A few weeks ago I moved down to DC to start the next phase of my life. My girlfriend, Erica, will be moving out here in the fall so I figured I would get a head start on her and get a job and apartment and all the “fun” stuff of moving to a new place.
I thought I wouldn’t be particularly picky about the next job I pick up, but it turns out there is one type of job that I’m particularly averse to:
While I’m pretty sure my INTJ personality type has something to do with it, I’m guessing a lot of millenials are grossed out for the same reasons. Here’s why I think Gen-Y hates sales jobs.
1. Sales seems dishonest. Unless you believe in the product you’d feel gross peddling it. While Apple can easily brainwash its sales associates into working for relatively low pay, businesses without a brilliant marketing team or cult like following will find it hard to recruit Millenials into their sales teams.
2. Sales is a decidedly non-collaborative profession. While I love working alone, apparently Gen-Y loves working on teams. Sales is traditionally viewed as a competitive, testosterone driven profession. Gen-Y is of the “everyone is a winner” mindset.
3. Sales jobs are more risky. Gen Y is less willing to try things they’re not already good at. The sucky economy definitely doesn’t help. When most of your pay is commission based, that barista job paying $12/hour looks much more appealing.
4. Traditional sales relies on motivation of big, cash wins. Gen-Y is all about doing things they’re passionate about. To be fair, Gen-Y loves money and spending it in hipster coffee shops (like the one I’m sitting in now), but it’s a secondary motivator.
5. Most sales jobs focus on selling, not on partnerships and relationships. This is not as obvious as it appears. Sales jobs that focus more on the language of business development and on developing partnerships and relationships have a lot more appeal than the sales-speak of “Earn 6 figures a year!” I imagine that if companies turned their sales jobs into business development positions they would be a lot more appealing to Millenials. For example, I read the book SPIN Selling and it focuses primarily on how to ask questions to determine a potential client’s explicit needs. It was less about selling and more about investigation and exploration. I became much more excited about sales after I read that book.
7. Cold-calling is gross. Gen-Y is pretty averse to regular phone calls, not to mention calling up a complete stranger and asking them to buy whatever crap you’re selling.
I’d love to hear from any Gen-Y members who work in sales. What motivates you? Why did you get into sales? Would you recommend it to others?