There’s been a recent trend of high-profile technology companies offering their employees ‘Unlimited Vacation’ or ‘Open Paid Time Off.” It’s in an effort to recruit top talent and keep employees happy.
But if you are in sales too, you know that these types of employee perks always seem to apply more to the non-sales departments at companies. Like ping pong tables for example. Companies tout new ping pong tables like they are some kind of Fountain of Youth that offers an unending supply of joy and health. But us salespeople know one thing:
That ping pong table is not for us.
It’s kind of like the sales department is a separate entity. Certain things seem not to apply to salespeople chasing down our quota. Commission is our lifeblood and everything else takes a back seat.
But guess what? Unlimited vacation is real and it does apply to salespeople.
With choices, come decisions.
In sales, everything we earn comes from output. Us being there, cold-calling, prospecting, demo’ing and selling. You’ve got to work hard to hit quotas and get paid which means you don’t have much time to relax and chill. Sales is about work.
When a good salesperson is told that you now have unlimited vacation it probably doesn’t mean much to them. The rep’s focus is always on their quotas and outside influence is muffled. But this unlimited vacation is valuable and should be thought about.
I know because I hadn’t gone on a vacation for one year. That’s right, cold calling and selling for a year straight without any trip away from the sales pit. I was losing my edge and sight of the big picture. I left for Florida for a week and relaxed. I didn’t think about sales much and played in the ocean. It rejuvenated me. After this past vacation I vowed to never lose sight of the importance of vacation again.
To answer my question “How much vacation should salesperson take?” For me, the answer is once a quarter (that’s one trip for every three months). Getting out of the routine allows your brain to see different things and think about different stuff other than closing business.
You will be more valuable to your company with a regular vacation schedule in place, even if you’re chasing a quota.