Don't Choose a Career in Sales!

There are hundreds of reasons why a professional should at least consider a career in sales. From unlimited earnings potential to job security, the benefits to sales jobs are expansive. But, sales is not for everyone and there are drawbacks that anyone considering getting into sales should be aware of.

While these "awareness items" are geared more for outside sales, they also are mostly true for inside sales positions as well.

The Agony of Defeat 

There are very, very few sales industries that find sales professionals winning more deals than they lose. In other words, sales professionals lose more often than they win. Some losses are easy to handle and the reps are quick to overcome the loss and to move on to chase other opportunities.

But some losses can be devastating.

Imagine working with a prospect for several weeks, months or even years on a large opportunity. You put your heart and soul into the sales cycle (usually at the expense of other opportunities). Then, after all your effort, the prospect tells you they are moving in a different direction.

All your hard work results in nothing more than a potential learning opportunity. You won't enjoy earning the large commission that you were expecting and, unless you were really diligent about working other deals while working this one big one, your pipeline is anemic.


Now what?

While most sales professionals are able to bounce back after losing a large, important sale, others are so frustrated that they either quit the industry, lose their passion for an extended period of time or get so angry that they end up losing more deals as a result of their frustration.

Losing Streaks

When one lost sale turns into a losing streak, frustrations snowball.

And in sales careers, losing streaks are not only common but expected. If you have trouble dealing with losing one sale, imagine how hard it will be to lose 6, 7 or more sales in a row! Needless to say, losing streaks have ended plenty of sales careers.

Need a Vacation?

Here's the thing about commission only sales jobs - If you're not selling, you're not earning any money! This is also true (though to a lesser degree) with all sales jobs. Knowing that you won't be closing any sales during your vacation can and often does make for a less than fully relaxing vacation.

Unless you are one of the very rare types of people who needn't worry about work-life balance, you're going to need to take a vacation now and then. And if you can't enjoy your vacations because you're too concerned about not selling during your vacation, you might as well have saved the money and stayed in the office.

Sales careers are hard to unplug from. People considering a career in sales need to be aware of that.

Multi-Taskers Needed

Not everyone can or likes to do bounce from one thing to another. Some people prefer to work on the same things, day in, day out for their careers. Others enjoy knowing what they will be doing (most likely) during their workday.

 But in a sales job, expect to have your energy and focus bouncing from job-area to job-area. 

In any given day, a sales person might go from a team meeting to a sales skills training, over to an hour of prospecting calls, then on to completing some paperwork, only to round out the day with dealing with an angry customer and finally scheduling customer training.

If you don't like multi-tasking, sales is probably not the best career choice for you.