A career in sales is both a rewarding and challenging experience. As an industry, sales is vibrant and cutting-edge, full of people who are passionate about what they do, what they sell, and finding creative resolutions for their clients. You also face a lot of rejection and a significant learning curve as you adapt to a new position. A sales career is no walk in the park, but it can be a truly wonderful experience for those who are enthusiastic and ready to build relationships. If you think you fit this bill, here are some of the things you should do to break into sales.
There are certain qualifications companies are looking for when they go through resumes of people applying for sales jobs. Experience is always an asset, even if you don’t consider the experience you have overly impressive. The fact that you’ve been making an effort to get into sales bodes well. Companies are also looking for quantifiable results that demonstrate your abilities. If you do have prior experience, don’t be vague about it. Give specific examples that demonstrate successes or skills you’ve accumulated along the way.
If you don’t have prior experience, you don’t need to give up just yet! So much of sales is having the right personality and right temperament to do the job. When hiring sales reps, companies are on the lookout for candidates who stand out in terms of personality, and who they believe would excel when selling to others.
Don’t be afraid to show personality. If you’re writing a cover letter, turn on the showman skills; use the art of persuasion to convince the company you’re the right choice. In an interview, put forth your best self. Companies are looking for vivacious, outgoing, and trustworthy individuals to deal with their client base.
Each day in sales, you conduct numerous sales calls where you’re met with all types of people and all types of reactions—not all positive. Companies are looking for confident individuals; if you don’t seem like a bold individual, they’re unlikely to believe you can put yourself on the line day in and day out in order to sell.
While arrogance is never a desirable trait, don’t sell yourself short. You have a unique set of skills and experiences that are worthy of attention, and you should feel comfortable sharing them and expressing why you think you would excel in sales.
While being bold is a very desirable trait, openness, flexibility, and a willingness to learn are also high up there on the list of desirable traits. If you’re looking to get into a stable industry, then sales might not be up your alley. A sales career involves continually adapting to change, while also being open to learning from experiences and picking up new skills to meet new challenges head on.
Markets, technologies, and communication styles are constantly changing; the sales industry has to change with them in order to keep up, and anyone working in sales needs to be flexible to change, too. Emphasize your willingness to learn a new set of skills—it will put you high up on the list of strong candidates.
If you’re after a sales career and you don’t have a strong presence on social media, then you need to start seriously considering it. Social media has become an indispensible tool within the sales industry. From hiring to making new connections to strategizing, social media is being incorporated at every stage. Social selling has become an increasingly dominant form of getting leads and companies want candidates who will be able to use social media to their advantage. If you want a sales career, fine-tune your social media platforms.
About the Author:
Matthew has over 20 years of sales and sales management experience. He is the founder of SalesHub, an inbound marketing agency that helps companies generate leads, boost revenue, and adapt to the new way customers buy. When he’s not helping companies improve their revenue, he trains and competes in half ironman distance triathlons to “relax”.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are strictly those of the author. CPSA does not endorse any of the companies, products and services mentioned within this article.