What i learned in Sales

I have been really good at my job. Great highs (World Bank funded project) and just as many lows which I have come to appreciate much later. I used certain lines to my then boss to get my first job ‘you will not regret it’ and speaking for him am sure he didn’t. First am privileged to have worked with the smartest & most amazing people. A short tribute: Read on

Patrick: Among the many things you taught me, you reminded me frequently of the impact of our work; distributing clean energy to impoverished homes that depended on dim, smoky and unsafe kerosene lamps ‘korobois’.

Nina: She got to work before everyone else and was on her computer working all day. We always asked amongst ourselves “what is she always doing?” We ate her snacks in the spirit of sharing (introduced me to Toblerone chocolates). She’s the most brilliant person I know.

Soleil: We hit it off despite different ‘everything’- culture, background. She revived my French, was funny & attempted to balance 10 litters of water like Africans do. Her snacks were tomatoes and carrots.

Joseph: My boss. He sure loves to party. Free spirited, most amazing boss I will ever have. He organized dinners, parties, boot camps and other outdoor events then paid for them. If he were Bill gates (he’s headed there), I would have a fat account and a few holiday homes worldwide. He’s quite generous with a good sense of humor. God bless Him.

Stephen K.: The most dependable, honest, loyal and humble person I know. He’s too good.

Marc: Marc Wolhert. His 6, 3’ height (estimate) towered me. Lived large and said what was on his mind. He was a good team player and a traveler too.

I can’t list everyone but I will never forget who they were and how they impacted my life.

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On Sales:

Most people apply for sales jobs as a last resort. Sales & marketing (S&M) mostly combined, is not an easy job so I would tend to think anyone who takes that route is lazy. Wrong. Those who survive thrive on attitude and reward. Sadly the two go hand in hand and when the latter is not achieved it drains the former. Most sales jobs are on commission and lucky guys get a ‘small’ retainer. When there’s pressure to perform with little reward most people start working on an exit plan or they just wait to be fired. Most of the time the exit plan does not work out. That’s why there are so many stressed out, demotivated and unfocused sales people. Every day is a struggle to get out of bed and go back to the same old routine. What works?

Own it: My boss once told me “love what you do because you are good at it”. Initially I thought he only wanted me to continue bringing in the checks but once I grasped that things got better. So when your friends who are quite successful ask you what you do don’t go round with the fancy titles. Describe what you do gracefully & they will buy it. You will learn to love your job and embrace the challenges to arrive at solutions.

Your friends should be your first client.

The bigger picture: Unless you are looking into employment for the rest of your life, pretend you are selling your own brand. The biggest blessing I had with my boss he let us gamble with his investment and we ‘owned’ the company. I signed contracts, represented the company in meetings and people knew me as REV. Your sales performance represent your futer financial status. If you quit on your employer you will likely quit on your investment. No business is a walk in the park.

Your sales performance represent your futer financial status.

Plan and Structure: In a sales job you don’t wake up one morning and start selling. Study the market (available reports, competitors, own survey) and structure delivery cost effectively. Once you have it on paper, the field becomes your office. It may not be fun but that’s the ONLY way it works. Any sales person working from the office is not maximizing on the potential of the business. Getting out halves the work because you get to know what the market wants.

Any sales person working from the office is not maximizing on the potential of the business.

Don’t expect it to be easy: Your best is not enough. There has to be something extra you are putting on the table and this includes your weekends, those extra hours and sometimes resources. They don’t go unnoticed and when a management position comes along no one else is better to handle it than you. Most managers know the chain from below. When your mind knows it’s tough, it braces for tough times.

When your mind knows it’s tough, it braces for tough times.

Pray like crazy: There are months you literally need a miracle. Again prayer is important all round but when you are a sales person you totally depend on God for great ideas and insight, for favor when approaching a potential client and grace to take in rejection professionally. After the long difficult day you’ve got to rest your worries on able hands to provide a better tomorrow. A Christian life is like a sales job; we are called to fish men daily. Good thing we work with the holy spirit who once we have ‘activated’ the market ‘convicts’ people. With prayer you never go wrong.

A Christian life is like a sales job; we are called to fish men daily.

On making Money: Sales come in handy on commissions and bonuses. If you have valid figures don’t be shy to ask for a raise. A good company invests in a good employee. Good rewards motivate performance and when you want to grow, let the company grow first. From $ 80 USD a month, I left REV with a seven figure contract for an 8 month project all in God’s glory. Because of my networks, I have barely worked all year round but have received checks throughout. God is truly awesome.

A good company invests in a good employee.

When you have done it all: I like to finish my work and look at it in satisfaction. It’s the same thing God did when He created the world Genesis 1:31. Whatever your hands find to do, do it with all your might Ecclesiastes 9:10. Have no regrets when you have to move on. Do all you can while you still can because those moments won’t last. The company will shut down and you will be forced to go home or it will flourish and you will represent that growth in a flashy car, nice suit or funding your degree. Still, if it doesn’t work out thank God and seek a new direction.

Have no regrets when you have to move on.

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