As my husband and I talk with our teens about careers and college majors, we cover a lot of ground on their intersts. of course we discuss business options, and I always bring up a career in sales. Last night, our 14 year old asked ‘What do you have to do in sales?’
Finally! A signal of interest for a rewarding and lucrative career discussion? I narrowed it down to three things to help her understand sales 101. A sales professional:
- Helps others get what they want or need in their industry/niche.
- Builds and maintains a productive pipeline and great relationships.
- Is rewarded based on their efforts and the value they bring to their company and customers.
Is that it? In a nutshell I believe it is! it does take skill and expertise to do each of these well but it it something that can be learned. And a Sales 101 course that brought awareness first to what sales is would help alleviate a lot of the present negativity around ‘sales guys’.
I don’t think we look at sales as a career choice nearly enough. In my sales workshops, when I ask participants, “Who chose this career?” Maybe 15-20% of people raise their hands. And most chose because of a relative being in sales.
The others ‘ended up in sales’ through default, luck or chance.
I’ve notice a forwad trend though, throughout the country sales majors and disciplines are instituted. The career of sales is being taken seriously as a displine and something that can be studied and learned. Yeah!
That’s why I was happy to find the website for The University Sales Education Foundation. As I read through the university and major description, I noticed many of the programs are still small, and some are just starting Fall 2010! But we’re are advancing the profession of sales and that is great.
Now I ask you…what is the career of sales to you? Is it a career you are proud of? That you can advocate and endorse to others starting out? If not, why? Digging in for those answers might be the best thing you can do for yourself this week.
If you are proud of your career and the value you bring, you will be more successful. If you aren’t, it moght be holding you back from higher levels of success.
p.s. Unlike the recent court ruling by a federal judge in Connecticut that competitive cheerleading is not an ‘official sport’, we can all claim that sales is an ‘official profession’ worthy of college study.