The Mind of A Salesman

By | December 1, 2014

There was once I interviewed a candidate for a position of Sales Executive, or equivalently a Sales position. One of the primary questions that I posed to her was why did she want to apply for a Sales position? She told me that a sales position will allow her to learn how to interact with different groups of people and she gets a chance to travel to other states to meet prospects and customers as well. When I pressed further, she told me that she would also be able to learn more about the products that she is selling and to create a closer bond with the customers. When I asked her again whether there were any other reasons why she would like to be a sales person, she kept quiet.

I enquired whether money was important to her. She told me that her priority is to learn and hone her skills. Money did not feature in the top three of her expectation.

I looked at her and kept quiet.

And I rest my case.

There are many football stars in the world today yet generally the more famous ones are the strikers. Their job is primarily focused in one area.

To score goals.

The number of goals that are netted is a testimony of their prowess.

The value that they bring into the transfer market is very much defined by their goal poaching record.

What happens when they stop scoring goals?

Then their value will drop exponentially.

So the same applies to a salesman.

A salesman’s job is primarily focused on one task.

To bring in sales.

The more sales they achieve, the more the commission that they make.

The more the company earns in terms of top line numbers.

So salesman loves money.

Sales. Commission. Money.

These are the unwritten rules of sales.

It is very much related to each other.

The sales brought in by the salesman are also used to pay for other expenses within the company.

That includes the salary to the head of the company.

Customer buys from a salesman.

The money is then used to pay the expenses of the company.

The residue is registered as profit.

Therefore, the customer is paying a portion of the salary of everyone in the company.

Including the head of the company.

Salesman is responsible to get the sales so that there is enough money to pay for every expense in the company and register some form of profit.


Without customer, there will be no sales.

Without sales, the company can go bust.


Without salesman, there will be no one selling in an effective manner to the customer.

If customers don’t call directly anyone in the company to buy their products, there will be no sales assuming that no one else can take the job of salesman.

Without sales, the company will not last long enough to see the broad day light of tomorrow or might need to borrow heavily to survive another day.

You can test the hypothesis.

Try sending all the salesmen in the company for a thirty day break.

Check the sales figure on that month.

If the sales drop only by 10%, it means most likely you have a product that sells by itself.

You don’t need so many salesmen.

You can reduce the number of salesmen.

You can sell via the internet.

Hence reduce operational cost.

Profitability will increase.

Sometimes, you might not see the effect within a thirty day period as some sales were done before that period. So there is a need to analyze correctly the possible reason of the outcome.

If products don’t sell by itself, most likely you will observe a drastic drop in sales numbers.

In that case, will you be able to reverse the trend by getting all the salesmen to go into the market to resume selling?


Then again if it is a fast cycle sales, chances are the customers are already grabbed by the competitors.

Will they return to the salesmen who have decided to be back from the thirty day cycle sabbatical?


Maybe not.

The most profitable customers are the ones that kept coming back to buy from you.

As generally sales expenses to convert prospect to customer is much higher.

If they are buying from you, chances are that they trust you more than the rest.

The psychological barrier has been broken.

Therefore it is always easier to get a customer to buy instead of a prospect.

In the war times, generals lead their army to the battlefield.

How the soldiers fight in the battlefield is a reflection of the strength of the army.

It is also indirectly a reflection of the state of mind of the ruler.

If they fight hard and fearless in their approach, it will instill respect and fear in their opponents.

If they are meek and surrender quickly without a fight or run helter skelter from the battlefield, it represents a weak and indiscipline army that can be crushed easily.

Therefore the sales force of a company is the face of the company.

How the sales force behaves in the market is a reflection of the company’s state of mind.

During a war, the side that might not have enough trained soldiers will seek for volunteers who do not go through the rigorous training of a real soldier.

Chances of success in the battlefield for such temporary reinforcement will most likely be nil.

Therefore if all salesmen were to go on a thirty day sabbatical and their tasks were given to backroom support staff, most likely it will end in failure.

Some results are irreversible.

Therefore it is never about experiments.

Experiments are for novice.

Who should not be there in a first place.

In a war, there is no such thing as an experiment.

One single mistake is all it takes to destroy the whole army.

In the ancient days, a soldier who brings back the head of another soldier might be given silver coins.

A soldier who brings back the head of a commander will get a bountiful of gold.

Reward is immediate.

The more important is the catch, the higher is the bounty.

So as to boost the morale of the soldiers.

Without high morale, there is less willingness to put up a good fight.

With low morale, chances of victory are reduced drastically.

Therefore a salesman need to know the exact benefits that is associated with every sales.

If a salesman cannot see the benefit, they will not fight.

Why should the salesman fight and get the sales so that the money can be used to pay for somebody else’s salary besides his or her own.

If you make some money on your own, would you share it with everyone in the street?

This is with the assumption that money is important to you.

Salesmen are always hungry.

It is their hunger for money and recognition that will push them to greater heights.

In ancient times, one of the most important factors that can influence the outcome is food supply.

Generals and soldiers that go to war will always retreat to their base camp to strategize, recuperate and fill their stomach with food.

Sometimes, the elite soldiers are given better food than the normal soldiers.

However, food is essential before they embark in their next battle.

Food is respect to them.

That their well being is taken into consideration.

Salesman wants respect.

And deserves respect.

How the salesmen treat their customer is a reflection on how the company treats them.

In a war, every soldier undergoes similar rigorous training. However how a soldier fights in the battlefield depends on their skills and the mental state of their mind.

Every salesman has his or her own approach to closing the sales.

They might undergo similar sales training however how they approach and close the deal is a reflection of their character.

Only they will know which way is the most effective.

So you do not need to teach a salesman how to sell.

A strategy can be planned on paper. Yet it is in the implementation that will determine the outcome.

In a battlefield, there are many possibilities that might not be envisaged during the planning stage. However, the primary goal will most likely not changed. A soldier will have some guideline then again if the circumstances changed, the soldiers will need to find alternative ways to achieve the outcome that was originally planned.

Salesmen are flexible.

They want flexibility in their approach.

If they are rigid, they will never be salesmen in the first place.

Flexibility breeds creativity.

So never stifle flexibility and implement rigidity.

Only fools will do that.

Salesmen thrive in being free.

Freedom cultivates creativity.

Never shackle freedom.

Trying to control salesmen is a recipe for desertion.

Why do you want to tame a tiger when a tiger is a only a tiger when it is free?

In the ancient world, a victory is achieved when the enemy is vanquished.

It could be the enemy’s army is decimated or they surrender.

The primary objective is the result of the outcome.

Never about how long that they fought in the battlefield.

To a salesman, it is never about the efforts.

It is always about the results.

A striker can make many attempts at goal however if the striker didn’t score, then it is a disaster for them.

A salesmen true value is when they achieve sales.

That is result to them.

The effort along the way is appreciated yet the primary yardstick is sales.

Result matters.

Nothing else.

A true salesman will always want to be a better salesman.

They will, however prefer to learn from a great salesman.

Or a coach with great sales experience credentials.

Never try to let an individual who knows nothing about sales to coach a salesman.

That will only invite disaster.

Never try to lecture salesmen if you do not achieve something great on your own in sales.

That will breed disrespect.

Never seek to reduce the commission entitled to a salesman.

That will create chaos.

A salesman’s greatest asset is their customers.

It is to a company’s peril if they underestimate it.

Salesman will always be a salesman.

Only a salesman will truly understand another salesman.










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