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How to Keep Your Sales Career on Track in a Changing Economy

The reality is sales in brutal. You can be cut from the team for failing or succeeding so you need to be prepared to keep your career on track should this happen to you.

By
Jeb Blount

Over the past month I’ve received a number of emails from sales professionals who were distraught over losing their sales job for no other reason than the new boss didn’t like them. These are folks who were achieving their quotas and doing what they had been asked to do. But they were fired for personality conflict issues or just plain stupidity.

I’m sad to say that it happens all of the time. Unfortunately many companies and executives view their salespeople as expendable. They wrongly believe that it will be easy to replace a top performer they don’t like with someone else. We all know that they can’t, however. Some companies never learn and some managers are so incompetent that they just can’t see the consequences of losing their best salespeople. Many organizations just can’t come to grips with the fact that their salespeople are the elite athletes of the business.

The reality is that sales is brutal. You can be cut from the team for failing or succeeding, so you need to be prepared to keep your career on track should this happen to you.

Always Be Prepared

Of course there is good news. Top salespeople with proven track records are in demand around the world. Even in bleak economic times there is a shortage of good salespeople. That means that if you can sell you will never go hungry.

What is important in today’s work environment is you must always be thinking about your next move. There is always the chance that you will be kicked out the door through no fault of your own. By staying one step ahead, you’ll land on your feet instead of your butt if this happens to you.  "Be prepared" is more than a Boy Scout motto. These are also the two most important words when it comes to your sales career.

Quick and Dirty Tips for Keeping Your Sales Career on Track

Keep your professional profile up-to-date on social media sites. Your profile on sites like LinkedIn, Sales Gravy, and Plaxo are effectively your online resume. There are thousands of recruiters who regularly troll these sites looking for candidates. Your online profile opens the door for a connection. Most importantly, your professional presence online positions you as a candidate for employers who are seeking sales talent, so be diligent in managing and updating your profiles. For more advice and tips on using your online profile to connect with employers read Get Back To Work Faster by Jill Konrath.

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