Why I Love Sales… (Hint: It Has Nothing to do With Money)
Updated: Oct 22
A few months ago, my coworkers and I were at a bar and I randomly asked a group of them: “Am I a product guy or a sales guy?” [(as if to assume the world breaks down into these two categories… (indulge me)].
The group lacked consensus so I offered a solution: All product guys are sales guys but not all sales guys are products guys. My rationale was that product people need to be able to succinctly communicate what they have and why it’s great. These two activities are the essence of sales: effective communication and value identification.
I’ve been building websites for a long time so my background is naturally in product development. As the CEO of an early stage company, however, my time has to include sales so I’ve taken my product skills and applied them to sales.
I’ve grown to love sales for one reason: It’s the perfect skill for people who are constantly looking to improve, like myself . A sale is a puzzle that can be solved countless ways.
No matter what you do during the sales process, you can always do it better . If you’re stuck at one part of the prospect’s organization, you can attack from the other side. While the challenger sale may work with one stakeholder, you may need a consultative approach with another.
Sales also depends on many other skills: negotiation, presentation, strategy, and interpersonal. For people who are obsessed with developing a wide array of key life skills, sales is an ideal discipline.
Sales even demands creativity because once you’ve identified the needs of your future customer, you can create custom collateral and models to drive your point home.
Even if a deal is a surefire close, you can always focus on price, sales cycle, and other key metrics to push you to outperform yourself. It’s always you vs. your last deal. Nothing else.
Here are three characteristics I’ve identified from observing some of my highly capable sales colleagues. Try to look for them when hiring your own.
Intellectual curiosity. These are people that are not just curious to gain knowledge; they’re curious to learn.
Feedback welcoming. These are people that don’t just take feedback; they feed off of it.
Natural hustle. These are people that don’t just give up after a few tries; they realize it’s a marathon, not a sprint.
I’ve never thought of myself as a sales person but where we are as a company, it’s an inevitable role for me. If you’re not in sales, why not challenge yourself and give it a shot? And, if you’re in sales, I hope this perspective helps you love your job even more.
 At Social Tables, the constant desire to improve is something we look for in new hires.
 One of the reasons I love our VP of Sales, Ram Parimi, is because of how development-obsessed he is. It’s infectious.