Saw these average salaries quoted in USA Today last week:
Physicians are the highest paid salaried employees in the U.S.: $187,876 a year.
Pharmacy managers are second at $149,064 per year.
Third are patent attorneys at $139,272.
Fourth are medical science liaisons at $132,842.
When I was growing up, my parents wanted me to be a doctor – or a lawyer. They argued that I’d make lots of money, have job security, and would have a highly respectable career.
When I was in college, I was working towards my doctorate in psychology. After I received my B.A., however, something happened – I took a summer job in sales. I intended to go back to school, because I thought “sales” was beneath me. I still wanted to be a doctor like my parents wanted me to be.
But something else happened that summer: I made almost $47,000 in commissions (it was a commission only position), and suddenly the thought of going back to school for six more years, incurring hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loans, and then working 80 hours+ as an intern wasn’t so appealing.
In fact, as I looked around at the top sales reps in the company I worked for (a financial services firm with 25, full time, commission only sales reps), I saw that the top performers were driving Porsches, owned beautiful homes, and were already saving for retirement. And they were in their twenties….
And here’s another thing: most of them had never even been to college.
To be clear – at the time, I wasn’t a top producer, and like most of the other sales reps at the company I soon became stuck in just getting by. It was at this point that I had to make a decision:
I could put in three to six months of studiously learning and perfecting the craft of sales – and this included working harder than I ever had, rigorously follow my scripts (rewrite and personalize them when and where needed), record and listen to myself daily, and commit to doing everything I could, each day (weekends included!) to get better – or I could quit, apply for loans, and hope I got into graduate school.
One path would lead me to top production in sales where I could make literally hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, take vacations whenever and wherever I wanted, and give me complete job security (I could work for whomever I chose once I became a top producer), and the other path, well, consider:
If I chose to become a doctor, I would be looking at years of rigorous and demanding school work. More years as an intern and then resident (at a city that might need new doctors), and hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt, before I made a dime.
In addition, If I became a surgeon, I would work crazy hours most of my career, be on call at all hours of the night and weekends, be completely responsible to my patients and those working in my office, and I likely wouldn’t be getting my Porsche for many years.
For me, that choice was easy to make. I choose a career in sales. But not just an average career, I made a commitment to becoming a top selling professional.
And because I was willing to commit the time, energy, and money needed to excel, I became a top producer in that company in 90 days. Nine months later, I was the top rep out of five branch offices, and 16 months later I was promoted to sales manager.
And please don’t mistake this story as me trying to impress you. Instead, I’m trying to impress upon you that if I could do it, you can do it, too.
Sales have been a great choice, and I’m forever thankful I made it. But the decision that allowed me to be so successful was to commit to learning the craft of sales. It’s something I teach every week when training, and I write about it in my new book, “Power Phone Scripts.” It’s in the first chapter on the “Ten Characteristics of Top Sales Producers.”
If you have decided that you’re probably not going to become a doctor, but you’d like to live like one (with less stress, by the way), then make a commitment to your craft. Start by investing in my new book and then do what I recommend.
Believe me, if you do, this will become one of the wisest decision you’ve ever made.