Sales has a bad rap. As I was writing this yesterday, my friend texted me, “Just left our slime broker” after seeing apartments. In addition to slime, “aggressive, pushy and biased” are three other popular adjectives used to describe salespeople. As a result, society hides behind “sales” (i.e. people seeking medical patients are “doctors,” people offering legal advice are “lawyers,” people seeking government positions are “politicians,” my colleagues at CBRE are “real estate advisors,” etc.) Despite people’s tendency to shy away from labeling themselves as salespeople, sales is a great career. There are many reasons why – job flexibility, unlimited upside and potential, great balance of fun and challenge – but above all, sales is great because success in sales is directly aligned with how to live a happier life. Here is my experience:
In an effort to live a more fulfilling life, I stumbled upon the connection between success in sales and happiness. Not money, not fame, not success, but relationships determine the quality of one’s life. I felt that last year when I didn’t focus on my relationships and my happiness suffered. This year, to live better and make sure I got out of my exercise/work/sleep routine, I set out to develop my relationships and make time for friends. What this means is that every Tuesday from 4:00 – 5:00PM in my calendar, I have a recurring meeting with myself where I think about my network. During this hour, I turn off my e-mail and focus on things I want to do with people I want to see. While I title the meeting “What Fun Things Will I do with my Friends,” I think about my friends, family, colleagues, clients, prospects, acquaintances, etc. during this hour. Naturally there are some weeks where I miss this exercise, but even getting to it twice a month helps me be more purposeful about my time and relationships.
The thing is – I developed this exercise to live better, but I’m now seeing that it’s making me work better too. Because I’m more focused on connecting with people and understanding their wants/needs/desires, I am finding opportunities to help my network in ways that I previously didn’t see. In sales, you get to focus on how to develop your connections which makes you more emotionally fulfilled and doing so also potentially comes with a financial reward in the future (in my job, landlords typically pay our commissions and therefore my time spent trying to help my network doesn’t even come as an expense for them.) This is why sales is great. It’s a career where I can invest in being happier through connecting with people and also get paid for it by helping my network solve real estate problems (and make their lives better/easier.) My goal of a better life is totally aligned with a better career.
Better relationships = better life; better relationships = better clients.
Note that my efforts to form better relationships are being done in my own improvised way, but I’m always interested in meeting other growth oriented people. If you would like to connect for any reason (coffee, drinks, lunch, run, bike ride, etc.) please reach out. I’m all in.