Death of a salesman

Arthur Miller’s classic play “Death of a Salesman” tells the story of a salesperson’s ups and downs.

If you’ve ever worked in sales, or know somebody who has, then you know that it’s a long, difficult path.  Every single day, sales reps deal with rejections, objections, hang-ups and difficult people.  A salesperson needs to meet these obstacles with quick, calculated responses, endless positivity and of course drive.  Entrepreneurs face these exact same obstacles, whether it’s reviewing their business plan with a potential investor or pitching their product to the owner of a local store.  I recently came across an article that talks about five simple lessons learned from sales that translate into successful traits for an entrepreneur.

Any business, no matter how great, will face resistance and rejection.  It’s important to never let that interfere with your greater vision.  No matter what, an entrepreneur needs to lead with bravery and confidence.  When you get tired of rejection, revise your approach, since something isn’t working.  Sales is the art of communication, while entrepreneurship is the art of improvisation.  You should plan ahead and think on your feet instead of maintain a reactive state.

The number one reason for failure is denial.  When you’re going to speak hard truths, do so with a gentle approach.  You can’t be too hard on yourself (or others) for making errors.  Every error you make is a valuable lesson on the path to success.  Take errors, and treat them as guidelines for what you should and shouldn’t do.

Every single day, external influences will instill a feeling of doubt and fear into your daily thoughts.  However, your mind is yours alone, so confidence is essential.  The human mind allows you to choose between thousands of emotions at any given time, so consciously choose the ones that best serve your purpose.  Making your emotions work for you is extremely rewarding.

Money, as the saying goes, is compensation for value given.  Constantly use your creativity to propose new and more efficient solutions to the problems that come up.  Once the sale’s been made, the creative process doesn’t just stop.  If anything, the challenge arises to continually supplement everything with value.  It takes a lot of dedication and research to truly understand the desires and needs of your consumer or client.  If you’re constantly making an effort to learn more about your industry, then people will notice.

Any salesperson can tell you that prospecting is an extremely valuable tool.  If you continually diversify your streams of income and clientele, it will in turn secure a more stable future for both you and your company.  If you ever become complacent, then you’ll probably lose business.  Set aside about an hour every day to prospect potential improvements or new clients.  Even that one small investment is essential for long-term success.  Constantly being one step ahead will give you an edge over the competition.