I’m at that wonderful time in a father’s life when he gets to sit down with his offspring after graduating from middle school and point them someplace beyond the nest towards a career and domestic domicile of their own. Of course, they argue that they still have four years to decide what they want to be. But, I counter, it all begins now. What ever choices they make in the next 48 months will affect every facet of their life – from their ability to attract a suitable spouse to their ability to afford a reasonable lifestyle and a comfortable retirement. I remember my own father sitting me down when I was about 11 years old – and, at that time our discussions positioned my interests towards the field of aerospace engineering or marine biology. Regardless of what I wanted to be he was adamant that I get a post secondary education. Today, I share my father’s beliefs in buying an education as the foundation of any long term, financially stable career. Of course, people have achieved great success without it, but, let’s face it, a good education makes starting out a lot easier. But, beyond that, what do you with it? Personally, I think the optimum choice for anyone with a plan for achieving financial security and leaving a legacy of accomplishment behind them needs to pursue a sales-oriented career path. It challenges all of your faculties and forces you to be technically savvy in your chosen field of expertise. But, most of all, it forces you to stay relevent.
“Relevant” will be the new career buzz word. Our world is changing so quickly – entire new industries evolve inside of six months now and old ones die even quicker. Communications technology allows us to explore our individual talents selling them to a variety of employers rather than just one – and therein lies the problem. The corporate world is shifting to an outside-in way of developing new products and market places (check out this Harvard Business Review article) – they are using social networking to connect with experts who may work for other firms to contract on a project-by-project basis. There will be two job functions: the knowledge worker and the knowledge entrepreneur – and the latter is the group that will make the real money. To gain access to this club, you have to understand the pyschology of the marketplace and implement plans, systems, and procedures to convert desire into action. Considering a Wallmart has about 30 thousand items and the new hypermarket platforms are going to carry 60,000 items, the marketplace will be saturated with stuff and most of it will be low margin commodity items. Businesses want people who can develop and deliver non-commodity goods and services and this, my friends, is the role of a salesperson.
The days of the snake oil salesman are gone – well, they still might flourish in the used car and renovation business, but the fact is most people are incredibly savvy when it comes to information about what they want to buy now. In many cases, the consumer is as knowledgeable as the salesperson about a product. The role of sales today is making sure the customer has the ability and knowledge to get the most out of the product whether it be plastic, cars, or industrial components. They’re value to the process is their innovative approach to getting more out of the product then the consumer thought possible. This requires talents and skills beyond fast talk and slight of hand. It is a highly evolved profession aching for apprentices with a curious mind and a sincere desire to change the world one customer at a time.
If you’re interested in pursuing a sales oriented profession and would consider the business of plastic sheet, rod, & tube then I want to hear from you. I have contacts all over North America looking for the next great sales leader… could it be you?
Warehoused Plastic Sales