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Why is sales so hard?
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Parzival Offline
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Post: #26
RE: Why is sales so hard?
When you work in a territory or field, its up to you to build up trusted customers. When you start with a new product, it can take years till you have build up trusted customers. Persistence is the key to get the decision maker. When some company really don't want, I put it on a list an 4 to 6 months later I call again. Maybe the guy that blocks you left, or you manage to get another way around with a new contact person. Also when I just have a maintenance guy on the phone, I still do the visit. Be with this guy or be on the phone is complete different. In real you can also ask blunt who else can be interested. Key is to have a good product performance / demonstration.

No leads is not an excuse for me, you should be your own leads machine. What annoys me is bad or slow tech support, no clear structure. Like you need support and the internal process don't give you an answer. Or you have to pass it through several levels to escalate. Not to mention when customers get not answers. That mess up a way more.

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For us, these conflicts can be resolved by appeal to the deeply ingrained higher principle embodied in the law, that individuals have the right (within defined limits) to choose how to live. But this Western notion of individualism and tolerance is by no means a conception in all cultures. - Theodore Dalrymple
08-14-2018 02:00 PM
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RichieP Offline
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Post: #27
RE: Why is sales so hard?
(08-14-2018 01:03 PM)Vladimir Poontang Wrote:  I have no issues with people saying no. It's disappointing but it's not the end of the world. And I have no problem with the fact that sales is challenging. I don't have any fear about talking to people on the phone (although I certainly did when I tried it a long time ago). In fact I find it exciting.

My issue with sales is that it is a profession in which you have to go through so much bullshit in between results.

I'd say most jobs involve long stretches of non-ideal grunt work. It's 90% of anything. The key is finding a job where you enjoy or at least readily tolerate the necessary process between the "fun" bits.

One issue I've seen in sales is "farmers vs hunters" e.g. prospectors or lead nurturers being put in a closer's role, or vice versa. That makes people unhappy. Take roles where you can play to your strengths.
(This post was last modified: 08-14-2018 08:10 PM by RichieP.)
08-14-2018 08:08 PM
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KYT88 Offline
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Post: #28
RE: Why is sales so hard?
OP, it sounds like you are selling the wrong product with a company not providing you the best support systems to do your job.

Perhaps look for a product where it benefits the customer to such a degree that they are more than happy for you to earn a commission for doing them the service of recommending such a helpful product to them.

Working with a company that has systems in place that your prospects are prequalified by another person to set up an appointment for you will also relieve some of the frustration of trying again and again to reach people who dont answer the phone.

If this isnt offerered look into hiring and training a remote Philippino worker to handle your qualifying and admin work. Leaving you with the prospects that are ready to be pitched.
08-14-2018 08:10 PM
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Thrill Jackson Offline
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Post: #29
RE: Why is sales so hard?
Selling is more data based then people realizy and the best ones have a mindset of being a consultant. You should know that your bringing value from the start and why your product will fix their problem better than anybody else would. Game is most useful in the sense that you will be rejected day and night and you need the confidence to push through the constant rejection and confidence to earn the customers trust

Growth Over Everything Else.
08-14-2018 10:26 PM
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The Black Knight Offline
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Post: #30
RE: Why is sales so hard?
Why?

Random thoughts:

1. Because most sales jobs are bullshit, are not designed for you to succeed and many sales managers are scumbags.

2. If you are not working for a #1 or 2 leader in your category due to having a weaker product or at least working for a company with a very compelling product that could overtake the leader(s) within a year, you are fighting a massive uphill battle.

3. Most decisions makers are behind 5-10 layers of gatekeepers and most decision makers refuse to take cold calls.

3a. Decisions makers do their own research (which they pay A LOT of money for in some cases) and they talk to other decisions makers at other companies for ideas on what to buy. In the digital information age of smartphones and the internet, word on what's good and bad from a product perspective travels very quickly now. Have the good product(s)? It's basically "don't fuck up" game.

4. If you have the compelling product that is not the leader, you have to convince the decision maker why he/she should go against the industry herd. This is difficult because if the herd buys WIDGET XYZ and your new client goes with your product, WIDGET ABC and something goes wrong with ABC, guess who is getting fired for betting against the industry herd? If everyone buys XYZ and something goes wrong, you can't fire the entire industry; everyone thought XYZ was the shit.

These decision makers have a ton on their plate, not enough time, and more often than not, rather bet on what everyone else is doing as oppose to being a rebel. Most CEOs and Boards generally don't like rebels; especially one's that cost the business a lot of money going against the grain.

5. One of hardest thing about sales isn't the conversations in my opinion; it's maintaining the will to keep going and working through the grind week after week while your head is in the guillotine. All the while many things are beyond your control since you don't run the company.

6. There are lots of people with decent people skills; there are FAR fewer people who can handle the heat and pressure constantly for months on end. There is a reason that really good sales guys make a shit ton of money: they are a rare breed. It's not a great lifestyle long-term unless your personality is VERY tailored to the demands of it; even if you're super good at selling for someone else. If you're really good at it, you're much better off working for yourself in the long-term. If you're good at sales, you're already ahead of many business competitors who couldn't sell ice water to a dehydrated man in the Sahara.

Bottom line:

In this era especially of socially retarded adults raised on "everybody gets a medal"/strict digital communication methods, most 20-30 somethings are absolutely terrified of rejection/failure and have zero phone/in-person social skills. Good for you if you can actually sell shit though; especially if working for yourself.

However, while a good sales guy will generally do OK anywhere at a minimum for a little bit by squeezing their network and via pure hustle, you can't get blood from a stone when its all said and done. If your shit isn't competitive, you're generally on borrowed time. Ever seen a really good actor in a bad movie? It's like that. Doomed from the start. A good actor can't replace a shit director, producer, cinematographer, bad script, etc. Even if you are top dog sales wise, if the company is struggling because it's not competitive, you're dead sooner than later.

Ultimately, you should only work for companies where you're passionate about the product AND it's a #1 or 2 leader in its category OR for a very strong challenger for #1 or 2. The best sales job is working for yourself though.
08-15-2018 12:23 AM
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Post: #31
RE: Why is sales so hard?
^black knight dropping truth bombs here.

Especially about working for yourself.
08-15-2018 07:05 AM
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PBX Offline
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Post: #32
RE: Why is sales so hard?
Sales are only hard if your product is shitty and/or you don't know how to present your product.

With one of my own businesses that relies heavily on outbound sales, I have found sales to be ridiculously easy. So easy that we sold so much within just a few weeks of time that we had to slow down a little an invest in infrastructure and processes first lately. In raw numbers, we went from 0 to $40k in profits within around 6 weeks. If your product or service is good and you don't present them in a shitty way, sales are never the bottle neck. Process is.

In a way, sales are like game.

Why is game so hard?

It depends.

For example:

Game is fairly hard for me in some major Western European cities where everybody who puts in the effort will look fairly similar to me. Also, despite doing fairly well economically, there are still a lot of bigger fish around. Yet send me down to South America or SEA and you will witness hell break loose.

Some lessons learned:

#1 Invest in yourself, i.e. your inner game, looks, etc. / your product
#2 Learn game / sales - present yourself right
#3 Identify your customers, find markets where you have an edge / unfair advantage. Applies to sales and game.
08-15-2018 11:02 AM
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Cobra Offline
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Post: #33
RE: Why is sales so hard?
I'll write more about my experiences in sales.

Some of the posts here I agree with and others, I disagree.

Activity in sales is king. Eventually it turns into effective activity and later it turns into results with minimal activity. I've been around top sales people in my industry and I have seen and been at both ends of the spectrum.

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08-15-2018 11:56 AM
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Seadog Offline
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Post: #34
RE: Why is sales so hard?
(08-13-2018 11:34 PM)Off The Reservation Wrote:  Another example from a friend of mine, he told me there was a used car at his car dealer that did not sell for 400 days, and he put a $1500 minimum commission on it, and every salesmen on his team showed it to every person who walked in regardless of what they asked for and it was sold the SAME DAY.

Sales is hard because there is an inherent conflict of interest, and if what's best for the client isn't necessarily best for the salesman, which way does he go? This is a perfect example. The salesmen were only concerned about moving that car and their benefit, regardless of whether or not it was suitable.

A good salesman is effectively a partner in the enterprises of the people they serve. If you sell plows to a farmer, and can show him how using said plow will increase his yields, beyond the price he's paying you, then you'll have people lining up. The true win-win which should be the goal of all salesmen. You need to know your clients' business better than them, and be willing to take a short term loss to build up credibility and do these things for the long haul. The sales corollary of JFK's speech is ask what you can do for your clients, not what they can do for you.

Conversely, if your selling counterfeit Viagra or dick bottle openers in SEA, then of course it's going to be hard. The product you're flogging is less than worthless and I wouldn't take it for free since it takes up space, and could cause unwanted questions at borders. This is almost directly like pickup. The greatest was to do better is to improve the product you're offering (yourself) and stop trying to figure out how to trick people.
08-15-2018 12:24 PM
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Cobra Offline
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Post: #35
RE: Why is sales so hard?
I could write a data sheet on this but I'll start here. This is also going to be a macro level post for those that are serious about sales. I'm not going to cover mechanics too much, like objections, elevator pitches, dealing with gatekeepers etc. The post is for those that are serious about sales and see it as a career in which they can make lots of $$. Black Knight did a good job covering some aspects that I may not.

Caveat: I sell mid to higher level consulting services. So this may not apply entirely to all industries. However, there should be sufficient overlap.

Attitude : Your attitude in how you approach a sales job has to be "fun." You should be aiming to walk around your office like you have the biggest dick in the place. If you are not aiming for this, and only seeing this as a "job," do yourself a favor and don't read further.

Consistency that is driven by Faith: Let's separate "Account Management" from "Business Development." There are many people in my industry and others that get sick and tired of finding new clients and developing them. So they choose to opt out of it and turn to managing accounts for clients who provide business that someone else brought in. You can do this forever but it doesn't equate to the grit and the reward that Business Development provides. Yet, with that reward comes lots of risk. There will be months where you don't bring in new clients and your existing ones are not giving you business. You need to hang on and hang tight. Find new clients and have faith in YOURSELF. No one is going to be able to motivate you like you can. While you don't need to slog it out every single day if business is good, you sure as hell do when business is bad.

Mechanics: Come in at 7, plan your calls better and take time to carry out that plan efficiently, instead of dicking around all day and doing the sourcing and calling for each contact all day. You should take 1 - 2 hours each fucking day to plan your calls and emails the next day. If you don't your book of business will die a slow death. This is fine but then you're in a hole you need to dig out of and you better dig out of it. If you are there, see "Digging yourself out of a hole" section below.

Appearance: YOU are going to be one of the top sales people in the company. Dress like it. Wear a jacket and/or a tie too if you think it helps. My pants are fitted and my jackets are fitted. I wear pocket squares every day. I even had the company marketing department make pocket squares with my company logo and my name on it. I didn't give these to clients because I thought that was gay.

Relationships: When you're selling complex services or products especially, your relationships drive those sales. I have key clients that I take out for a drink and have a good time at least once a quarter. You need to build a pipeline where they are calling you for business eventually. Not slog away until you're 60 and make cold calls.

Digging yourself out of a hole: THE single most relevant part of why sales is HARD as in the theme of this thread. Most people dig the hole because they don't do a combination of what I prescribed above. Then they are in a hole. There are not many sales people that were always consistent in doing everything I mentioned above. They learned from their mistakes. HOW? They fell into a deep hole and dug themselves out. That takes grit, courage and faith. You have to be able to do this, especially when you have no idea in hell where your next order or sale will come from. The reason sales is so hard is because people refuse to put that faith in themselves that they can do this.

I struggle with the faith aspect every day because getting into sales means that you are not building a skillset somewhere else. If you think about this too much, you will start to suck.

I'm done for now but happy to provide detail on my own journey. I have provided some tips in my finance data sheets in my signature as well. Part 3 is a lot more sales specific if anyone wants to peruse.

Source: I went from Accounting/Finance to selling consulting services in the field. I thought my network would help but didn't make a dollar of revenue from anyone in my network until year 2. Until then, I used what I could to cold call, network and market myself. 4 years later, I own part of the company I work for and am one of its top sales people. I'm looked upon to train others that are struggling and have helped many people adjust their sales process and succeed. I'm happy to provide any help to those that seek it genuinely.

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(This post was last modified: 08-15-2018 06:15 PM by Cobra.)
08-15-2018 06:06 PM
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Post: #36
RE: Why is sales so hard?
I've been in a few years. I have a solid job currently at a big company in the city and I have to leave in a few minutes. Here are a few tips.

1. No one is going to give a good sales job to a newbie. The first few jobs for MOST people is hundreds of calls daily. Even at Oracle you're basically a cold calling bitch for the first few years. So if you want to make it in sales expect to have a few bullshit jobs in order to "pay your dues".

2. Most jobs are bullshit. Check turnover, interview the sales managers. Ask the reps how it is. Call the top rep and ask how it is.

3. Check tenure. You want most around you to be there for a few years. Good reps leave to other opportunities and bad reps get fired. Long tenure means those there haven't gone out to seek out better opportunities.

4. You will have to work hard and grind, that is expected.

5. You need a product that makes DMs say "I've heard of you guys, let's talk" when you call them. Think of tech that is known and good. Those companies. Shit products won't get very far.

Most of your objections should be similar to "We're in a multi year contract with your competitor", "I know you guys are good but we don't need that right now", "We're not ready yet but soon we may be".
08-16-2018 09:17 AM
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