Monday, January 18, 2010

Salesman by Chance not by Choice

Professionally Doctors, Engineers are poles apart however according to me it is always a Synonym when it comes to a respectable position in our society.

Right from childhood these two golden words are etched in our memory and we often find parents stating that their son/daughter will either become a Doctor or an Engineer as if there is no other noble profession in this world.

Infact kids learn to say Doctor, Engineer prior to even learning their own native language. Parents often take pride when a visitor enters their house by posing a very intelligent question to their ward “beta what would you like to become when you grow up”? and the poor child will unknowingly babble the above two golden words which will make the parents the happiest in the world.

This makes me ponder over my profession – Sales.

Interestingly I have deduced as under – “You become a salesman by chance not by choice”. Selling is rarely a first choice in anybody’s career. No parents ever wants his ward to become a salesman, it’s always an Engineer, Doctor and now the latest fad MBA.

Sales as a profession come second only to being an IITian or an alumnus of any B School. Right from early childhood it is imbibed in our system that education is all. Failure of not making to either the coveted Engineering or medical college was tsunami of everybody’s lives.

Sales job requires you never to take a no for an answer. It is not tough but a demeaning job, one that requires a thousand deaths for the ego and yet one has to pick oneself up and move on again. While many crumble under the pressure of meeting sales target and fall by the wayside, a few learn to be up for any challenge. The high of closing a sale can be addictive.

In Medical parlance there is a word CME (Continuing Medical Education) which is true for each salesman too. A Salesman life is also a CME i.e. Conviction Motivation, and Enthusiasm. Everyday the life of a salesman starts with the above three magical words similar to oft-repeated three magical words “I Love You”. A Salesman has to foremost love himself and once when we start loving self then the life will have a different meaning.

A Salesman’s career is not demeaning as it has a flip side too – it makes you an expert in human behaviour as you can gauge a client’s reaction by the body language. A salesman can manipulate a situation in his favour, they can be diplomatic as the sales traits don’t wear off after work. A salesman carries his hat even after work.

As I am entering my 20th year of Sales as a Career I have lot of positives and negatives, lot of plusses and minuses, but the plusses will far outweigh the minuses (negatives) and whatever I am today is entirely credited to my learning as a salesman be it in my earlier industry or the present industry. Needless to mention I too had my own share of bruised egos but when I look back I only have one thing to say – laugh it away my friend as laughter is the best medicine. While penning this I am hearing my son singing a two decade old song “ Papa Kehte hain bada naam karenga, beta hamara aisa kaam karenga…………………………. magar