It was one of my best friends that inspired me to get into sales. I saw him doing well in his career and thought... 'I can do that!'
Of course I’ve never told him that he was my inspiration (his head is big enough already).
When I made the decision to go into sales, he called me to give me one simple piece of advice that I have passed onto many sales professionals over the years...
'You get out what you put in’.
It may sound cliché, but it's just so true.
My business has placed thousands of sales people within the IT industry since 2003, and having worked with many respected sales professionals, I hopefully know what I'm talking about! Even though the sales landscape has changed over the last decade, with social selling and more technologies emerging daily, the basics of sales remain the same - you get out what you put in.
If you are a sales rookie, you can't necessarily beat your peers on know-how, however, you can out-work them.
Or you could be a seasoned sales professional with years of experience; however, as soon as you take your foot off the pedal and start winding down, your sales will take a hit.
The sales profession has no real respect for experience, all that sales respects is hard work.
That's why you hear experienced sales professionals say 'back to basics' so much when they hit a slump; because, in the end, your attitude to sales and to work is the line between closing deals or falling behind on target.
That is what makes sales such a fantastic career – whether you’re starting out or have been working in sales for years, sales is the greatest meritocracy there is.
The advice my friend gave to me before I had even worked a day in sales was spot on. Sales can give you anything you want, the house, the car, the lot; but it will demand one simple thing in return: hard work.
Because what you put in, you will get out.
By Mark Neilan, Managing Director, Finlay James, specialists in global, world class IT sales recruitment solutions - including Software Sales recruitment, IT Services sales recruitment, BI & Big Data sales recruitment, Digital and Technical recruitment.