8 Signs That You Don’t Belong in Sales

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8 Signs That You Don’t Belong in Sales

By Adam Honig


A study by Caliper Corp that showed approximately “55 percent of people making their living in sales should be doing something else.” Anyone who’s ever worked in sales knows that figure is accurate, as sales floors are oftentimes full of people who want nothing more than to get out of sales the first chance they get.

Maybe some of these people haven’t discovered how much money you can make in sales.  You decide what actions to take next that will be the most effective. Maybe they ended up in sales after plans for another career fell through or are trying it out to find out if it’s right for them. Whatever the reasons are, here are some sure signs that you don’t belong in sales:

  1. You take things personally

If you’re thin-skinned and are easily offended, you need to resign immediately. Not only will you be unable to handle the way other people treat sales reps, you probably won’t even be able to deal with your managers or co-workers, since sales is one of the most competitive and trash-talking professions there is.

  1. Rejection slows you down

If getting turned down takes you a little while to get over, you won’t last long in sales. Salespeople hear rejection much more often than they hear approval, and have to be resilient enough to stay the course no matter how many times they get told “no.” Many salespeople believe that the actual sale doesn’t even begin until the prospect says “no.”

  1. You’re constantly thinking about other careers

If you’re sitting in your office chair and looking out the window fantasizing about what life would be like had you gone to law school, it’s a sign that sales is probably not for you. It’s perfectly normal to wonder “what life would be like if…” but constantly questioning your profession means that it’s probably not a good fit. And by the way, being a lawyer would suck even more.

  1. You’re afraid to ask for the deal

Everyone’s worked with sales reps who will do everything right, except close the deal. Maybe it’s something psychological that prevents some people from taking that final (and oftentimes most important) step, but it’s a deal-breaker when it comes to a career in sales. Remember, “Always Be Closing!”

Sales doesn’t have to be a grind.

  1. You don’t have a sense of urgency

Patience is a virtue, except in sales. Sure, being patient with customers or while building out a big book of business is important, but not when it comes to everyday life. If you’re not on a call with a prospect, you should be trying to find another one. Surfing the web and picking snacks from the vending machine is for receptionists and government employees, not closers.

  1. You don’t like salespeople

If you truly don’t like salespeople, you should get out of sales immediately for two reasons. The first is that you don’t have the true appreciation for sales culture that is essential for long-term success in sales. The second is that you’re going to probably be surrounded by other salespeople all the time, which will make your workweek unbearable. And if you didn’t like salespeople, why did you get into sales to begin with?

  1. Money isn’t important to you

Money may be considered the root of all evil, but it’s also the root of all sales. If money isn’t a motivating factor for you, then you’re going to have a hard time succeeding in sales. Salespeople shouldn’t be shy about wanting to make a lot of money, and most aren’t, because the primary goal of your entire function as a sales rep is to make yourself more money by making the company more money.

  1. You’re not an optimist

Some people believe that you can’t choose to see the bright side of things, that you’re either the type of person who does or the type of person who doesn’t. The problem is that if you’re the type of person who doesn’t, you will never make it in sales. Success in sales requires not only optimism, it requires irrational optimism. Getting rejected day after day, and going through ups and downs, and untold levels of stress is only bearable if you’re able to make the most out of every situation. Only optimists can be true salespeople.


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