IRONY - Many want to be ENTREPRENEURS and BUSINESS OWNERS
but do not want to do SALES.
Our nation wants and needs to
create more entrepreneurs and business owners however the majority of our youth
avoid sales. At any point of time, thousands of sales jobs are available even
during the Covid19 crisis. But we do not have enough takers. Sales and
sales-related jobs are in our C.O.L. – Critical Occupations List.
Our institutes of higher
learning and numerous government bodies offer and provide funds for
entrepreneurial degrees and training, but sales and business development are
not stressed. We gloss over the need for sales skills and behaviour when
encouraging the young to go into business and make them believe that digital sales
can substitute the critical role of personal selling in ensuring customers
decide what, when, why and from whom to buy.
Those who start their own
business pretentiously and proudly call themselves businessmen or entrepreneurs
even when they neither have the tenacity and spirit of a salesperson like
waking up early and working till late, nor even the basic skills and
persistency in making cold calls to prospects. Is it a wonder that the failure
rate has been atrocious? In fact, business organizations have to sugar-coat or
downplay anything sales when recruiting salespeople. We use fancy job titles for sales positions.
Yet selling skills is key for
entrepreneurs and business owners. A few years in sales can help prepare an
aspiring entrepreneur to have what it takes to run a business – communication
skills, knowing the customer, discipline and work ethics, emotional resilience
to handle ups and downs and staying focused. To set targets and chase after
them. To go the extra mile and push oneself out of one’s comfort zone. Sales is
not a 9-5 job and working weekends is a norm. It is basic training for the
entrepreneurial spirit – the habit of delaying gratification for future
We need to promote sales as a
career of choice. Set numeric targets to develop sales professionals like we do
for doctors, engineers, lawyers, teachers, etc as part of nation building. By
enlarging the number of sales professionals, we ensure a bigger pool of future
entrepreneurs and businesspeople.
We must also stress the belief
that sales come first before entrepreneurship. The sales job teaches hard work,
drive, dealing with others and managing oneself. Convince our young that sales
skills are essential not just for those who want to do their own business but
also for those who aspire to be a leader, manager or even an engineer.
Let us add value.
Have a meaningful Chinese New