If you’re ever in the scenic Green Mountain region of Vermont, tour the Ben & Jerry’s factory for a tasty and entertaining experience. You’ll get a real sense of the company’s history and their decidedly anti-establishment grass-roots slant that remained their guiding light since startup. Stop by the gift shop at the end and you’ll find Co-Founder Jerry Greenfields’s whimsical slogan “IF IT’S NOT FUN, WHY DO IT?” emblazoned on various articles and keepsakes for sale.
It’s a rather cavalier slogan – but coming from someone who co-founded an iconic corporation with adventuresome ice cream flavors, it captures the free spirit Ben & Jerry’s evokes. But can it be an attainable credo for the average person? With regards to the typical middle class working world, most employees don’t have the option of quitting their job in hopes of finding something “more fun” so the question “why do it?” could easily annoy anyone who goes to work simply to make ends meet.
So perhaps the more realistic mantra – the personal credo easier to live by in the real world – would be “FIND FUN IN EVERYTHING YOU DO”. It’s important to understand that some environments are simply better equipped to provide more satisfaction, enjoyment, and fun…knowing where you stand can make a big difference. A “Professional Sales” career can definitely provide that environment.
Even the Dalai Lama has weighed in on the pursuit of happiness at work and believes happiness at work has a direct correlation with the amount of accomplishment one attains at work. In the book “How to Find Happiness at Work” – from the authors of the best-selling “How to Find Happiness” – the hierarchical levels of happiness at work are explained through the 3 Levels of Motivation which the Dalai Lama likes to call the 3 focuses.
Basically a condensed version of Maslow’s Heirarchy of Needs, the 3-Motivator model supports the theory that as one moves away from the confined and restrictive transaction of basic labor to fulfill basic needs, one can experience greater accomplishments and therefore greater satisfaction in the exchange.
- Motivator 1) Survival: Focus on salary and stability.
- Motivator 2) Career: Focus on advancement.
- Motivator 3) Calling: Focus on work as a higher purpose
So that’s pretty clear – why we do something has great influence on how much happiness we personally receive from that activity.
Those who go into the rarified air of self-actualization and find their “true calling” are usually reaping the rewards of years of personal discipline and concentration, finally arriving at a point where they can influence and affect the highest number of people possible. It makes sense that as a person’s career ascends to the status of “a calling”, they receive their all-time highest level of personal satisfaction and happiness from what they do.
By contrast, think of someone just working from Motivator 1 – a common situation where paying the bills is the number one reason for working. To a lot of laborers, it’s fundamental that fun and happiness awaits them after 5 p.m., not within 9-to-5. “TGIF anyone?” Either their work environment offers very little basis from which to extract any real sense of accomplishment and therefore a realization of true happiness, or they simply do not seek to find it there anyway.
The good news: the concept of being a Professional Salesperson is hinged on the premise of sales being a “real career” which can therefore support a high degree of personal satisfaction year after year as one’s career advances.
With a good basic level of sales skills from which to build and the right market and product (or service) to offer, most commission-based sales people will quickly find themselves in the 2nd motivator zone…once they embrace the idea of actually having a “career in sales” which leads to the embodiment of “Professional Selling”. The built-in fundamentals for personal accomplishment and satisfaction within a professional sales approach are numerous, including:
- Sales is generally a goal-based pursuit with rewards for over-achievement
- Encourages the individual to grow within their role, overcome fears and limitations
- Requires a steadfast pursuit of self-improvement and increasing skill sets
- Relies on an increasing ability to motivate and influence customers
- Produces increased duties and responsibilities year over year
- Encourages stakeholder-like participation in company decision-making in various areas
In each case, yearly advancement is implied and a good employer will continually foster achievement that supersedes the prior period. Therefore, under those conditions, it can be demonstrated that professional sales is indeed a career that delivers the medium from which to advance and excel, and from which to draw increasing personal satisfaction and happiness along the way.
By mastering and controlling a well-run personal sales system, the continual chase for more becomes an inevitable trait; often with bankable results and increasing returns.
From the natural high of closing another sale and the exhilaration of earning big commissions to the personal satisfaction of motivating others in a purposeful manner; from the embracing of “sales as a profession” to the pursuit of continued education designed to improve your skill set, a career in sales can deliver as much fun and excitement as you ask from it.
So what about you? Do you get tangible enjoyment from selling and is that fun factor on the rise as your productivity increases? If you’re doing it right, your methodology should be producing results in-line with those expectations. A proven process with tangible results will be self-fulfilling – encouraging you to eagerly embrace each new sales opportunity so you can grow professionally while providing your customers with what they need in the process.
Here’s wishing you a lot of Happy Selling as you advance in your career as a Professional Salesperson – it may indeed be your true “calling” in life.