The other day I was having a conversation with someone. He asked a very intriguing question, “Why do you do what you do?” He was referring to my businesses and how I work.
It got me to thinking, we each need to reflect periodically about the choices we make in our lives and careers. It’s easy to get distracted by all the activities and the sheer momentum of work, but if we don’t reflect periodically, we lose our ways. As a result, our effectiveness plummets. We start putting in the hours, but they have no meaning and it becomes work–drudgery.
Why do you sell?
The easy answer is, “to make money,” but that doesn’t really answer the question. There are plenty of other thing we can do to make money. Honestly, there are plenty of other choices to make lots of money.
Selling is tough, when you think about it, the money, however good it might be, is not enough to cause us to sell year after year after year.
So there has to be more to why we sell than just the money.
Here are some thoughts:
The sheer diversity of what we do and who we work with. Each customer and situation is different. We meet dozens to hundreds to thousands of new people every year, each facing different challenges. Every day is different, every customer is different. No chance of ever getting bored.
It’s very entrepreneurial. Our companies give us accounts and territories, saying, “Maximize our share in the territory.” It’s up to us to figure it out. We leverage resources to help us do it, but in a sense, it’s our own little business to build.
The accountability! It’s been said many time, “Nothing happens until someone sells something.” Our companies are dependent on our ability to sell. Likewise, we have an accountability to our customers, they are putting their futures in our hands.
It’s like figuring out a puzzle. Trying to figure out what is happening with the customer, trying to figure out what it takes to win.
It’s creative. Figuring things out, developing a strategy, executing it, creating a solution, no situation is the same.
The competition is exhilarating. Getting the customer to choose you above all other alternatives. Winning is great, but the competition is exhilarating. If we lose, it forces us to come back stronger the next time.
What else can you do that enables you to build so many deep, interesting relationships?
Having people bet on you and trust you! When you win, people put their destinies and that of their companies in your hands. If you recommended the wrong thing, they won’t achieve their goals. In some cases, they may lose their jobs, the companies may falter.
For me, the biggest reward is the ability to contribute–to Make A Difference–or to have an impact. To see people and organizations change, achieve their goals, their dreams, to produce results they couldn’t have with any other solution.
Money is nice, it’s one measure of success, but there’s so much more.
Why do you sell?