“First, ETR is dynamite! I have learned so much from it over the years, and continuously look forward to each issue for more knowledge.
“Second, I have a perplexing situation, and I’m hoping you can give me some help with my decision making process. Recently (yesterday), I was given a lucrative job offer, doubling my current salary. As I am weighing out the pros and cons of staying with my current employer or moving on, my biggest dilemma is if I’m right for the job. These people obviously think so, because the offer came about based on our working relationship.
“More background: I’m a purchasing agent, and the new position would be in sales – the ‘other side of the fence’ for me. You frequently write about how to grow income, and that you have to know how to sell. But I’m not good with people. I told these folks that I’m not patient and I’m not tactful, but they are still excited to provide me with an offer. It’s a door of opportunity, and quite a compliment that these folks solicited me. But I have been with my current employer for 16 years, make a ‘competitive’ salary, and love my work. If I were independently wealthy, I would not work here, though, which leads me to think about the money factor.
“Any thoughts, suggestions, or other ways of evaluating this situation?”
I think you underestimate yourself. If you were so bad with people, they wouldn’t have offered you the job. Your letter shows you to be a person who has integrity, honesty, and humility. These are traits that will make you stand out as a salesperson.
You don’t need to be slick. You don’t need to be pushy. All those negative images you have of salespeople come from bad movies that are based on bad companies and bad people. Most of the selling done in the world is done by people just like you – ordinary folk who want to do a good, honest job and get paid well for it.
Learning to become good at selling is simply learning technique. If you are smart enough to learn to ride a bicycle or use a computer spreadsheet, you are more than smart enough to learn the techniques you will need to be an excellent salesperson.
There is only one reason not to take the job: if the company courting you is unethical. If they are selling bad products by bullying customers or lying, then you should pass. But if they are selling legitimate products and are willing to let you sell honestly (with enthusiasm, of course!), then they are giving you the opportunity of a lifetime.
Check them out. Talk to their customers. If you like what you hear, grab that job and start learning the selling game.
– Michael Masterson[Ed. Note: Send your questions to AskETR@ETRFeedback.com. Include your full name, your hometown and state, and the ETR team may answer you in an upcoming issue.] [Ed. Note: Mark Morgan Ford was the creator of Early To Rise. In 2011, Mark retired from ETR and now writes the Palm Beach Letter. His advice, in our opinion, continues to get better and better with every essay, particularly in the controversial ones we have shared today. We encourage you to read everything you can that has been written by Mark.]