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What it takes to be successful in sales

October 28, 2009

Whether you are working for somebody else or building your own business there is always the need to sell and be successful at selling.

When I first joined the world of sales from a more operational/technical background I assumed that sales people were in it for the money.  While this is part of it what I have seen over the past several years it that it is more about self-actualisation.

If you have come across Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and Frederick Herzberg two factor theory this all makes sense.
Effectively, money only gives a fleeting feeling of success and is a base need.
Maslow would have it as a safety need while Herzberg has it as a hygiene factor.
If the money is not right then it is a de-motivator and to some extent stops a person achieving their full potential as they fell they are not valued.  It is taken for granted when the money is right. I know I was delighted when I got a pay rise, but only a few months later I still wanted to have more money.  The thing is it doesn’t actually make you feel good about yourself long-term.

This is where Maslow’s self-actualisation and Herzberg’s motivation factors come in.

I believe if you want real success then something in you that causes you to push yourself every day.  A good starting list is Hertzberg’s motivation factors.  If you only see sales as a way to make money then what happens to your motivation when the deals don’t come in when you want them to.  How do you keep yourself motivated long-term if you are chasing money?  The emotional and rollercoaster that is sales will catch up with you unless there is something deeper that you are aiming for.

So, figure this out.  Is there a deep need in me other than my overdraft that will make me right for sales.

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