There are lots of things that come with the territory when it comes to working in sales. We, salespeople, endure and do shit that no other profession has to deal with. Matter of fact, for whatever reason, a lot of the shit we do as salespeople is completely the opposite of what happens in other industries.
I’ve compiled this list of nine things that only happen when you work in sales to make you laugh. They would piss normal people off, but to us sales folk, it’s just another day doing normal things. I don’t know how our industry got to this, but we might as well laugh about it.
WE KNOW we can’t change it.
You Get Called Into Work on Your Day Off To Do Nothing: At every sales job I’ve ever had, the manager always asked me to come in on weekends, to work early hours and more. Being the best at closing isn’t always rewarding. When I sold cars, they would call me in on my day off to sit around all day and not take a single person on a test drive. Then the GSM would say something like “I wanted to make sure we were prepared just in case.” I’d think they were just fucking with me, but I’d see them do it to other salesmen, too.
I’ve even left work with permission before, then have gotten called back in to sit around and do nothing. Now, I don’t know about you, but I hate wasting time. If I’m at work, I want to be working. Waiting on the phone to ring or a lead to walk in can be excruciating for a guy like me with a lot of energy. Since we work commission only, they don’t have to pay us for being there either.
You Rip Off Your Friends and Give Discounts To Strangers: You know this is true! When my friends would come in and buy from me they would pay normal prices. I’d treat them well but my managers wouldn’t ever let me give them any special breaks. Meanwhile, I’ve seen random assholes from the Internet negotiate deals that I couldn’t even get. This always baffled me, too. Why give shit away to strangers? That honor should go to people we know, not stingy Internet leads.
It’s not that we don’t want to hook our friends up, but as salespeople, we don’t control the price. We must ask for permission and get approvals before we do anything. Our friends usually just trust us and buy what we sell. The managers usually make them pay full pop. I used to get mad when I’d see a stranger get a better deal than me or someone I knew. Kudos to negotiating well but that shit wouldn’t happen if I was in charge.
Your Manager Tells You To “Work Harder” After a Record Month: No one goes from hero to zero faster than a salesman at the beginning of the month. Quotas are met monthly and at the end of the month you’re a god and then the beginning of the next month you’re a slave. They don’t care about you until you’re up again. By “they” I mean management.
It’s mentally exhausting starting over at zero every single month, but somehow we salespeople endure it. What’s worse is how the manager treats you until you get on the board again. If you’re having a dry spell the first 2-3 days of the month, the manager is surely gonna compare you to the last place pikers who waste company time and never do anything. It’s not until you pull ahead again, that you start earning respect, This vicious cycle repeats 12 times per year, too.
You Get Laughed at for Taking Days Off: Salespeople are all about “the grind.” We wake up early, work late and do whatever it takes to make shit happen. It’s utterly exhausting and since we make ourselves available 24/7, it never ends. Then, when you’ve had enough, worked 10 days straight, are worn out and need a day to recuperate, you are laughed at.
I read articles all the time where employees get paid days off, paternity leave, mental health days and all sorts of stuff. Employees are encouraged to rest and take care of themselves. Meanwhile, salespeople will roast each other for taking a day off or not working hard enough. We are really proud of the work ethic that would kill employees. But… that’s also why we make more money than they do.
You Wear a Suit and Tie To Talk To People in T-Shirts: We dress up to talk to people dressed down! I remember selling cars in the summer of 2011 in Texas. It was 103 degrees like 15 days in a row and our dress code was long sleeve shirts, slacks and a tie. I hated it and it was hot AF every day. Buyers would show up in shorts and flip-flops buying $50,000 vehicles and they would feel bad for me and my dripping wet long sleeve shirt and tie pulling a hot-ass car off the lot up for a test drive.
Your sales manager will tell you that “the clothes make the man” and I’m telling you they are full of shit. I’ve sold to billionaires wearing a t-shirt and jeans. Clothes have nothing to do with success. Matter of fact, the wealthiest people on the planet don’t wear suits to work. Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerburg and the like all wear t-shirts and jeans. Yet the salesperson has to dress up. Makes no sense to me.
You Get so Used To Ignoring the Word “No” That You Don’t Even Hear It: I don’t know about you, but I’ve grown to be oblivious to the word “no.” I can’t hear it even if I want to. When my family and friends tell me “no,” it just makes me want to close them even more, which also makes them hate me, lol. I drive people nuts because I forget to turn my inner salesman off. They say they don’t want to do something and I immediately start selling them on why they need to do it!
I can’t help it, I’ve fought the word NO for so many years that there’s an inner trigger that goes off every time I hear it. It’s automatic, too. It’s not something that I’m intentionally doing. It’s a multi-decade force of habit which I can’t seem to break.
You Blow All Your Money on the Weekend Because You Can Earn It Back During the Week: The thing about working in commission only sales is that you know you can make money back at any given moment. You’re always only one conversation away from getting paid again. The most confident of us know that we can spend our last dime and earn it all back in a matter of days.
People on a salary have to plan, prepare and create a budget for themselves. We, salespeople, just figure out how many sales it takes to get what we want and we go out and close them. Math has never been so fun and easy. A normal person would lose their damn mind if they lived and spent money like we do but that’s why we work in sales and they don’t.
You Make Yourself Available 24/7 To Clients: You can’t call up the HR department and talk to Harold at 10pm on a Sunday night but you can reach Mike the salesman at that time. I can’t think of any other segment of the service industry that has to be on call 24/7 for their clients. We are only paid to close sales and we must take the calls that lead to sales when we get a chance to do so. We don’t work on our clock, we work on the prospect’s clock.
You just never know when a prospect is ready to pull the trigger and buy from you. With this being the case, you must make yourself available at all times. It’s not ideal but it’s how we get shit done and it shows our prospects that we are willing to go above and beyond in order to make the sale and solve their problem.
You Piss People off By Trying To Help Them: Negotiations can get heated at times. Especially when the prospect has been armed with misinformation about pricing or the product. They always want the rock bottom price and you always need as much commission as you can get. This causes a standoff to usually take place between the two parties.
As a salesman, my number one job is to find a problem and provide a solution. Most prospects are so afraid of making a good decision they will do anything to avoid it. This can cause friction and frustration in the prospect when all you’re trying to do is get paid to provide the solution they are desperately seeking. Truth is, they get mad in the middle and glad in the end.
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