Selling: The world's hardest job
Great coaching and stellar leadership is vital
in the uncontrollable market of today. In sports, winning a game depends
on a team's willingness to play offensive and 'play to win'. The same is
true in business.
Selling is the hardest job in the world but it's the most rewarding
and most exiting job too.
That's why an Ordinary Level qualified sales person with superior
skills working for a top organisation earns much more than a junior
doctor or a lawyer and enjoys above-market perks including a company
You have heard the old saying that 'everyone lives by selling
something' but here I mean professional sales people. With ever
increasing competition, it can become difficult for a sales team to stay
focused on achieving goals.
As a matter of fact, newspaper headlines are a perfect excuse for a
sales person to say, "I can't hit my targets." As a business leader or
manager, your job is to lead, grow and develop your team during all
Great coaching and stellar leadership is vital in the uncontrollable
market of today. In sports, winning a game depends on a team's
willingness to play offensive and 'play to win'. The same is true in
However, when the competition gets tough or the marketplace becomes
uncontrollable, we see companies play defensively by making 'safe'
decisions rather than playing aggressively. Business owners on the
defence also shift focus from growing the organisation to protecting the
Playing not to lose
In business there are no ties, only successful teams and struggling
teams and 'playing not to lose' most likely guarantees failure.
This defensive mentality usually tolerates bad performance and
believes that a bad body is better than no body.
This mentality also accepts that because a team has been successful
in the past, they do not need to practise or focus on the core selling
This is common in many organisations. If the team assumes they do
everything right, then they seek outside solutions to keep sales up and
control profits. The leaders begin asking for additional promotions and
discounts, which ultimately cuts into profits.
The competition lowers prices, then the company lowers, and the
battle continues until one company can no longer lower its prices. The
next proposed solution is to develop a new product or service that the
competition does not have, hoping this will bring profits back to the
level they were before this uncontrollable market.
When a leader does not believe the profit can be controlled
internally by changing the team or strategy, the only option is to rely
on outside circumstances causing profits to go down.
Playing to win
The offensive mentality usually doesn't tolerate bad performance and
believes that 'no body' is always better than a 'bad body'. If a leader
cannot control the competition, the economy or the marketplace, what can
The answer is the team and its activities.
The need and want, for most products and services exists in an
uncontrollable market, but the reason for the purchase has changed.
A leader's job is to help his team recognise the circumstances and
lead them to grow.
A leader is similar to a coach in sports. His job is to coach the
team, not manage the team.
A professional football player has been throwing, running, blocking,
and catching his entire life - yet he practises five days a week,
because to get better one needs to practise.
The game changes, the rules change, the opponents change, and plays
change, so he can never stop learning, adapting and growing. Business is
A salesperson who has qualified his customers' needs and closed sales
for 10 years needs to practise just as often to continue winning the
To control profits in an uncontrollable market is to improve the
things you can control to outperform the things you can't. The
life-blood of any business organisation is its sales team.
Spend time in building sales abilities and get the team to play
offensively to win.
If you are not in sales or do not do a sales related job, support the
sales team - after all your organisation's success depends on the
success of the sales team.