I was the typical nerd in high school. Talk to people? In real life? I preferred being on IRC (I hope I’m not the only one who remembers what that is). If you asked me back then if I ever considered a job in sales you would get a quick no.
Star Trek the Next Generation was my favourite show (well, it still is). I never skipped a class and always got good marks. I thought all salespeople were outgoing, smooth talkers and definitely not into sci/fi. Although being the typical geek growing up, if you ask me what I do now, I’ll tell you I am in sales.
Getting into sales was essentially forced upon me. At my last company we had just released the first version of our software product and we introduced it at a tradeshow. Being extremely naive at the time, we expected people to just come to us buy the software. We left the tradeshow with zero sales but had a list of all the attendees of the tradeshow. That’s when my sales career really began. I called every person on the list and pitched our software. I was cold calling people before I even knew what cold calling was.
So can geeks be salespeople? Absolutely. In fact, in today’s changing sales world, geeks are a perfect fit. Sales, especially sales management, is extremely metrics driven. Mathematics and statistics skills go a long way. Also, sales has never really been a one-size-fits-all industry. Whether you’re inside sales, outside sales, business development, selling homes, selling software, selling Mary Kay—everyone is selling something. It’s so diverse in fact, that our new business is built entirely around matching the right salespeople to the right sales job.
Don’t believe me? Let’s take a look at the ultimate geek, Bill Gates (I am a huge Bill Gates fan). It’s a well known fact that he is a great salesperson, selling perhaps the deal of the century to IBM when he licensed MS-DOS. Another fellow nerd doing not too shabby in the business world.
So if you think you’re a geek, don’t let this deter you. The sales world needs more people like you! I ask you to consider a career in sales or at least experience the excitement of sales in some capacity. It might be the best decision you’ll ever make.
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