Paul Gallagher is director – professional services for the finance & accountancy, HR and legal divisions at Kelly Services Hong Kong.
Keep control of positive attitude to cope with sales targets
I am a property agent selling luxury apartments. Chasing sales all the time is such a tiring and daunting task. My colleagues are like my arch-enemies, as we all have to meet targets. I feel miserable every day, as I really am not super-aggressive like them. I joined this industry purely for the money. Now even the bonus cannot draw me out of depression. Should I quit the industry or just look for another job?
You are far from the first person to have these feelings. I understand and empathise with your difficulty as property sales is known for being a high-pressure and aggressive industry.
However, you must try to understand the nature of the industry and the position that you are in. Any sales-oriented position can be a tough role to be in, and that is why the compensation can be substantial. I am sure selling luxury apartments is no different.
With high rewards comes high competition, and it takes special character and skill to be able to deal with that pressure.
To get the commission you want as a salesperson, it is important to stay proactive and competitive at all times.
To answer whether you should quit the industry or just look for another job, I would recommend that you first consider your values regarding what you want in your career.
These values must reflect how you see yourself, what you enjoy and your own characteristics. From that, you must weigh up what you want from a career.
You mentioned you joined the industry purely for the money. But do you really value money much more than other things in life? I think most of us want a more financially rewarding career, so the key is to find a job that you are passionate about that agrees with your core values.
I assure you that your work passion will shine through to your customers in a positive way and carry you through your career during highs and lows.
If you have been through your reflection and the answer to the above still leads you to where you are now, perhaps you can find yourself a company or an area of expertise with more properly defined borders of "what" and "where" you can sell. I hope that this will help you to contain your internal competition and the "arch-enemies" you have created in the office.
Lastly, sales is definitely an area where you need a lot of support, not only from your managers, but also your peers. I suggest you find a company with a more friendly work atmosphere.
Ultimately, your greatest ally is your positive attitude. Do not give up control of your ability to be in command of it.
Paul Gallagher is consulting manager of Kelly Services Hong Kong's finance, accountancy and human resources division.