"I want to become the first female President of the United States," I told my mother 30 years ago. Later, I wanted to work in Private Wealth Management. Then, being a lawyer was all I could think about. While I didn’t actually pursue any of those roles for various reasons (we don’t need to get into details), I recognized that they all required a strong acumen for selling. Sell yourself, sell a service, and sell a story. Some of us being lifelong salespeople, it’s valuable to reflect on what drove us here, and to encourage those who are just starting out to pursue a career with so many valuable opportunities. Sales isn’t easy, but it's so damn fun, the rewards become endless.
1. There’s nothing better than getting paid for your performance.
I took a big pay cut to join a tiny little men’s clothing start-up back in 2011. While the base was lower than my previous job, the commission upside had a much higher cap. All I had to do was work my ass off, and be one of the top performers in the company. In doing so, my income that year ended up being 50% greater than my previous role, and more than I’d ever made before.
I couldn’t look back from there because pay for performance becomes addicting. If I’m going to outperform my peers, I certainly want to get paid more than them. Enter...sales compensation structures.
2. Selling requires creativity.
Every salesperson has a handful of war stories best told over a beer. When we want to close a sale, we don’t get desperate, we get creative.
They can’t make it to you? I drove a 26-foot U-Haul truck across the country to make a sale (large Dunkin' Donuts coffee cup included).
Have no budget and need to grab a large audience? I held a poster board for over four hours, starting at 4:00 AM, outside of the Today Show selling my company.
The customer isn’t returning your calls? I’ve called one person over 200 times, and left 100 completely different voicemails to make a sale. Called her dog walker, too.
3. Success is measurable.
I remember my first professional review like it was yesterday. My boss Tiffany and I were sitting across from each other in our pantsuits, and she said, “I think you’re doing ok, but some of your peers are doing better than you.” The end. I walked away from that conversation not only completely uninspired, but with no idea of what it meant to do well in that organization.
The best thing about sales is that there's so much transparency into what success looks like. You are given a tangible goal, and if you hit it, that’s success. There aren’t many surprises.
Making the choice to get into sales was truly one of my best life decisions, and I’m passionate about transferring that sentiment to others. I joined the Victory Lap team because there’s a great opportunity to nurture and develop the next generation of awesome salespeople. We’re here to get everyone excited about selling, because honestly...what’s not to love?