sales advice

What to do if You’re Offered a Promotion

A wise man once said to me, “Sooner or later you’re going to get offered a promotion. Whatever you do, don’t take it.”

At the time, I was a salesman for a pesticide manufacturer. The senior sales guys told me how much they made and it was mind-boggling.

“Yeah, when you get promoted you get a higher salary, but for what?” He continued on, “with this job when you want a raise, you just work harder and smarter and sooner or later bigger commissions show up in your bank account.”

“But don’t you want to climb the ladder? Become CEO?” I asked.

I was a young 25 year old at the time and didn’t realize he was giving me both prescient and shitty advice at the same time.

Being a salesman is, if you’re smart, the best job ever. And the best sales jobs are those that have a small or even NO salary. Everything comes from commissions.

It’s the best because you make your own life. The harder you work, the more you make. And if there’s no shortage of product, that is you’re selling software or cars or chemicals, you can make a killing. Mid 6 figures and above.

The reason you don’t want a high salary is because it’s easier to have a flexible schedule when the company only pays you if you produce. They don’t care if you start work late on a Tuesday when you’re making them boatloads of cash. But if they’re giving you a high salary, they expect you to be around at all times.

When I asked him about climbing the ladder he said, “being a CEO takes an inordinate amount of time, the stress level is through the roof, and most CEO’s only last a few years before they’re fired.”

He was right. Let me make myself clear…there are times when it’s stupid to turn down a promotion. But you really have to consider if it’s really something you want….