A member of an online Community group (Kyle) posed the question this morning. (View from the Top Community with Aaron Walker)
First of all, we could deal with the definition of “Best Way”…does that mean the easiest? The Fastest? The most Sustainable? The Most Enjoyable? in a way that also helps the most people? … what does “Best Way” mean to you?
Wayne: “If you can do sales.. That is the “best” way in my opinion… but I may be biased.”
Kyle’s follow up question:
Kyle: “What types of sales opportunities are best?”
My response, “You may not like my answer, and again I may be biased…. but I still think car sales for a good GM is a great way to learn selling. This is by observation, not experience. I have worked around car dealerships for 10 years+, but I did not start my career there (well, actually I did as the first $1000+ item I ever sold was a car at my dad’s used car lot).
Kyle, if your network is elsewhere you may want to think about products/services that are sold within your current area of expertise.
BUT…remember…your relationships will not mean nearly as much as you think. They only get you the opportunity to ask some questions and give a positioning statement. People rely on past relationships too much. Nobody is spending money because they “like you”.
For example, Kyle, my career in sales started in construction and then Civil Engineering. I had 2 degrees in Civil Engineering… I did not go to my first job thinking I would be in sales…but …. I had a leg up because in construction most people want to just submit proposals/bids and for some reason that seemed stupid to me. I wanted to know what was going to happen BEFORE I submitted the proposal. Writing proposals and putting them in a bottle and throwing them out to sea seemed like a waste of time. If you could tell me the parameters of what the price needed to be, what your expectations were, what you needed to see to believe that I could deliver, and could tell me when you wanted it done – then I would write a proposal.
In engineering….very very very few people are interested in selling and relationship building and $$$. Those people are there, but they normally own their own firm. So, being in “Client Development” was fairly easy and those who can sell consulting services are celebrated and pushed and thanked.
Regardless…if you get into sales, first read the book “the Greatest Salesman in the World”, if you get into car sales, read and do whatever Joe Verde says in his books, and get a manager that will train you…and bust your [Biblical Word for Donkey] for that manager to let them know you take the career seriously. That is my advice for the day…
So, dear reader…what is your advice for my friend today…what is “the Best Way” to make $100,000 per year and/or what is your best advice about starting a career in sales? I look forward to reading your comments!
And, if you are in the business of recruiting strong salespeople or if you know you SHOULD be working to hire stronger salespeople, I hope you some free resources here.