Thinking about launching a sales career? Not sure if you should submit that job application for a BDR or account executive role? Then stick with me until the end of this article, because I’m about to go over nine questions to ask yourself when answering, should I be in sales? By the end of this post, you’re going to have a clear score for yourself out of 18 and what that means as well as a more clear grasp as to whether or not a sales career is right for you.
For over five years, I led the sales, customer success and marketing teams of a VC-backed startup that generated multiple seven figures in revenue. From these experiences, I’ve had my fair share of hiring and coaching effective account executives. I’ve worked with both introverted and extroverted account executives, and I know what sort of traits to look for when it comes to figuring out whether or not somebody is going to work out in sales.
Before we get started, I recommend that you get a pen and paper to help you keep score as you answer these particular questions. That being said, if you have a good memory as well, just remember how you answered each particular question. For each question, you can answer either strong yes, yes or no. I’ll tell you what all of these particular answers mean at the end of this post.
Q1: Do you like problem solving every day?
The first question to ask yourself when considering whether or not you should try sales out is do you like problem solving every single day? Sales gets a bad rap. Whenever people think about it, they think about used car salespeople that you sleazy tactics to try to convince people to buy things. But really when it comes down to it, sales is just about problem solving. Problem solving in the sense of identifying what your prospect needs and what their particular concerns are, in finding a solution for their problem.
So, as you answer this question, I want you to think seriously about how much you like problem solving. The reality of sales is that your prospects will always have problems that you need to solve. And so if it sounds remotely exhausting for you to always be solving problems one after the other, then sales might not be right for you.
Q2: Would your friends or family consider you to be persuasive?
The second question to ask yourself is would your close friends and family consider yourself to be a very persuasive person? When it comes to making tough decisions or even deciding what you guys are going to do together, are you frequently a person that voices their opinion for the overall group? Then sales might be a good path for you. And the reason why is because this question really gets at the essence of how influential you are with those that are close to you.
Furthermore, one of the easiest ways to identify a highly effective saleperson is their ability to build rapport quickly with their prospects. Treating your prospects like really good friends is a really effective method for a salesperson to build comfort and trust with their prospects as they start problem solving towards particular issues. So, the ability to be persuasive with those that are close to you is a highly transferrable skill in the world of sales.
Q3: Are you good at holding conversations?
The third question to ask yourself if you’re considering whether or not you should go into sales is whether or not you consider yourself to be a good conversationalist. Being able to hold a steady conversation with pretty much any type of personality is a highly effective skill in sales. So when it comes down to it, you should ask yourself, is it really easy for me to talk to pretty much just about anybody? And the reason why is because the ability to hold a conversation for a long period of time is typically highly transferrable, with being able to build relationships quickly with your prospects.
Take, for example, cold calling the essence of cold calling is really being able to deliver an effective and concise pitch, while also keeping your prospect on the line for longer. This question can relate to both introverts as well as extroverts. Remember, introverts are simply people that recharge typically by doing things alone, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that they don’t like holding conversations. So keep that in mind, as you answer this particular question.
Q4: Are you a good listener?
The fourth question to ask yourself if you’re considering whether or not to enter sales is to ask yourself whether or not you think you are a good listener. The reason why this is so important is because oftentimes just being an effective listener can help you close more deals in sales.
I can’t tell you the number of times in which I’ve been able to close larger deals, because I know when to shut up and let my prospect do the talking. So if you are frequently the type of person in your closer relationships to remember the small things and pick up on small facts about your friends and family in conversation, then this could potentially mean that you could be an effective sales person.
The reason why is because prospects love it when you can bring up small things that they mentioned in past conversations throughout their discovery process and their buyer’s journey to deciding on your particular product or service. Being an effective listener is easily one of the most overlooked skills when it comes to hiring for effective salespeople. So if you are really good at listening to others and actively listening to them, then sales might be for you.
Q5: Are you a creature of habit?
The fifth question to ask yourself is whether or not you consider yourself to be a creature of habit. The reality is that sales is a very redundant job. And what I mean by that is the core actions of prospecting, conducting discovery calls with clients and working through demos as well as closing calls is a very rote action. Fundamentally, this core skills that you’re going to use in sales are repetitive. However, the skills that are required to adapt to real-time conversations are very dynamic. And so what that means is that what I found in the past, that people that are creatures of habit and regimented, are the ones that see longterm success in their sales careers.
If you’re the type of person that frequently needs new things introduced into their work lives, then sales might not necessarily be for you because when you’re first starting out in any sales career, you are most likely to spend nine to 12 months in the trenches as an SDR or a BDR frequently known as a sales development rep or a business development rep simply grinding it out and learning how to prospect with potential leads. Sales requires a lot of repetition and consistency in order to get good at it. A good question to ask yourself here is whether or not it’s easy for you to build good habits.
For example, is it easy for you to make your bed or to eat breakfast every morning? These are the sorts of things that are the small habits that can also translate to being effective at sales, because it means that you’re regimented and that you like structure.
Now we’re more than halfway through our nine questions as to whether or not we should go into sales. If you have found this video helpful so far, be sure to like the video. Also leave a comment below that you’ve made it past the halfway mark, and also tell me which questions have you answered a strong yes or yes to so far so that we can keep track as we work our way through the last questions.
Q6: Do you generally view failure as a learning opportunity?
The sixth question to ask yourself is, do you view failure as a learning opportunity? Another way to ask this is would you consider yourself to be a person that has a strong growth mindset?
The reason why we ask this question is because from my past experiences, the top performing sales reps that consistently bring over a million a year in their sales quotas are typically the ones that view everything from an learning opportunity. What that means is that whether or not they close the sale is, besides the point what’s important to them is that in every single conversation that they are entering and leaving, that they are taking something away from that conversation that improves their ability to sell.
Being able to be very critical, but honest in their assessment of their skills allows them to level up their ability to be concise as well as efficient in their business communication skills to close clients.
Q7: Are you okay getting or hearing negative feedback?
The seventh question relates to the last question, which is, are you completely okay or open to receiving negative feedback on a regular basis? The reason why this is so important is because in sales, you’re going to face a ton of rejection. In fact, sometimes you might get rejected 99 times and then get your success on the hundred times. Having tough skin is crucial for longterm success in sales. If it’s really easy for you to take things personally, then sales might not be the right job for you.
If you’re the type of person to hang on things for days or weeks on end and sales might be tough for you. And the reason why is because these harsh pieces of feedback are going to impact your ability to do your day to day work, such as prospecting, building your pipeline and identifying new opportunities.
One of the worst things that any sales will always face is a potential slump in their confidence and, this can really impact them because it impacts their confidence in their closing conversations, in which they start messing up on things that they otherwise, would have closed completely fine.
Q8: Are you able to multi-task easily?
The eighth question to ask yourself is whether or not you find it easy to multitask. In sales, you are frequently going to be doing different things. For example, you’re going to be dialing on the phone, but while you’re dialing on the phone, you’re going to be listening to what your prospect has to say. You’re going to be taking notes, and then you’re going to actually be summarizing those notes for your prospect in a follow on email. If that sounds like a lot for you or potentially overwhelming, then sales might not be for you. That being said, I wouldn’t consider this an absolute deal breaker.
I have met and I have also trained effective salespeople that aren’t great at multitasking. It’s just something in which it will potentially be a hurdle for you compared to some of your peers that multitask more productively. So I hope that that helps those of you that are thinking, but multitasking is a myth really think about this from the lens of how easy is it for you to allocate your bandwidth in multiple directions.
Q9: In your past experience, have you liked having a highly involved coach or teacher?
The ninth question to ask yourself when considering a sales career is whether or not in the past, you have enjoyed having a highly involved coach or teacher. And the reason why we ask this question is because if you’re embarking on a sales career, it is very likely that you are going to be reporting to a sales manager or a VP of Sales, depending on the size of your company. And what that means is that their numbers for their job performance are going to be directly tied to your numbers.
So you better believe that any decent sales manager or VP of Sales is going to be highly involved in trying to help you hit your quota. And the reason why is because your success is their success.
Scoring our results
All right, so now that we’ve answered all nine questions, we can now score our results. So go ahead and take a moment, and I want you to count out the number of strong yeses that you marked as well as the number of yeses. Each strong yes is going to be equal to two points. And each yes will equal one point. Nos are not equal to any points.
When interpreting your score, if your score was between a 15 and 18, then you should strongly consider a career in sales or at least giving sales a try. The reason why is because you have a ton of personality traits, as well as characteristics that could be highly transferrable to being highly effective in sales.
If your score was between a 10 or a 14, then sales is definitely still a career choice to potentially consider. And the reason why is because even though it’s not as strong as a 15 plus score, it is a strong enough score in which there are clearly skills and strengths that aligned to a potential sales career.
If you score between a seven and a nine, then I’d say there’s probably another career opportunity for you aside from sales, that better fits your particular personality, as well as your strengths.
If you scored a six or below, then I would strongly urge you to consider a different career path than sales, just because I think there are skills and strengths of yours that can be better applied somewhere else.
That being said, though, I’m just a person on the internet and so if you really want to pursue sales, go for it, be my guest. In fact, prove me wrong. And then come back in the comments and tell me that I was wrong. Because honestly, in that situation, you absolutely deserve to be in sales because you persisted. And that’s the mark of some of the most tenacious salespeople that I know.
There are two things that I want you to remember when considering whether or not to go into sales.
- The first one is that sales is a very dynamic job. And what I mean by that is you are going to be doing a lot of things in order to close deals. That being said, those things will be confined in terms of the types of things to prospecting, discovery calls, demos, closing conversations, and so on. However, it’s going to be a lot on a daily basis that are slightly different variations of the same problem.
- The second thing to remember is that sales is a very humbling job. And what that means is that you’re going to face a ton of rejection and you’re going to have to be on the grind sometimes for several months or years, before you truly see progress in your salesmanship. That means you have to be okay with getting a ton of negative feedback and only a little positive feedback and be on the grind for extended periods of time. Oftentimes in the first few years of sales, you are not going to be working a standard nine to five job. So if you’re the type of person that likes that clear nine to five job, you’re going to potentially hate it in sales, or you’re going to struggle to meet your quota because you’re not willing to go above and beyond as a salesperson.
Now, I want to hear from you, tell me in the comments, what your score was, or if you’re still unsure as to whether or not you should go into sales, tell me what your score was in the comments, as well as what additional questions that you may have. That way either I or someone in the community can try to help you out.
We’ve covered a ton of sales articles recently. And so ,just as a heads up in my next few articles, I’m going to be going over virtual assistants and some overall business efficiency tips to help you grow your business faster.
If you liked this article, be sure to check out my YouTube channel to get new videos every single week. I’ll help take you from zero to self-starter as you grow your business, get more customers, and hone your business acumen. Also, feel free to share this with anybody that you think might benefit from asking themselves these nine questions as to whether or not they should go into sales.