You’ve been a sales professional for a long time; you’ve been a loyal company employee, you’ve made it to President’s Club, you’ve hit your quotas, and have a long list of happy customers.
But at some point, you decided that the company’s share seems a little bigger than it ought to be, for the amount of work that you are providing. And frankly, you’d like the freedom and opportunities that come with working for yourself being an independent sales professional.
And so you’re think of going out on your own; selling for yourself, as independent sales professionals do.
If you decide to leave the company fold, there are a few things that you’re likely to discover right away before you can work as independent sales professionals:
- Initially, it’s hard to sleep at night for all newly turned independent sales professionals. It’s a lot scarier than you’d expected. I wish it wasn’t true. But it is. When you sever ties with your safety-net, expect some sleepless nights and some second-guessing of your decision. That doesn’t make it a wrong decision. It just makes it stressful. Much easier to get through if you know that this is coming. So plan for it. What are you going to tell yourself when the self-doubts begin? Write it down. Give a copy to your loved ones so they can reinforce the message. You can do this.
- Being independent sales professionals you don’t have to get dressed every day. It’s not a sin to work in your pajamas at 2pm on days when you’re in the office. It’s ok to schedule time to go to Johnny’s basketball practice in the afternoon, or have an actual lunch date with your spouse. As corporate employees, it feels like ‘hooky’ if we’re not ‘on’ 100% of the work day. You know, at least intellectually, that that is silly. You may need to work at 10pm some nights, after going to Susie’s soccer game at 2pm. That’s ok. Being in control of your time is ok.
- Benefits of being independent sales professionals are often a misnomer. I am stunned at the power of the word ‘benefits’. Before you seriously entertain the concept of going independent, go get bids on what it will cost for you to replace your current benefits. Health insurance, life insurance, dental insurance…whatever you have and want to keep…find out what it will cost you to replace that from your own pocket. Next, run the numbers – with the benefits cost, how much can you make on your own? For most independent sales reps, benefits look really different when they see them as a cost center.
- When people become independent sales professionals they can sleep in their own bed almost every night. Why travel a 6 state territory, just because ‘the company’ gave you that territory? That’s a dumb waste of time. Get out a map. Draw a 100 mile radius around your house. Unless you live in Presque Isle, Maine or Kingman, Arizona, you probably have lots of prospects in your circle. Go find more products or services to sell to the niche that is in your circle, instead of making a bigger circle to see more people in far away places. Stay close to home. Sell more. Be more efficient. You’ll probably make more money this way too. And sleep in your own bed at night.
- For independent sales professionals the corner office just ain’t important any more. I remember at the big company where I worked for many years, the location of your office, the size of desk, even the number of allocated plants in your office; these were all measures of company stature. And I cared about that stuff. I’ve been gone from the corporate world for a long time now, but I can tell you with certainty, as independent sales professionals, you’ll care a lot more about things like scheduling time at the gym or knowing the FEDEX guy’s name or picking out the right holiday cards for your customers than the dimensions of your office. And I think that probably makes you a little healthier too when you are graded as independent sales professionals.
Good luck with your decision/transition.Please register with us at RepRight. If you’re looking to consider being an independent sales rep, this is a great way to see what’s out there and the potential.