But it’s not the hardest profession. Far from it. In fact, here’s one job that’s way harder than sales: Member of the Crew Health and Performance Exploration Analog.
This is a brand-new job that just came into existence. Last week, NASA locked four people inside a 1,700 sq. ft. area that’s designed to simulate life on Mars. It’s a 3D-printed, Mars-like habitat at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. The participants are not allowed to come out for a whole year.
The habitat has four private bedrooms, workstations, a medical area, communal lounge areas, a kitchen, two bathrooms and a place to grow food. A 1,200 sq. ft. area called the “sandbox,” is filled with red sand to mimic Mars’ surface during simulated spacewalks.
Participants include a biologist, structural engineer, physician and a U.S. Navy microbiologist. The environment will test how humans respond to life on a “different planet,” and allows NASA to test how crew members respond to challenges such as a lack of resources and equipment failure.
It’s the first of three missions, each lasting 378 days, that will help NASA understand human needs in advance of the first real installation on Mars some day in the future.
Glad they didn’t ask me to sign up. I’d rather just keep my current job as I’m a little too claustrophobic for such a mission. Plus, could you imagine being stuck in such a small space for over a year with the same three people? I need to be out meeting people, prospecting, traveling, speaking and presenting workshops!
I share this difficult new job with you for purposes of perspective. First, you’re luckier to work in sales than you might think, and second, when sales feels tough, remember the things about the job you like.
Here are some healthy perspective thoughts for you that will hopefully keep you selling happily and effectively…
Keep in mind that selling is a noble profession. Without sales activity, the wheels of commerce grind to a halt. Your work creates jobs and feeds families. Sales is the lifeblood of your company. Without your efforts, your company would not exist, and countless clients would be unserved or underserved.
It’s also a good idea to focus on your victories. Sales will always be rife with failure and rejection. That’s the bad side of the business. But if you focus on your victories and look forward to more wins in the future, your mind will be in the right place.
Gratitude is another important perspective tool. I’m grateful I get to do sales-related work. It’s always interesting and sometimes very entertaining. I’m lucky I get to work with different people/businesses and that I am seldom-to-never bored. When you’re frustrated about losing a deal, just remind yourself you could have a routine-focused office job that never changes.
You can prevent future problems in your work (and life) by always maintaining your character. Integrity leads to success. You’ll be rewarded with high levels of client retention. Focus on people – your clients and colleagues. Draw inspiration and motivation from the people who surround you. When you remember that the things you sell have real impacts on real people, it helps you ride through the rough patches.
Finally, enjoy the competitive side of sales. Sales is a sport. Sales is a game. Try to accumulate little (and sometimes big) victories each day. Playing to win in an honest way removes the drudgery of day-to-day work.
Sales is hard, but with the right perspective, it can be one of the most enjoyable and consistently rewarding careers a person could ever hope to pursue. And a helluva lot easier than spending a year on Mars.