AW

Is Life a Highway or a Long and Winding Road?

In Inspiration and Motivation, Life Lessons, Pursuit of Happiness on February 5, 2010 at 12:17 pm

In 1991, Tom Cochrane sang “Life is a highway…I want to ride it all night long.” Life in general may be a highway, but for those in sales, life tends to be more of a “long and winding road,” full of twists and turns.  The life of a salesperson can be exciting one moment, and harrowing the next.  When things are good, living on commission can be exhilarating.  When things are slow, the thought of a regular paycheck suddenly becomes very appealing.   Unfortunately, we can’t have the best of both worlds.

Success seems to breed more success, and failure seems to snowball.  It is all about momentum.  In sales, momentum can shift rapidly and without warning.  It really depends on the product or service being sold.  Product and service sales are more predictable when they are always in need, and not directly correlated to fluctuations in price.

Some products and services have cyclical peaks and valleys, but they are somewhat predictable, and can be handled with proper planning.  However, products and services that are not unique, and are more price-sensitive, can leave a salesperson feeling like “Midas” one day (where everything they touch turns to gold) or “Medusa” the next (turning people to stone with a mere glance).

It can be very frustrating when you are selling the same product or service with great success one week, and with little to no success the following week (while using the exact same methods).  Salespeople can easily get caught up in the wild fluctuations and give themselves too much credit when things are going well, and too much blame when things slow down.  But the bottom line is that sales really is a “numbers game.”

Making sales calls is easy when things are going well.  Confidence builds, and you believe that the person on the other end of the line is going to say “yes.” The real challenge is to keep plugging away when it seems that the word “yes” has suddenly disappeared from every prospect’s vocabulary in one fell swoop.  At times like these, many salespeople find themselves clamoring for the “Glengarry leads.” However, the real solution lies within, not in the leads.

For many years, while commuting by train to and from New York City, I read self-help books.  One of the most common themes amongst successful people was creating multiple streams of income.  It always seemed like a good idea, but the thought of creating other streams of income (while working and commuting) was daunting.  To some degree it still is, but in today’s economy, I realize that this approach is the best path to financial stability and peace of mind.

My pursuit of wealth and “happyness” has allowed me to put the “Medusa” days in proper perspective, knowing full well that the “Midas” days are just around the bend.  While I am not immune to the frustrations of the “long and winding road,” I have my sights set on the highway, and when I get there, I plan on riding it “all night long!”

The only question that remains is…how many people want to come along for the ride?

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  1. I can totally relate. Sometimes life feels not like a highway but a steep climb up a craggy cliff. The last couple years have been rough.

    I will say that I subscribe to the whole “multiple income” thing. We cobble a living together with real estate, our other business which is selling tea, my husband’s graphic art, hosting exchange students, and part time/temporary work when needed; we lower our expenses by being a one-car family, eating together as a family at home, couponing, etc. It’s tough being in sales, but I can’t think of anything else I’d rather do than assist people in buying and selling homes. Great post as always Adam!

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