If you want to get further in your career, you have to grow. It’s just a fact! As long as you stay the same, you’ll always stay in the same place.
A salesperson who isn’t growing personally will see the same lack of growth in their sales numbers. Every year, the commission checks are stagnant (or less!), and goals seem forever out of reach.
The only way to grow as a person—and grow your sales business—is to invest in yourself. To reach long-term goals, there’s no other way! The money and time you spend on yourself always pay future dividends. Here are some of the best ways sales professionals can invest in themselves:
- Invest in your personal development.
- Invest in an assistant.
- Invest in your relationships.
- Invest in your personal image.
- Invest in your personal financial plan.
- Invest in your health.
Invest In Your Personal Development
If you’re in sales, I’m the first advocate that you need a sales coach in your life.
If it’s not me or my team, fine. But find someone! The experience, techniques, accountability, and insight you’ll get from having a coach on your side is worth far more than the cost. Executives, top producers, and pro athletes all employ personal coaches. There’s a reason—to perform at the highest level, you have to constantly work on your personal development.
Education is another way to invest in your personal development. You can’t go off to college and get a doctorate in sales—you’ll need to find the resources that will help you expand your sales skills and develop your mind for business.
Is there a course you want to take or a networking group you want to join? Do it—even if your company won’t pay for it. It’s an investment in yourself, and you’re worth the money.
One last easy way to invest: Set a reading goal. Whether one book a week or one book a month, set a goal and stick to it. And yes, audiobooks count—they’re a great way to reach your reading goal while commuting or exercising. No excuses! Be consistent and always be learning.
Invest In An Assistant
For many sales professionals, a personal assistant is an investment with huge returns.
The same goes for investing in tools and technology that will save you time. They pay for themselves—you can use more of your time for activities that actually produce income.
Learn how to calculate the true value of your time, and you’ll quickly see how any investment that saves you time is worth the cost.
Invest In Your Relationships
Our relationships with others are incredibly valuable in every aspect of our lives. By strengthening our relationships, we can lead happier, more fulfilling lives. We all intuitively know that when our relationships with other people suffer, it has a substantial negative impact.
So why do so many salespeople phone it in when it comes to their professional relationships?
Your referral partners keep your sales funnel full—they are crucial to your business. There are many other relationships, from mentors to networking connections, that will drive your business forward. Not to mention your clients, who have placed so much trust in you and your product!
Are you spending enough energy, time, and money on the people who will take your business to the next level? Are you meeting with your referral partners and clients to stay connected and deepen those relationships?
At least once a week, have an in-person meeting with someone who can drive your business forward. Breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Even if it’s “just to catch up,” you’re building a relationship and level of trust that will pay off.
And be sure you have a client retention program that shows your customers your commitment and appreciation! Are you sending regular gifts, organizing networking events, and hosting parties? Investing in these relationships shows that you provide value beyond just selling your product.
Invest In Your Personal Image
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again—first impressions matter.
As much as first (and ongoing) impressions are about how you conduct yourself, appearance is important. And looking good is a surefire way to boost your confidence!
Having a well-maintained, professional image does require spending a little money. But don’t worry—I’m not saying you need to go out and buy a closet full of bespoke suits and a $15,000 wristwatch. You don’t have to spend ridiculous money to look great!
You do need nice, well-made business attire that conveys the image you’re trying to promote. Pay attention to commonly-overlooked details, like shoes—good ones are worth the investment. And remember that as the years go by, even the nicest items will start to look shabby! Maintain, repair, and replace items as they wear out.
Guys, if your shirt collar and cuffs are frayed, it’s time to buy new shirts!
Personal grooming is also an investment requiring time and money. Regular, professional haircuts, well-kept manicures (and pedicures!), and quality grooming products show an attention to detail that furthers your professional impression. An unattractive or sloppy appearance can be a huge distraction for a client and make a salesperson seem less trustworthy.
Get a haircut more often than you think you need to. Shave more often than you think you need to. Trim your nails more often than you think you need to.
If I chip my nail polish at the beginning of a long day, I’ll put a Band-Aid over my fingertip! I’d rather look injured than shabby.
Impressions aren’t only made in person—you have an online image that needs to be maintained as well. Is your headshot up to date? Is your LinkedIn profile as good as it can be?
Invest In Your Personal Financial Plan
Salespeople live on a variable income. You’re going to have high months and low months. A long dry spell could be devastating if you’re on a low-base, high-commission compensation plan.
This means it’s crucial to be following a solid financial plan. This includes budget, savings, investment, and retirement—but also includes planning how much you’ll be investing in yourself!
To weather the variations in your commissions, you need a savings reserve. Start with one month, and work up to at least three months. Six months is ideal.
One of the personal finance tools we use is You Need A Budget (YNAB). With the YNAB system, you can be sure that every dollar you have coming in has a place to go. It takes some discipline, but careful budgeting is essential to ensure your stability and financial security.
If you need help, remember that many “financial advisors” are really salespeople, just like you, and are more interested in selling you their company’s products than helping you with personal financial planning. Do your research, and find the right professionals with a fiduciary requirement to act in your best interests.
Invest In Your Health
Finally, you have to take care of yourself—both your mind and your body.
You’ve only got one body!
You have to sleep. Develop a sleep routine for good sleep hygiene. Invest in a quality mattress. See a doctor if you’re tired no matter how much sleep you get. Sleep has a massive impact on our performance, physically and mentally!
Take care of your mind and body. If this means dragging yourself to the doctor, seeing a therapist, or meditating—stop procrastinating and take action! Start making investments to improve your health. It’s important for your business, your personal life, and the people who love you!
You’re Worth It
Your growth, development, and efficiency are worth the money. Your appearance, safety, and health are worth the time. There’s no better way to invest than investing in yourself!
I hope this list gave you some ideas. If you’d like to start investing in your sales career, I’d love to help—work with me!
Until next time—go sell some stuff!