Many movies claim to “represent” the life of a salesperson. Films like The Wolf of Wall Street, Glengarry Glen Ross, Tin Men and Boiler Room depict slick, ego-driven and often demeaning environments that give cringe to most professional, career sales people and have impact on how the wider world views our profession.
In speaking to seasoned professionals, I am reminded daily what an exciting career sales can be. Hollywood would maybe find it quite boring how million dollar players really act since:
- They are humble. They are proud—not cocky—of their accomplishments based on actual data.
- They have mentors. Since there’s no college major in ‘Sales,’ it takes resourcefulness to become great. They never stop honing their craft via practice, mentorship, coaching and reading sales/business books.
- They are Fixers. Great sales people aren’t robots. They are professional problem solvers who create new opportunities or solve problems that have measureable impact to their customers.
- They are deliberate with their time. Top-performing sales people realize time is their biggest asset so they become experts in time utilization. What this doesn’t mean is that they only invest in activities that will help them. They simply know the necessary steps toward meeting quotas—and those that target the greater good.
- They know their limits. The great ones are typically a little further along in their career and have set criteria of whom and what they’ll work for—and what they will, or will not, give up to get it.
Though there maybe a few sales people that may have found a hero on the ‘big screen,’ it never hurts to ask the real ‘great ones’ about how and when they finally hit their stride. Did their turning point involve specific decisions—or a dash of luck?