In years gone by, there were times when all a salesperson needed to do to make a sale was to be breathing. Salespeople with absolutely no skills were making sales.
The demand for products and services seemed to have no end. An insatiable appetite by the consumer ruled the economy and life was good for both the buyer and the seller. I believe life can consistently be good for the seller because unlike other professions, the salesperson truly controls their own destiny.
I’m reminded of the short poem written by William Ernest Henley, an English poet of the late 1800’s. This poem was first published in 1875 in a book called Book of Verses, where it was number four of several poems called Life and Death. Some-time later an editor gave it the name of “Invictus”. The influence of this poem has been expressed in movies, novels, television, music, speeches and in my case, to salespeople. Here are the four powerful stanzas of this most profound poem. Pay particular attention to the words of the last two lines.
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
No matter what the circumstances may be, salespeople are the master of their fate and the captain of their soul. Salespeople are in the unique position to be able to influence the outcome of their situation through their individual effort, activity, desire, belief and actions. If they want a greater income, they can create it for themselves. If they want to work shorter hours, they can schedule it. A salesperson can literally create more opportunity by just going out and finding it. Salespeople are unparalleled by the fact that they can create whatever conditions they want for themselves. It is as simple as deciding what you want and then setting a course to achieve it.
Now with the freedoms bestowed upon salespeople comes a great responsibility. In your hands rests the fortunes of the company and the livelihood of all its employees. Without sales there is no revenue. Without revenue there are no profits. Companies without profits cease to exist and if there are no companies, there are no jobs. Your efforts as a salesperson are the reason everyone in your company has a job. Your responsibility then, is to generate as many profitable sales as humanly possible. By doing so, you will guarantee the employment of all your fellow workers. Always remember, by virtue of your position as a salesperson, you are the master of your fate, and the captain of your soul.