Do you love sales? Do you love what you do? Do you love your product? Do you love your company? Do you love your customers?
These are not questions I pulled out of the air. These are questions that directly affect your productivity, your attitude, your income, your success and your fulfillment. Not to mention your longevity at your present job.
Many salespeople are reluctant to come to grips with “why” they are in sales and “why” they’re in their present job. Some salespeople will respond, “I’m in it for the money,” while others will respond, “I need the money.” Still others will respond, “I have bills to pay and debt to overcome,” and even more will say, “I have a family.”
Not many will say, “I haven’t got enough saved up to go to what I really want to do,” and even fewer are willing to take the risk.
If you don’t love what you do, you’re doing no one a favor by staying in your present position. Your attitude and morale will be negative: You’ll be complaining about everything and you’ll be blaming everyone else and their dog for your unhappiness and inadequacy.
And there’s a bonus: Your boss will be all over you to increase your numbers, your customers will be upset for lack of attention and, in general, you will rise to a level of mediocrity.
What are you thinking?
Some salespeople hate their job but stay because they “make a lot of money.”
Clue: The worst reason to keep a job is because you’re making a lot of money. When money is your motive, then it’s all about making the sale without regard to building the relationship — a formula for long-term disaster.
Oh, you may have some short-term success, but when you go home at night, you’ll be drowning your misery in television, beer and, in general, anything but preparation for the next day.
You can even get away with it for a while, but in the end, you’ll be looking in the paper every Sunday or posting your résumé online hoping for a better opportunity.
It’s most interesting to me how the salespeople looking for a “better opportunity” are the very ones not looking in their own backyard (see Russell Conwell’s “Acres of Diamonds” for the full lesson). Most salespeople fail to realize that, by building themselves into the best person they can be, they will attract the right offers rather than seek them.
Let me flip back to the positive side. The purpose of this article is to give you a formula you can use to figure out if you are in the right place, or how to find the right place.
Here’s the formula: If you’re in sales and you love sales, first ask yourself, “If I could sell anything, what would I sell?” If the answer to that question is not what you’re currently selling, therein lies part of the problem.
However, this formula is not about switching jobs immediately; this formula is about becoming the best salesperson you can in each job you commit to. If you’re going to leave a job for another job, why don’t you set the company record for most sales before you walk out the door?
Selling is a lot like running a road race: You don’t have to win the race, but you do have to achieve your personal best each time you run one.
If your numbers are low or mediocre at one place, what makes you think they will be better somewhere else? You see, part of the formula is not just “love what you do”; it’s also possessing the skills (or dedicating yourself to getting them).
So far we’re at finding what you love to do and then dedicating yourself to getting the skills to master what you love.
The third part is believing — belief in company, belief in product, belief in service and belief in self. If you believe deeply that everything is “best,” then your message will be so enthusiastically delivered that others will catch your passion. A deep self-belief will create enthusiasm and passion.
Love test: You must believe the customer is better off having purchased from you. And you can’t just believe it in your head — you must believe it in your heart.
The final part is internalizing your attitude. Attitude starts from within. It’s the mood you’re in when you wake up in the morning, the mood you stay in all day long and the mood you’re in when you go to bed.
But attitude is not a feeling. Attitude is a lifelong dedication to the study of positive thought and the character/charisma/happiness you display as you interact with others. If it’s not internal, it can never be external.
So, there’s the formula. No, I’m not going to summarize it. If you want it bad enough, you’ll reread it. Love moves mountains — and students.
Editor’s note: Jeffrey Gitomer is on sabbatical. This column originally appeared in the Feb. 22, 2016, Business Journal.
Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of 13 books including “The Sales Bible,” “The Little Red Book of Selling” and “The Little Gold Book of Yes! Attitude.” His online courses are available at gitomerlearningacademy.com. For information about training and seminars, visit gitomer.com or gitomercertifiedadvisors.com, or email Jeffrey at firstname.lastname@example.org.