Updated: Mar 14
Quite a few years ago I was working as part of a sales team where we were really struggling in a difficult market. It had been a terrible quarter.
In a heated meeting the CEO said he would get on the phone himself and 'show us all how it's done'.
'Oh dear' I think was the collective sentiment.
The next few days and weeks would reveal that sales really is not that easy. It didn't help that the CEO would approach prospects with his 'Director's hat' on...I mean how could anyone say no to doing business directly with the CEO? Erm not quite...
With a huge ego underpinning any introduction & conversation, there was a general tone demonstrating this was beneath him.
Over a period of weeks there were barely any conversations let alone any sales. But I do think an invaluable lesson was learnt.
The meeting had required more of a pragmatic brainstorm - a break down of the sales process, where it was falling down, any areas people were doing well in and others where the team were struggling. It did not require a confrontational showdown which would only backfire anyway.
Decent salespeople are unique. Sales is both a science and an art and should never be underestimated in its unique challenges. It requires resilience, humility, confidence, empathy, understanding, people skills and adept listening capabilities.
In my opinion it is one of the toughest careers and requires bullet-proof resilience & persistence. But when understood and worked out it is probably the most rewarding.