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Selling, If I Were Starting My Career Again, Would I Choose To Sell?

by David Brock on December 17th, 2019

I saw a post by a “sales expert.” He suggested that if he were to be starting his career all over, he would probably not choose to sell. His argument didn’t make much sense, it basically focused on consumer product sales and believed AI would quickly take over the function of sales people. Basically, his reasoning was nonsense.

However, the question was interesting. I started my career as a sales person a little less than 40 years ago. Since then, I’ve progressed through a number of sales, management, executive roles in small and gigantic companies.

But, if I were starting my career all over, would I choose to start in sales?

The answer to this is a resounding “YES!!!!” I can’t think of a better time to be in sales or starting a career in selling.

There are those that gleefully declare the demise of sales. Customers have many more sources of high quality information available to them. Technology is displacing many of the tasks that sales people have done in the past. AI/ML has great promise, though, largely it’s value in sales is misunderstood.

It’s, perhaps these things are part of the excitement. They take away a lot of the tedium/administrivia I had to do as a sales person, freeing up time to find opportunities and work with customers.

These technologies enable sales people to more effectively target and engage the right people at the right time doing the right things. Stated differently, well used, they help me become much more impactful in engaging customers, enabling me to be more successful.

But the most exciting thing has little to do with the technology and tools, but rather with the customer. Customers live in a world of accelerating change, increasing complexity, information overload, increasing risk, and overwhelm.

They are struggling just to do their jobs, at the same time looking to grow and improve. They are struggling to make sense of what they face, and seek greater confidence in the decisions they make.

These are the ingredients of a “perfect storm” for talented sales people that can respond and help customers. The demand for these skills will far outstrip the supply.

What could be more perfect in choosing a career that enables you to have an impact, not only within your own company but with your customers?

What could be more perfect than choosing a career that enables you to grow, learn, and develop–providing a platform for greater things in sales or in any other leadership role?

I don’t think there has ever been a bad time to choose to be a sales professional, but the coming years will present great opportunity for growth, success and contribution.

If I were starting all over today, I would leap at the opportunity to join an organization that will invest in developing me and present me the opportunity to serve our customers and sell. Can’t imagine anything more fun or rewarding.

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4 Comments
  1. Janice Mars permalink

    David, I absolutely and unequivocally agree!

  2. John Sterrett permalink

    David;

    What other job allows the flexibility to manage your own schedule, be there for Family and Community obligations, work as an entrepreneur, often with little personal financial risk, and not be tied to an 8-5 office drudgery?

    Remember when they all declared that the internet would kill the sales profession? Then ECommerce would kill the sales profession? Now AI will? All this greater technology does is take the tedium of commodity items away from us so we can focus on the complex, long term, long design or buy cycle, and technical sales where we thrive. Are refrigerator sales jobs gone? Yep. Commodity. What about a 3.5V Power Supply? Mostly Commodity.

    But where art meets product and customized solutions are required; where contract negotiation over 3-5 years, with stepped cost downs / ups and rebates / incentives are needed, we will always have a job.

    • Well said John! The world is getting more complex for us and for our customers. There will always be a high demand for people that can help customers manage this!

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