The Winds. The Tides. The Sales Career. They All Change.

The Winds. The Tides. The Sales Career. They All Change.

Written By Jeffrey Gitomer

KING OF SALES, The author of seventeen best-selling books including The Sales Bible, The Little Red Book of Selling, and The Little Gold Book of Yes! Attitude. His live coaching program, Sales Mastery, is available at

A career in sales means adapt to change or die. Changes occur in a sales job every minute.

On an average day a salesperson will make several cold calls, follow-up ten prospects, make three presentations, go to a networking event, send five letters or proposals, get turned down a few times and make one sale. WOW.

And when you consider the changes taking place around him while all this is happening, the word WOW takes on new reverence.

Why do so few salespeople rise to the top? Because they are unable to synergize their superior sales and personal skills with the flexibility to adapt to the ever-changing facets of sales in conjunction with company and family (read that again). A salesperson’s ability to accept and roll with the tides of change, are at the fulcrum point of his or her ability to succeed.

Here are the defined areas of “sales” change. I have added success tactics for each area to help you utilize these elements of change to your highest advantage:

Product Changes. This is the easiest change to accept. Usually it means newer and better.
Success Tactics: Immediately learn and master the changes. Determine what new competitive advantages these changes bring. Look for ways your customer will benefit from these changes and focus on them.

Policy Changes. New rules. New procedures.
Success Tactics: Don’t swim upstream. Fighting policy changes leads to employment changes. Spend as much time figuring out a way to use the new procedures to your advantage as you do griping about them.

Price Changes. The price goes up.
Success Tactics:
Stop selling price. Sell value. Sell cost over a period of time. (When they raise the price of a Mercedes $2,000 do they lose market share? No. Neither should you.)

Market Condition Changes. There’s not enough demand for your product. Now what?
Success Tactics: Fight harder to increase your customer base. Network more. Sell like it was your survival (It is.) Start an hour earlier. Stay an hour later. Utilize your time to it’s maximum. Don’t blame the conditions for your inability to get the job done.

Competition Changes. Your competitor lowers prices and talks trash about you. You find this out from your best customer who your competitor has just stolen.
Success Tactics: Find out why. Make the changes necessary to ensure that it never happens again. Then find out where your competitive advantages lie and sell from them.

Customer Changes. New buyer. New owner. Change in business stability. New growth.
Success Tactics: Determine how this change affects you. If there is a new person, become a resource to help him or her understand their new corporate culture from your perspective.

Company Changes. Sometimes it’s difficult to produce when the structure of the company, or the internal organization changes. Partner buyouts. Internal restructuring (reengineering). Changing the corporate culture you’ve become secure with.
Success Tactics: Now is the time to seek to understand and harmonize. Don’t fight it. Be proactive towards acceptance. Ask how you can help. Support the leader. Don’t grumble to anyone.

Pay Changes. When salespeople get very successful, management panics at the amount of money they make. Territories get cut, commissions get lowered, positions get rearranged. This tradition strikes fear, anger and resentment in the hearts of most salespeople.
Success Tactics: Figure out what it really means to you from a workload and a dollars and cents position. Is the change acceptable to you? Can you live with it? It may be time to look to another company or start your own.

Staff Changes. People come and go. If your friend is fired or a real jerk gets hired, it can cause a lot of stress. Success Tactics: Look at why the change took place. Look at the last few changes. Is there a trend? Are you next? What do you need to do to get to the top?

Personal Growth Changes. Marriage. Divorce. Kids. Death. Too much debt. Desire to excel.
Success Tactics: Leave your personal problems at home. Maintain your success focus goal achievement may take a renewed effort. Listen to positive attitude tapes every second you’re in the car

Often you cannot affect the change…It effects you. Your responsibility in dealing with the changing elements of life and career is to:

  • Understand them first (no knee jerk reactions).
  • Create the attitude of acceptance.
  • View change as a challenge and learning experience.
  • Make a plan to harmonize with those things or people that affect you.
  • Speak about changes in a supportive way.
  • Focus on adaptability your ability to compromise.
  • Act on changes in a building way.
  • Maintain your positive attitude at all costs.
  • Don’t allow change to divert your focus and drive to succeed.
  • Adopt the perception that you will take advantage of change.

New is better…We buy “new” in the grocery store. It’s the second most powerful marketing word (free is first). If people crave it in the store, eat it up on TV, why do they resist it, actually fight it, on the job? Here’s why:

  • Fear of the unknown.
  • Fear of loss of existing security.
  • Poor attitude toward growth.
  • Lack of self-confidence that they can adapt.
  • Lack of desire or personal motivation to change.

Don’t get trapped…There are pitfalls to beware of. Others may not be able to take change like you can. Don’t get caught up in their crap trap.

Don’t join their pity party.
Don’t agree with their plight.
Suggest good things or solutions.
Offer a meeting to discuss and uncover opportunities.

Add one new inevitable to the original two: death and taxes. Change.
Harness it’s power and succeed. Fight it and fail.



Make change work in your favor. A list of 10.5 ways to adapt to change and incorporate it naturally into your life and your life’s work is yours free. Just go to click Access GitBit in the top right corner, register if you’re a first time user and enter the word CHANGE in the search box.