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Thursday, March 01, 2012

A Career in Sales - What to Expect (And Not too) !!

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Yeah I know a bit, but No, I am no expert. Just had the opportunity to sell goods and services to people and organizations. This post is not about how to make or break into sales. Sales mean different things to different people. Below are some of the things which I learnt all the way along. The list is not exhaustive because I haven't exhausted yet :)

Statutory Warning: This post has nothing to do with Grand, 97.895% Sale running on Malls near you.

What TO Expect 

1. Be ready to wait for hours outside your clients office. Humility is what sales teaches you. Beware staying for extended hours at client's office can make you feel like you their employee.

2. Pressure cooker. That's what you will feel about your head from time to time. So devise your own ways to de-steam yourself.

3. Shifting goal posts. Yeah, your target, territory and sometimes even what you are supposed to sell will also change, several times in a year.

4. Thankless people. Everybody from Marketing, Operations to HR to Project Management to Supply Chain will be ready  to take credit for your sales. Some might even go to the extent saying that all our Sales guys are useless, if I (respective department) was not there, they (we the Sales guys) will close this company.

5. Coffee, Cigarette and all that Jazz. You tend to take yourself all too seriously and start filling your lungs and lever with all that Jazz. Beware and dont overdo ways and means suggested in point no.2 above.

6. Baby Sitting. The people around you will always expect you to do a lot more then what you are doing. You might enjoy the late night parties and free booz, in lieu you will be expected to baby sit a lot of grown up babies.

What NOT TO Expect 

1. Don't think that because you are in Sales, you can actually sell everything as they show in movies !!

2. Don't expect that people will respect you immediately, because you are in sales.

3. Don't think that you will start cracking those multi-million dollar deals just because you are dressed like a Hollywood star or a Diva.

4. Yeah, they don't give those big cabins and car keys to you, especially if you are in industrial sales.

5. Don't expect to get big sales commission from the day one because your boss know how to set targets.

6. Don't expect the Techies in your company to respect you, because they worked on a project you won.

PS: You may think that you know everything about sales. But what you don't know is that you know what you don't know.


  1. Crude Reality of Sales.Infact I have started my career in Sales .I have also written a blog on Sales

  2. Thanks Sedated. Hope you enjoyed this post. See you around..

  3. Nice dude explained well !! Whew..sales ..tough profile ..

  4. Everyone is trying to sell something but hopefully, trying to sell something we believe in or enjoy, isn't as hopeless as you suggest. OR IS IT?

  5. rofl..i have died laughing after reading ur post..i m in sales and i totally understand every word u have written..i HATE SALES from every corner of my heart.... Lets Express'o!

    1. thanks for the comment Tanya. I hope you will enjoy the overwhelming hate and will doubt the soft corner, you might have secretly developed towards this profession.

  6. -Good piece of information.

    1. thanks for visiting Banti. Hope to read your comments/ suggestions more often...

  7. I have great respect for sales people.
    One may have the best product in the market but ones to make it being bought/used are sales people. If you look at lists for example books list it says BestSeller not best written. Boss jo bikta hai wahi chalta hai..


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