Everyone in sales knows the importance of not giving up. Tenacity is often synonymous with persistence, and can be defined as “relentless, stubborn.” You have to be tenacious and persistent without being annoying; excited without being overbearing. The military is an excellent career to quickly learn the art of tenacity. Without it, whatever level military training you go through would be pretty difficult. I’m certainly not saying the military is the only place you can learn this skill; many people develop this within themselves through their environment (upbringing, schooling, friends, family, etc).
Learning the act of pursuing something relentlessly is vital in sales. Most if not all sales-related books will tell you a very, very small percentage of sales are actually closed during the first sales call. Knowing how to go after that prospective client and chase down that final sale in the face of a ticking clock requires a lot of relentless talent – and stress management – which is an entirely separate topic for another day. You can think of it this way: talent and training both provide the insight into what will be a good sale, and tenacity provides the ability to go out and chase it down.
Learn to love the chase by tangling with tenacity.
The Importance of Relationships
Another concept the military instills in you is the importance of building relationships. When you join the military, it doesn’t matter what the interests, skin color, or background of the person are next to you – it just matters that whether they’re male or female they are your family, a volunteer, and have motivations very similar to your own for joining the service. This goes hand in hand with the importance of fostering meaningful relationships in sales. As I stated in a previous blog, sales are about creating meaningful and lasting relationships. The sales process is first and foremost about creating a bond between the salesperson and the prospective client and knowing how to operate around that fine line of personal and professional can be the defining factor between making or breaking the sale.
The Desire to Help
People enter the military for a variety of different reasons, but most people stay in to help their country, and overall make the world a better place to live. 9/11 highlighted the fact that there are people out there committed to ending our way of life and freedom. The military saw a surge of volunteers since then, most if not all of whom wanted to help others. Now that I have separated from the military, helping people is still one of the reasons I plan to enter the world of medical sales. Medical devices, regardless of the company, space or specific instrument help increase patients’ quality of living, without question. The military taught me a lot about a career in sales, and I look forward to joining another industry designed to help people.