By Tibor Shanto – firstname.lastname@example.org
At the end of this post I will ask you a specific question that I would love you to answer, and I thank you here in advance.
Two things happened this past week or 10 days that led to this week’s Sales eXchange being a bit different than the usual, and isn’t that what we always strive to be in sales. First is the fact that this is the 200th Sales eXchange post, and while I had given it much thought, someone asked if I will be marking the fact in any way. The person that asked me was a young person at an event I participated in recently. The event was organized to present young people with different options for their life after school.
One of the questions going into the event was “What do you want to be?” Some had very clear ideas, knowing exactly where they want to go. One young lady was determined to become a speech pathologist due to a friend she had in grade school. She structured her high school curriculum to set her up for a path of success in post-secondary school, and to her dream career. Others stated a number of different career plans, some very specific, marketing, finance, construction, software design, and more. Others were a bit more general, the young man who asked about the 200th post simply stated business. As an aside, it seems he had been spying my blog (and others) to glean ideas for his high school business class, at least someone is getting value at an early age. But in the end no one said they wanted to go into sales, not one.
Consider that according to the United States Department of Labor, there just under 14 million people employed in sales as of May 2012 in the USA. The same department pegs the number of lawyers at under 1 million, and software developers (systems and applications) also under 1 million. Yet fewer than a handful of institutions offer a degree in selling or sales.
There were a number of kids who talked about becoming lawyers, software developers, doctors, even golf pros, but not one said sales. Which begs the question that if no one sets out to become a sales professional, where the hell did we all come from? Are we progressing as a profession, or just a modern day version of post war refugee camps full of people making due while they find their next destination? Are we a repository of other professions outcasts, with the occasional diamond in the rough? After all, almost 50% of sellers do not make quota, this would not be tolerated in any other department.
So here is my ask – take a minute and think about where you are in sales as a career, how you got here, how you’re doing. Then take a minute and in the comment box below, tell me:
Why Are You In Sales?