10 Hobbies That Make You a Better Salesperson
Sales can be an all-encompassing job. For some top salespeople, they would even call it a lifestyle instead of a career. However, even the best salespeople need downtime away from the job. Yet, even when away from the job, you can continue to become a better salesperson by cultivating hobbies that develop the same skills you need to succeed in sales.
Yes, the hobbies of a salesperson do matter for their performance! But what are some good hobbies for salespeople? In this article, we will go over 10 of the best hobbies that will help you become a better salesperson while still decompressing from your job. So, if you’re a salesperson and looking for some new hobbies to try, consider this list and pick out the one that you’re most interested in!
1. Team sports
Even as you work towards your own personal selling goals, sales is never a solo activity. You have to coordinate with other members of your team, product developers, and clients in order to sell your product. Basically, you have to be good at communicating with other people and knowing when to focus on supporting another member for the good of the team. Team sports can teach you how to be a great team member. While the best athletes are skilled on their own, they know when to take a step back from the limelight to support another member of their team to win the game. If you play a team sport, you will develop better communication and group work skills that will translate into being a better member of your sales team. So go ahead and pick the team sport that you’re most interested in!
Traveling is among the most varied hobbies, as you can visit any place you desire while cultivating this hobby. It doesn’t matter whether you’re traveling to visit friends, historical sites, famous restaurants, or natural wonders: traveling involves learning how to navigate places and cultures different from your own. Traveling automatically takes you out of your comfort zone. This, of course, is especially useful for traveling salespeople, but it can be beneficial for sales teams that stay at home too. When you work in sales, you come across a variety of people with different values, concerns, and histories. You have to know how to connect personally with these people, despite your differences. Traveling in your free time will help you learn how to better communicate with other people and come to value different experiences.
3. Role-Playing Games
Role-playing games like Dungeons & Dragons are entering a renaissance. As a salesperson, you can join in on this trend while becoming better at your job! Tabletop role-playing games are a collaborative storytelling process, wherein the person who runs the game (often called a game master or dungeon master) and the players work together to create a narrative that everyone enjoys. Players also have to know how to inhabit a character and act as another person. These skills are vital for salespeople, who must both put on an effective selling persona and understand the background and desires of the person that they are selling to. Role-playing games develop empathy as they let players explore what it’s like to be another person, another important skill for salespeople who must understand their prospects in order to perfect their sales pitch.
The benefits of reading as a hobby are widely known, as reading helps you improve your knowledge, general vocabulary, memory, and focus skills. These, of course, are all important skills for a salesperson to cultivate. In fact, David Ogilvy, the Father of Advertising, was a voracious reader. Speaking on his hobby in relation to his job, Ogilvy stated that “the worst fault a salesperson can commit is to be a bore”. Reading can help you become a more interesting and intelligent person as you learn more about both the world around you and other people. Reading also improves empathy skills. For what you should read, go with whatever particularly interests you, whether that’s non-fiction, the classics, or even fantasy!
Like traveling, volunteering forces you to interact with a variety of people who may be quite different from you, whether they’re your fellow volunteers or people that you’re helping. Even more than traveling, volunteering requires you to act with empathy and understanding and learn how to step outside of yourself. When volunteering, you have to know how to set aside your own issues to support a greater cause. The same is true of sales. Whatever struggles you may be facing in your personal life, sales makes you put that aside to focus on supporting your team and company. Additionally, sales requires that you demonstrate care to the person that you’re selling to and convince them that your product will make a positive impact on their life. You can better perform these skills as a salesperson if you have cultivated them while volunteering for a cause that you believe in.
Exercise is a good hobby for anyone as it has been shown to improve health and reduce stress. A good salesperson is one who is energetic and ready to face the day, and regular exercise will boost your energy levels and help you sleep better. Famous salespeople agree with this assessment: John H. Patterson, the founder of the National Cash Register Company, was a known fitness nut and workout fanatic. If you don’t yet have a regular exercise routine, then pick an activity that you can enjoy and don’t worry about seeing gains right away. What’s important is to form a pattern and begin sweating away that stress and fatigue.
Like reading, writing helps you develop a better vocabulary, memory skills, and the ability to focus, all important traits for a great salesperson. Writing is also a skill that you will undoubtedly use during your sales job, as you write out emails, sales pitches, and persona scripts. If you write during your free time as well, then you will have better writing skills when it comes time to write for your job. It doesn’t matter what you’re writing as a hobby, either. Any type of writing, from journaling to poetry to novel creation, improves your overall writing skills and makes you better at professional writing as well.
Ron Popeil, the inventor and pitchman who has far exceeded $1 billion in sales, is also the holder of the world’s largest olive oil collection. This isn’t a coincidence, as both sales and collecting require patience, persistence, and great organization skills. Collecting requires you to approach many other people and negotiate with them to get a good deal on a new part of your collection. Sales requires the same skills, but from the opposite standpoint, as you are trying to sell a product instead of buying it. It is no surprise, then, the best salespeople would also be the best collectors. It doesn’t matter what you’re collecting – stamps, baseball cards, rare coins – as any type of collection will help you become a better salesperson as well as better understand the buyers on the other side of the selling process.
9. Bird Watching
Bird watching is a much quieter hobby than many others on this list. It requires patience, fortitude, and good observational skills. While sales is much more fast-paced than bird watching, it requires these same skills. Selling is as much a people-watching activity as anything else, as you must observe your sales target in order to personalize your pitch (whether this is in-person or over email). You must also be patient and resilient as you wait for the right person to come along. Bird watching can help you become better at the more analytical, internal skills necessary to become a good salesperson.
Good salespeople need to be brave enough to step outside their comfort zone. They also need to know how to work a crowd. What hobby does this sound like? Karaoke! Karaoke involves performing in front of a group of people, which can include anyone from close friends to strangers. To be good at karaoke, you don’t necessarily have to be a good singer – you need to be passionate and know how to energize a crowd. The same is true for sales – even if you’re not an experienced salesperson or an expert in your product, you can be an effective salesperson if you are passionate, eager, and able to respond to the wishes of your client. Karaoke helps you learn how to read a crowd while performing and leaving your comfort zone, all important skills to develop as a salesperson.
More Tips for Salespeople
Do you need more tips on how to be a better salesperson? Then check out our blog, with articles ranging from the do’s and don’ts of cold calling to building an effective sales cadence. Covideo is a tool for salespeople by salespeople, so if anyone knows how to be a good salesperson, then we do! If you’d like to learn about our video sales product, you can always check out our features for sales solutions or schedule a demo.