While it might be easy for some professions–a doctor, a judge, a firefighter, even a lawyer–to find meaning in their lives, for a salesperson it can be tough. Along with countless negative media portrayals over the years, and tainted social attitudes, a salesperson encounters the highest percentage of rejection of just about any profession out there.
How important is meaning to a person’s life? For at least one significant answer to that question, we can turn to Victor Frankl, an Austrian psychiatrist and holocaust survivor, who founded an entire school of thought around a person’s search for meaning. Frankl saw this search as life’s primary motivation.
It is important to point out that Frankl also said that each person must discover such a meaning for themselves—nobody can give it to them. So while we cannot give each individual salesperson the meaning for their own life, we can certainly point out that they mean a great deal more than they might have been given credit for in the past.
So what meaning can be found in the life of a salesperson? Is it something to be ashamed of, or something–as we at Pipeliner believe–that should be a source of pride?
In this white paper, Nikolaus Kimla explores the subject of the meaning in the life of a salesperson–the most challenging, yet the most rewarding career available.
Chapter 1 › Can a Salesperson Find Meaning in Life?
Just based on social commentary, along with incredibly negative entertainment media over the last 100 years (think Death of a Salesman and Glengarry Glen Ross, just as 2 prime examples), it would appear, at least at a surface glance, that the only meaning salespeople could find in life would come from pressuring prospects to buy things against their will, grubbing for money and, in the end, total misery.
Chapter 2 › Slapping Back at Negative Attitudes on Sales
While there are thousands of suggestions out there of what your meaning in life might be, only you can decide what your meaning in life actually is. It’s different for everyone. If meaning in life was the same for all people, then it wouldn’t be a problem finding it, would it? You could just ask your neighbour. But unfortunately, it’s not that easy.
Chapter 3 › Do You Find Meaning, or is it Forced On You?
We can fairly say that there are 2 primary concepts in anthropology or the study of human beings today, or (better) two different world views on humankind. One is the so-called socialist mindset, and the other is the more entrepreneurial approach. Because we believe salespeople are “entrepreneurs within an enterprise,” this is the one we favour.
Chapter 4 › What Factor Brings the Most Meaning to Sales?
Meaning in life for a salesperson is tied directly to altruism: the performance of good for others for no other reason than the good performed. When salespeople really benefit others, they not only make repeat customers but they help enhance their own reputations.