I recently engaged with Nigel Edelshain, who is credited with looking to take sales forward under the moniker of sales 2.0 (which subsequently ended up being Social Selling). Part of Nigel’s stated vision is that sales should be more fun and in essence, a more desirable position to aspire to work in.
Is working in sales really as fun as it seems? After speaking to various people including Nigel, I’ve been able to report back and answer that question.
This resonated with me as I do believe in doing what you love and also adding fun to the workplace as much as you can without it spilling over into the serious daily tasks we have as salespeople.
Again, I asked Nigel to make comment on what he meant by this and he provided the following response:
Gary, as you know I believe working in a sales should be fun.
Sadly in my travels I’ve seen much of the opposite of that. I’ve seen super stressed sales people being bashed by management to “sell more”, “sell more” while at the same time the only way they know to get in the door is by ineffective volume cold calling.
So management is telling them to sell more and prospects are telling them to go away! So they are caught between a rock and a hard place and usually waiting for the ax to fall on their job. Definitely NOT fun!
My concept of “Sales 2.0” has always been to “take the sales profession to the next level”. I envision a sales profession that educated young people desperately want to get into. Where parents are happy when their young kids answer “what do you want to be?” with “a sales person”.
So I see the future of sales as a highly skilled, well compensated profession that is also fun to work in.
Social selling is naturally fun in my experience because it involves making new friends and interacting with people in a natural way. Social selling plays to our natural instincts to be friendly with others and so it’s a fun experience. Traditional cold calling essentially “swims upstream” against our natural behavior. Swimming upstream is not fun.
Now, let’s take a look at some of the credentials and personality traits of a sales person:
According to Business News Daily, sales people are deemed as fun, optimistic and upbeat and naturally radiate a sense of humour. I completely agree with this although we are all different and will have these attributes at different levels.
To get another opinion on this I reached out to Daniel Disney. Daniel is the man behind Daily Sales, the highly popular Social Media pages that drop out regular business and sales related memes. I asked Daniel his opinion on the topic and he said the following:
I have to agree with Daniel. Sales can be the best job in the world when going well, but when not so, it can be really challenging and stressful.
If you have the key attributes that make up the personality of a salesperson and can make the role a success I think the fun side comes naturally
In my own journey in sales I have found it both enjoyable and challenging with humour allowing me to get through some of the more difficult and stressful of times.
With the advent of social selling I have found things even more rewarding. I think both on the client and prospect side, things can now be enjoyable along the whole process.
Why is this? It’s because you are using social media to get to know people first. You might end up ribbing your prospect about their football team, or making comments on a day out that they are on to appreciate a photo they’ve taken.
I’ve even seen myself play board games like Words with Friends with industry peers that I have never met before (which helps build and foster relationships but in a new way). There’s fun out there to be had whilst building solid, meaningful business relationships.
So, if you would like to make your role more enjoyable and increase your chances of success, learn more about Social Selling via the Creation Agency course by Jack Kosakowski, Social Selling 101. Take away the pain (for most of us) of that cold call and make it a warm and friendly experience.