How Starting In Sales Is Like Training A Puppy

sales training hasseman My oldest daughter Skylar just got a puppy.  Since she lives with me, I just got a puppy.  It’s great.  (I talk about it here a bit). Anyone that has ever gotten a puppy knows I am lying.  It’s not great.  The Lord made puppies cute for a reason.  They need to be cute to survive.  But here’s the thing…getting a puppy is a long term play.  Dogs are amazing.  They can fill your heart with love and your life with memories.  You just have to be willing to live through the tough start.  It reminds me of starting a sales career (or a business for that matter).  So here are the ways getting a puppy is like starting a new career in sales. It Starts Fun But:  The first day you get a puppy it’s all excitement.  As we discussed above, it’s so cute.  Everything seems so fun…but trouble is just around the corner.  Every thing about owning a puppy is harder than it seems on Day 1.  The same is true for sales.  It starts off exciting and fast but it gets a lot harder (and less cute) quickly. Getting Up Early:  Part of the reason it gets less cute quickly is because of a lack of sleep.  Just like a baby, the puppy has no sleeping routine yet.  When you start in sales (or in business), you start getting up early quickly.  The early bird gets the worm, remember? Patience Is a Virtue:  You know what’s hard when things are not going as planned?  Patience.  But that is exactly what you need in both situations.  You need patience because puppies take a while to train.  And…you need patience to train new customers too!  These new customers will become the lifeblood of your new business.  But it takes time. Completely New Habits:  If you have old routines, a puppy does not care.  (Again…I talk about that here).  And you can’t create new success in sales with your same old habits.  You have to create new routines.  You have to break out of your comfort zone.  It’s not up for negotiation.   Cleaning Up Messes:  It goes without saying that when you have a new puppy, there will be some cleaning up messes.  The same is true in sales.  You have no relationship.  You really have no trust with your prospects (or more to the point, they have no trust in you).  So every problem is a big problem.  You have to clean up the mess before it stains the relationship forever. There Are No Shortcuts:  We all want to get the natural training process to speed up.  Whether you want to train a puppy or build a business, we want to skip that part.  But it doesn’t work that way.  You have to pay the price.  You have to spend the time.   The bad news with starting a business or a sales career and training a puppy is, it’s tough.  There are early mornings and late nights.  There are times of frustration.  The good news is, you know that if you put in the time and work, it will work.  And both puppies and a sales career can help create a fulfilling life!  Here’s to success in both!    

Written by: Kirby Hasseman

Kirby Hasseman is the CEO of Hasseman Marketing & Communications. Kirby hosts a weekly Web show called Delivering Marketing Joy where he interviews business leaders from around the country. Kirby has published four books. His most recent is “Fan of Happy.” His book, called "Delivering Marketing Joy" is about doing “promo right” and is perfect for people in the industry and customers. He also wrote “Think Big For Small Business” and “Give Your Way to Success. All are available on Amazon.