One of the most important things I have to do (as a sales trainer/coach) is to determine what motivates my clients. Sometimes that’s easy to do – other times, not so much.
The question is an easy one to ask: “Why are you in sales?” The hard part (for some salespeople) is the answer.
I have heard:
- I really like people
- I love the freedom to make my own schedule
- I like to help people
- I like to solve people’s problems
- I’m a people-person
- I’m really good with people
Now. . . I know it’s a loaded question! I know what the answer “should” be. Most salespeople give the answer they “think” I want – the answer they think will win me over & make them look really good. Mistake.
Sales pros out there hear this: IT IS OK TO WANT MONEY! Matter of fact, in my experience, if “for the money” is not in the top 2 reasons for you to be in sales I’d suggest a new career.
This gig is hard enough. How many times have I said this? Let’s face it. . . We talk to strangers all day long. . . that don’t want to talk to us. . . about something they don’t want to buy. Who would do that? And if you do happen to do that, when you find someone that does want to buy you had better be paid well. Simple as that.
But no. Most salespeople “say” they really like people (join the Peace Corps). They say they really like to help people (they’re always looking for nurses). They like to solve people’s problems (be a psychiatrist). They say they are people-persons (Wall Mart’s looking for greeters). They say they are really good with people (sounds like customer service at any cable company).
Why so tough on “people persons” you ask? It has been my observation over the years that these people have a hard time making a living in sales. Why? They tend to do things that “nice people” do. Like what?
- Talk to anyone that will talk with them (not always high level decision makers)
- Discount pricing (after all I can’t get full price from my “friends”)
- Trust prospects that want to “think it over” (chasing them for decisions…)
- Make friends on sales calls (not sales)
Salespeople that are in it for the money have a different mind-set – it is professional & appropriate. They see themselves as problem-solvers but they look for problems, not friends. They understand they work for “for-profit” companies & are comfortable charging for it. Most of all they appreciate the “economics of selling” & don’t waste time educating prospects so much that they end up chasing them for decisions.
It’s OK to want money.