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Sales Is Hard…….

by David Brock on July 19th, 2022

I’ve been following a fascinating discussion led by David Masover on LinkedIn. David provokes the discussion with a question, What Makes Sales So Hard?

There’s a lot of discussion, with many very powerful and fair points.

People talk about the pressure to perform, fear of rejection, fear of failure, fear of conflict, getting people to listen, pressure to achieve goals, and so forth.

Without a doubt, sales is hard!

But is it any different with any other job in an organization?

Think of any other role in an organization. Whether it’s in engineering, manufacturing, finance, HR, operations, and, well…..procurement.

In every role in an organization, people face the pressure to perform, fear rejection by their colleagues and others they need to work with, face conflict with differing views/ideas, struggle with getting others to listen–particularly management, and are under pressure to achieve goals. If they fail, if they don’t achieve their goals, they can lose opportunities, bonuses, or their jobs.

The challenges people face in every function in an organization are not dissimilar to those sales people face.

But why do we tend to think selling is different? Why do we think the pressure/challenges to perform are different than those in other functions face? Sure, the context is different, but there is the constant need to perform, to deal with differences in opinion/conflict, to achieve. And often, without the right tools, support, and so forth.

Developers and engineers must meet innovation and product development challenges. They have to create breakthrough products, hitting design, budget and other deadlines. They face disagreement on design choices, features/capability, cost choices. They find ways of reconciling these.

Manufacturing has to create a smooth/consistent process. They must manage supply chain problems, process problems, quality issues, all while meeting cost and shipping commitments.

Go through every function in an organization–nothing is easy, each has problems and challenges. And, ironically, its these that create the opportunity for us to sell.

It’s human nature to be self centered, to be more focused on our own success, problems, and challenges, than those of others.

As sellers, how would our ability to connect with, influence, and help our customers change, if we stopped obsessing about how hard our jobs are, focusing instead on the difficulties and challenges our customers face in doing their jobs.

Perhaps, if we did that well, our jobs might not be easier, but perhaps more fulfilling……

From → Performance

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