How many kids grow up wanting to be a salesperson? My name is Chris Pawar and I definitely I wasn’t one of them!
When I graduated college, in the mid 90’s, I believed my destiny was to be a creative advertising genius. In my mind Sales was a job one held their nose and did solely for money. I accepted my first job, doing inside sales, because they’d also give me a small amount of ad work. A year later I took on a similar job with more pay still with hopes to get my big break at an ad agency.
Later, I moved on to better and better jobs in outside sales with companies like AT&T, Computer Associates, GlaxoSmithKline. All the while, I was afraid to reveal the truth, I wasn't a real salesman, just an impostor!
This was to be reinforced over several years aided by the volatility of my numeric sales results. Even as I claimed to look for greater pay and responsibility, secretly (even to myself at times), I would evaluate both my current and future roles in terms of how long it would take to be discovered as a phony. Then, one day at a large sales meeting, I was shocked to see my name at the top of the sales results. By then, even I knew I had some selling ability, but I never thought I was THAT good. After all ranking that high was surely was for someone more skilled and harder working than me!
The point of my story is NOT that I had finally become an expert. Instead, that day, I realized something more important: sales is a game with no permanent winners or losers. There I was, a rep that put in a decent but not ridiculous amount of effort, ranking higher than 100’s of other salespeople. Since that fateful moment, I’ve concluded that success in sales requires a combination of skill, hard work, and luck. Through research into Psychology and Stoic Philosophy, I would later realize that sales is an occupation, not an identity.
Still, many of us play the game, convincing ourselves that rankings and commission checks are the only things that matter. In doing so, we act accountable to external arbitrary measurements, instead of our internal long term happiness. Unfortunately, precious few salespeople realize, before they can wield true influence over customers, they must first take internal accountability.
So, what does all this have to do with selling more stuff? When I took accountability for my own happiness (internal accountability) and got more realistic about my results (external influence) I was happier and more able to sell. When I took the time to fix how I felt about myself I noticed an undeniable improvement in how customers felt about me. And, ironically, when I stopped needing to prove how good I was, I performed more consistently with better results than ever. Now, I'd like to bring my success to your sales team. Contact me to discuss how your reps can take internal accountability and produce better results than they ever thought possible!