A is for Aspirations
Every successful sales professional has an eager desire to achieve more in their life. They are seeking something greater or aim to produce high value in their career and life. To get up everyday and achieve results they have to aspire to success, as selling is a difficult and often disappointing way to earn a living.
These goals to reach personal heights are not just limited to those in careers with "sales" in their job description. The most successful people realize they are on a sales team no matter what their role in their company. The truth is everyone is in "sales", even if their only product is themselves. We all must sell ourselves everyday to our bosses, clients, co-workers, friends, family, etc.... Those who are not consciously looking for ways to improve are missing out on countless future opportunities.
"Sales" often is misunderstood and gets a bad rap in our society. The image of the "used car salesperson" has negative connotations, and many shy away from wanting to be seen as "selling". They use terms like "business development" or "account manager" to describe themselves, as if sales professionals are lepers.
However, without sales there is no business. Every organization (except apparently for governments) must have income that exceeds expenses if they intend to continue operations. In highly competitive industries, the sales people are celebrated and well compensated because it is understood that they are driving the business.
Companies that do not understand the importance of sales will often not hire the most aggressive and talented sales people, and when they do get a superstar they fail to keep them engaged in the company and the person moves on to greener pastures. Having mediocre sales people means nobody in the company can ever reach their potential. All companies should aspire to have top level sales teams, and treat them well.
Small business owners and solopreneurs often forget they themselves are in sales. Often they see themselves in the role of delivering their product or service, but without sales they have no business. Getting clear about the importance of sales and doing what it takes to drive new business is the first step toward a sustainable company.
For an individual contributor, selling more means earning more money. Sales professionals income should never be capped, as those who are the best at selling will continue to chase their personal goals and try to break personal and company records. While money is not everything, it is an important benchmark for sales professionals.
If you are reading this and you are in a sales career, what are your goals? What do you aspire to earn this year? Be clear and think big. Create a picture of what you want to achieve and then reverse engineer the steps you need to take to reach your goals. Let your aspirations be a guiding beacon that keeps working hard everyday. Those who know what they want and how to get there are rarely disappointed when they lose a sale. They know there is another one coming and that their focused actions will move them ahead.
Thom Singer is a professional master of ceremonies and keynote speaker. He talks regularly to corporate audiences that are sales focused and in competitive industries. http://www.ThomSinger.com