Grow a Pair or Get Out of Sales
(One of the 83 quick and practical life & work lessons from Sh*t Sandwich: Quick & Practical Success Lessons for Practically Anyone.)
Sales: It Ain’t Personal
This saying should be printed across a large banner and hung in every sales room in America. If you’re in sales – and you want to be successful – this should be your motto.
The best salespeople I’ve ever met take nothing personal – in fact, you might even think they lack any sense of personal pride, because nothing ever seems to faze them. Of course, the best salespeople I know have an immense sense of personal pride, and they are driven by their accomplishments. But, they simply don’t let shit bother them… ever.
Let me give you a quick, real-world example:
A salesperson who worked for one of my company’s primary vendors – someone who happened to be a former coworker and a person I considered to be a friend – lost a bid with my company. The vendor had held this business for several years and we were nearing the end of the latest multi-year agreement.
While the successful bidder’s price was a 20% discount to what we were paying (and a 35% discount to the incumbent’s best and final offer for the proposed agreement), the primary reason we decided to make a change was the deteriorating level of support and innovation the incumbent had been providing over the course of this latest contract.
It’s nothing personal. It’s just business.
By rejecting the incumbent’s bid, we were not rejecting the salesperson (we’ll call him Chuck). Interestingly, Chuck took it personally. In fact, he basically became intolerable the day we made our decision. Why did he take it so personally?
I ran into Chuck a year later and even though we had been friends before the decision was made, Chuck was still short and cold with me – a full year later! What happened to the warm friendship we had as coworkers and as vendor/customer all of those years?
It’s sales; and sales ain’t personal.
If you’re in sales and losing a sale would make you react like Chuck, then you have two choices: Grow a pair or get out of sales. You’re not cut out for it. (It’s nothing personal.)