When to Say Goodbye
How do you know when it’s time to quit? Even though I’m a recruiter who encourages sales professionals to check out new opportunities daily, I am not pro-quitting. I am pro-staying, giving it all you’ve got, but also keeping your ear to the ground for the right opportunity. When you find one, seize it. They don’t come along every day and when you’ve got one, you know it. In the prime of your sales career, you must do all you can to put yourself in the right place at the right time.
The sales profession is similar to acting and professional sports. There is a life-cycle of income opportunity, and once it’s gone, the glory days aren’t coming back.
What this means to you is…..
There is a strategic sequence to your sales career. Early on, it’s critical to find the right company. Without a good beginning, there may be no middle or end. Get as much experience as you can, and try to pick a company that’s growing. The faster it grows, the faster you’re knowledge, experience, and skills grow.
The ideal career path would be to cut your teeth at a large and stable company, exit for a growing start up or two, and work as hard as you can to make a name for yourself while learning as much as possible.
You should quit for one, some, or all of the following reasons…..
1. You’re company isn’t growing.
2. Technology investments are next to nil.
3. You’re not learning--anything.
4. You can sell. But what your selling isn’t worthy of your high-income years.
5. You have a bad case of the endless shrinking territory.
6. Your boss is certifiable.
7. You’re selling, and a lot, but you don’t believe in the product.
8. Ethical issues.
Compensation--yes, you noticed it’s not on the list. Compensation is never cut and dried. If you aren’t getting paid what you think you’re worth, then have a look around. See if there’s something that makes more sense. But don’t be fooled into thinking what your friends are making is what you should be making. Sales people are hired for all kinds of reasons and more experience doesn’t always or often equal more pay.
If you feel like you can and should be making more, then find another offer and quit. Make sure the new company meets your top priorities, money might be number one, but alone, it wears like a thin t-shirt in a cold breeze. During your sales career, you’ll have a few cherished years; you’ll work hard, and earn more than your keep. They’ll be less than you’d ultimately like, and very difficult to reproduce. Invest the hours, days, and years in a company that values your contributions. One that ultimately puts you on course to achieving your career goals. Time’s a wasting!