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    8 Myths About A Career In Sales Busted

    By Aishwarya
    17 Nov'22  7 min read
    8 Myths About A Career In Sales Busted
    Synopsis

    Popular understanding of a career in sales is often coloured by various myths and misconceptions which might influence aspirants’ choice of joining the field. This article busts eight common myths about a career in sales, bringing realities emerging from the author’s own experience to light.  

    8 Myths About A Career In Sales Busted
    Synopsis

    Popular understanding of a career in sales is often coloured by various myths and misconceptions which might influence aspirants’ choice of joining the field. This article busts eight common myths about a career in sales, bringing realities emerging from the author’s own experience to light.  

    If you’ve ever wondered what sales is, and what a career in sales could look like, you’re not alone. Perhaps no other corporate role seems to be as glorified and maligned in equal measure. On one hand, we’re told that the sales department is the lifeblood of any organisation. On the other hand, many people advise against a career in sales, saying that it’s not for everyone. While it is true that sales can be challenging, that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. On the contrary, only a few roles away from sales have the capacity to expand your horizons as much as those in sales do. However, numerous myths persist. In this article, we will bust eight such myths once and for all.

    Myth 1 | A career in sales makes sense only because of the money.

    Fact | Let’s be honest here: Money matters. While it is true that a career in sales comes with lots of monetary perks and incentives, there are several reasons why that shouldn’t be your primary objective when choosing your path. First, your career is a marathon, not a sprint. You will likely spend lots of years figuring out what you like doing, what you’re good at, and what is rewarding to you. Money is a part of that equation, sure, but it isn’t everything.

    Second, a career in sales teaches you skills that will last you a lifetime. These include—but aren’t limited to—communication, active listening, critical thinking and analysis, negotiation, and agility. Third, the kind of exposure you receive as a salesperson, especially in the beginning of your career, is unparalleled. If you choose sales, choose it because it is fun, dynamic, and probably one of the best stints you will experience in your career.

    Myth 2 | Sales is, at best, a stepping-stone to other (read: coveted branding and marketing) roles.

    Fact | What most beginners misunderstand about a career in sales is the sheer amount of potential it contains. It is generally touted as a necessary evil, something of a rite of passage. Once you’ve spent a few years in sales, you are ready to take on the roles you really want. Most people believe this because they think that a career in sales gets repetitive or stagnant very soon. In other words, you stop learning after some time. Let me tell you, nothing could be farther from the truth.

    There is a reason that many corporate CEOs are people who have had long sales stints in their careers. Within sales, you can handle different products and portfolios, different clients (in terms of size/potential), and different markets. Not only that, but you can also see the effects of different seasons and festivals on the same market. Just when you think you’ve understood a market, you’ll be in for a surprise. When you learn to handle these changes and challenges, and even start to look forward to them, you will understand the charm of a career in sales. You will never feel bored or unmotivated. To top it all, you will be recognized as a formidable asset within and outside your organisation.

    Also Read | 8 Careers In Sales For The Sales Enthusiast

    Myth 3 | A career in sales is only suited to people who fit a certain profile.

    Fact | We hear every so often that if you’re a woman, a career in sales is not for you. Same goes for introverts. After all, the world of sales is a ruthless one where only extroverted and aggressive people thrive, isn’t it? No. Let us ignore the numerous stereotypes that are associated with introverts, extroverts, men, and women. The truth remains that salespeople thrive on relationship-building and communication skills.

    myths of selling, sales myths, myths about sales Sales is as much about your relationships as it is about numbers. You need to build strong relationships with your dealers, customers, and everyone you do business with.

    Firstly, good communication has nothing to do with your gender. In fact, almost no skill differentiates between genders. Yes, you will need to be assertive (which isn’t the same as being aggressive) on many occasions, but that doesn’t depend on your gender or your level of extroversion. Secondly, you don’t have to keep talking to be a good salesperson. In fact, you might be a terrible one if all you care about is the sound of your own voice. If you can listen and observe, you will learn about the needs of your customers and be able to give them exactly what they need. In many ways, being an introvert can be your superpower. Thirdly, I am both a woman and an introvert, and I can say without doubt that I have enjoyed my sales stint much more than I thought I would. How’s that for busting myths?

    Myth 4 | You can only have a successful career in sales if you are comfortable lying to or cheating the customer.

    Fact | This is another stereotype that often plagues salespeople. It seems that the only way to get the customer to buy your product or service is if you lie to them. It seems to be a choice between your career and your scruples. This is not true. In fact, good salespeople understand what solution selling means. They realise that they need to know exactly what the pain point of the customer is, and how best to solve for it. For this, they make use of data, research, and numbers that don’t lie. The truth is, if you lie to your customers, you run the risk of damaging your reputation and relationships in the market, which is a death-knell for your career.

    Also Read | How Can You Turn Your Passion Into Your Profession?

    Myth 5 | Sales is about numbers.

    Fact | Yes, a career in sales involves dealing with data and numbers. After all, you are going to be chasing targets as an important part of your performance measurement. However, it doesn’t stop there. Sales is as much, if not more, about your relationships as it is about numbers. You need to build strong relationships with your dealers, customers, and everyone you do business with. Not only that, but you need to come across as a reliable member of your team. If you have salespeople below you, they need to be able to reach out to you whenever they need to. Your seniors should be able to trust you as well. In the end, your relationships are all you have.

    Myth 6 | Sales is only about closing deals and meeting your targets.

    Fact | Remember we talked about the importance of relationship building? As a salesperson, your role goes beyond closing deals. You are the face of the brand for most of the dealers in the market. You are the person they go to if they have issues with the company, its products, or its schemes. In return, they give you valuable feedback regarding how your organisation is perceived at the grassroot level. They will tell you about your competition, your customers, and your untapped potential. All of this is crucial for the company to build its strategy. You are a link between the headquarters and the market. Never forget that.

    Myth 7 | It is difficult to be taken seriously as a young person in sales.

    Fact | If you are lucky enough to lead a team as a beginner, it can admittedly be a bit daunting. It is also true that you might have subordinates who are older (and more experienced in the market) than you. However, this doesn’t mean you aren’t valuable to your team. If you are open to listening to people both within and outside the organisation, and if you can draw from the rich experiences of those who have been in the organisation or the business for longer, you will likely become a part of a very close-knit team. Ask any salesperson, and they will vouch for the camaraderie and learning they have experienced as a part of a team.

    Also Read | Promising Careers That Don’t Require A Degree

    Also, it might seem unnerving when you are given a leadership role in the beginning, but there are few better ways to learn than by leading a sales team. A career in sales sets you up for leadership and accountability from the very beginning.

    Myth 8 | If you want a successful career in sales, you must follow certain rules and techniques.

    Fact | Some people believe that after a while, you don’t need to use scripts when you are selling your products or services as they sound too rehearsed and unnatural. However, others believe that receiving regular training regarding the products or services, and following a script ensures that they are prepared and aren’t taken for a ride by the customers.

    Similarly, some people think that cold calling (this is when you use a script and call or target people at random with an intent to sell) doesn’t work anymore. Others think that, if done right, cold calling is still one of the most effective ways to enhance sales. While many people think that we’ve got a lot of tools and sophisticated technology to help target customers effectively, there are those who believe that word-of-mouth advertising and building connections the old-fashioned way still works wonders.

    Also Read | What Will Be A Good Career Option For You? Understanding Yourself And The Industry

    I’m here to tell you that there isn’t a right or wrong way, just the way that works for you. The more you spend time in the market, listening to your customers and immersing yourself in stories, the better you will get at your own process.

    Hope this article has helped allay some common fears and concerns that you might have. In the end, all I can tell you from my personal experience is this—The best part about a career in sales is that you discover as much about yourself as you do about the business, and it helps you grow not only as a professional, but also as a person. What more can you ask for?

    Aishwarya is a marketer and writer. As a marketer, she has a keen interest in creating meaningful conversations. As a writer, she loves pushing the boundaries of storytelling.

    • Psychological concepts
    • Communication
    • Business
    • Marketing
    • Gender
    • Sales
    • Extraversion and introversion
    • Cold calling
    • Word-of-mouth marketing
    • Advertising

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