The 80% and 20% of Sales

The 80% and 20% of Sales

The project was presented to me this past week to reach out and interview an individual with experience in the field of Sales. The purpose of this assignment was to advance my knowledge in this role. With this fact in mind, I determined to only learn from the best, which is why I reached out to Nick.

Nick Rundlett is a Sales professional, authentic communicator, and self-directed learner.

The following is the lights of our interview.

1. What made you choose to pursue this role?

“Well, I’ve kind of always been selling.”

Nick started out his sales career with Pokemon cards as a kid, moving to candy in school, to eventually smuggling in laser pointers in high school, much to the disapproval of the teachers. With the inheritance of a coin collection, the school playground salesman became fascinated with the topic of sound money and economics, which resulted in a headfirst dive into the buying and selling of coin collections. This is how Nick discovered that he truly enjoyed the process of sales.

From these humble beginnings, Nick eventually chose to drop out of college to pursue a career in sales which has been advancing his skills and success ever since.

2. What skills and training are required to fill this role?

“Sales is 80% psychology and 20% strategy.”

Creating self-awareness is one of the best tools that one can cultivate when involved in sales. Being able to identify one’s strengths and weakness and then create ways by which to improve those areas will increase their efficiency in sales.

A personal example that Nick gave was the area of organization and discipline in the early parts of his career. Recognizing that this was a weakness that hindered him from reaching his full potential, Nick determined to concur this obstacle with positive habits. By dedicating two hours of his morning to cold calls, he was then able to accomplish his agenda by noon each day.

3. What is the greatest challenge in this role?

“Coming to terms with the fact that closing a big deal didn’t make me feel better about myself.”

Sales can give you financial freedom, flexibility in work schedule, and the opportunity to advance your career, but it cannot give you self-esteem. This is a trait that you must bring yourself. Unless you come to sales with a healthy self-image and self-esteem, you will struggle in gaining any level of success in this role.

4. What is the greatest gain?

“Self-confidence and the ability ignore rejections.”

When making a sale you must portray I high level of self-confidence. You as the salesman are apart of the product. When people see or listen to your presentation they see the product through you. Therefore one must lead with confidence otherwise the product itself will appear weak and unreliable.

Indeed, sales does not give one confidence, however, it does provide the atmosphere to grow and create that confidence. Honesty, you have no other choice.

Without a strong self-image, one will never make it through the first 1,000 cold calls and first 100 no’s, which is required to reach the point where you are making progress. Rejection is a part of sales. That is just short and simple truth. Therefore one can choose to wield this obstacle to drive them forward, or they can allow it to beat them down.

5. What do your day to day tasks look like?

“I believe that I have a few core beliefs that guide my actions throughout the day without me necessarily being consciously awarenesses of them.”

Depending on your sales role and the company you work for, your day to day tasks will look quite different. According to Nick though, there is a hand full of guiding truths that enable him to be the salesman he is each and every day.

“If I put in the work, I will get the results.”

“I always committed to giving 10% more than what was expected of me.”

If Nick is asked to make 50 cold calls, he will make 55 and then some.

Whether in sales or any area of life, one should always strive to exceed the expectations of those around them.

Improving oneself and pushing past new boundaries is the day to day task of a salesman.

6. What is the significants of sales as a whole?

“Sales is about helping people solve problems. Sales is about connecting people to a solution that they otherwise would never have known existed”

To be a successful salesperson you must be an honest, caring, trustworthy person. Sales is all about providing a need for others. It matters not how well you can sell a pen if the person doesn’t need it then you are not providing a need, but are instead taking advantage of your situation and damaging the brand of sales as a whole.

7. What hard skills are necessary for this role?

“Math… because you will be asked to spitball numbers. You will also need to learn a lot of different software tools.”

Sales is a soft skills role whereas computer engineering is a hard skills role. With that said, there are hard skills necessary to adequately completes one’s job in sales. Understanding and being quick when it comes to math will help when you find yourself calculating prices and numbers to a potential customer. Software skills are an absolute necessity regardless of where you work, and each company will have different software forms that you will need to master.

The hard skills required for a sales role are simply the tools that enable you to use your soft skills. Sales is 80% psychology (soft skills) and 20% strategy (the hard skills).

8. What does it take to succeed in this role?

“I can’t give you a nugget, but I can give you several.”

Discipline, persistence, willingness to be humble, the ability to learn from failure, self-awareness, a hunger to learn and improve your sales and yourself, and a desire to serve and help other people.

Regardless of the bad wrap given to the roles of sales, this is a truly honorable, and I might say, heroic line of work. It requires one to constantly be improving themselves so that they might be able to serve the needs of other more effectually.

So what does it take to succeed in the role of sales? Simply to be a hero.


9. If you could give one piece of advice to a young person considering this role, what would it be?

“Do you want to be doing this?”

Anyone can benefit from the experience of being in a sales role, but the greatest key to success in sales is being self-aware. Going into this role blind will only result with you being knocked down and disappointed. Before you enter into this role you must determine that this is something you want to do and do well at. Once this decision has been made you must create that self-confidence a rejection buffer necessary to withstand the obstacles that will come.


The role of sales is one that challenges a person to become the very best version of themselves. It is a career that pushes one past the limits of comfort and ease to determine which members are strong enough to succeed. And is a profession based solely on the concept of helping others?

Sales is 80% psychology and 20% strategy.

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