Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The ABCs of Sales - F is for Freedom

F is for Freedom

Successful sales professionals are granted amazing flexibility and freedom in regards to time and money. When a salesperson is a top performer they have a lot of leeway in how they occupy their work hours. Since many who sell work remotely they are not being observed by bosses and co-workers in an office setting. If they meet or exceed quota and choose to take an afternoon to attend a kids soccer game, nobody would ever question their actions.  

Those who are the best at selling are often well compensated.  Sales professionals who are great at their jobs are among some of the highest paid people in any company, and the best never have to worry about finding a new job.  If you can sell, then there is a company out there who will hire you quickly. It is not uncommon for sales people to be hired away by bigger companies with larger compensation packages, because finding those who can and will do the work to sell are hard to find.  Smart companies cherish and honor their sales teams and financially reward them.

Thus sales people have unprecedented control of their own lives. Like an entrepreneur who has their own business, those in sales call the shots if they are successful. They are not expected to do their work in the office as people in other careers, and so nobody sees what they do minute to minute. If they work from home they don't even need to get dressed unless they have face to face appointments.  

But this freedom can backfire on those who are not disciplined. New sales professionals are often not prepared for the flexibility in their schedule and can easily to slip into bad habits that are not conducive for sales success.

Without supervision some can abuse these freedoms and fall into patterns where they are not prospecting and thus not getting enough leads in their pipeline.  How a salesperson deals with their freedom, and lack of direct oversight from managers, is usually a key indicator to how they will succeed over their career.  

Personal responsibility and getting the job done is what brings the real freedom. To let the flexibility of ones schedule take the lead will end up in mediocre or failure. There is a lot of responsibility to being a successful sales person.

The peak performers are disciplined in how they attack their daily schedule.  They do not let their personal freedoms undermine the routine of prospecting and selling activities, and thus they are the ones who end up with the most flexibility in their lives over time.  

The key is to not embrace the freedoms as a perk, but to let them become your badge of honor after you have reached the top. Freedom for sales people does not mean free time.  

Thom Singer is a keynote speaker and professional master of ceremonies.  He talks regularly to corporate audiences in competitive industries that are sales focused and whose people are seeking success.

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