Why most people quit sales is as simple as it’s not. Here’s why

The percentage of sales people that quit must be highest for any profession. Put differently, the profession with the highest turnover is Sales. And there’s reason why most people quit Sales. It is difficult to see a compelling tomorrow when you cannot raise your eyes away from a trying today. This is the predicament that those new in Sales find themselves. It is also the predicament every sales person will face along the profession. The brightness of tomorrow is dimmed by the rejection of today. The message of a glimmering tomorrow is distorted by the failure to close sales today. And, the belief that you shall overcome, like the successful salesman you admire, fades quickly with every passing NO! It is difficult to see a compelling tomorrow when you cannot raise your eyes away from a trying today.

Read: Selling goes against the societal grain, and calls for stoic discipline

Why sales people struggle

Seeing beyond your challenges is the beginning of success in selling (and life). Seeing beyond the rejection, the unending ignored proposals, and continual pressure to meet targets, is the beginning of the transformation necessary for success. Indeed, seeing beyond the trying today is the only way to get to the promised land. Yet seeing beyond does not imply being oblivious to; it means being driven by a gripping force of a dazzling tomorrow that is larger than the pressing one of a dreary today. And it is this gripping force that sees the salesperson move quickly along the learning curve, accepting that the challenges come with the territory and finding solutions to them. It is this conviction that determines whether the salesperson will stay on the path to Canaan or lose sight of it overwhelmed by the temptation of a comparatively easier life in Egypt.

Why you should not quit your sales job

The challenges of the salesperson are only comprehensible to one who has undergone them. Dwindling fortunes despite giving it your all. Being looked on with pity by friends and relatives. Continual worrying negotiations with the landlord because of an erratic rent payment. Waiting hours on end because it’s the only way to ensure payment from a slippery distributor. Eking out a living and being discriminated upon because you don’t fit in (by lending institutions, for instance, because of irregular income). To see beyond these challenges, head held high and eyes set on the blazing sunshine and not dimming sunset is the mark of the successful salesperson. Yes. It is from this attitude that success will follow. Not the other way around.

Read: Fire that poor performing sales person but first…

why most people quit Sales

How do I not give up on a sales job?

One of the ways of keeping the inviting tomorrow in focus, is through setting selfish goals. These goals could be as modest as buying a TV set or pursuing a degree. And, as grand as buying a house or building several for rent. This must start, however, after careful soul searching answering the question, “What does being in sales mean to me?” and finding the energizing and emotional reason why you are selling. Another way institutions help sales people overcome the challenges of today is through effective sales managers and mentors. Ineffective ones can be a major reason why most people quit sales.

Now then. Why is it important to see beyond today?  Because there is great reward in selling; in getting a sense of movement through life by overcoming the trials it throws at you; in enhancing your interpersonal skills as only the sales job does on a daily basis. And there is great reward in knowing that you can sell. At the height of the credit crunch in 2008 in the West, institutions downsized heavily and many of the staff that survived found themselves spending up to 40% of their time selling, even if their Job Description read, say, Procurement. Imagine how much more difficult it was for them to see a compelling tomorrow through the lens of a trying today. I know organizations today, in Kenya, that are laying off staff, because of the trying economy we are in, starting with those that are not revenue generating (selling).

Read: Three tips on grooming for the novice seller

Why most people quit Sales

Finally, if you end up running a business (or hustle) of your own, you don’t want to be discovering then that it is difficult to see a compelling tomorrow when you cannot raise your eyes away from a trying today. Most people quit Sales because they lose hope. It’s not easy to keep hope alive when undergoing trials and tribulations in selling. No, it’s not. Yet, because of the gain that will surely come from the pain, as it did for that sales person you admire and learn from, learn to see a bright tomorrow through a dark lens today.

Read: Why Many Salespeople Struggle To Grow Their Own Businesses And What They Can Do About It


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