By Lisa Gorman
Has anyone ever told you that you have the personality for sales? There are some people who are just naturally able to persuade others. If you’re one of them, embrace it. After all, there are many great skills that come with being successful in a sales job such as communication, persuasion, research, presentation, listening, trust building and storytelling. Many business leaders believe that if you can succeed in sales, you can succeed anywhere.
So would a career in sales be right for you? Think about where you are in your life and how it may impact you. Also, consider what type of industry to look into as well as what type of goods or services you would be selling. When considering a sales position, it’s very important to do your research and understand the industry as well as possible. Sales jobs now require more technical and analytical skill than ever before.
Here are some factors from Seltek Consultants and Totaljobs.com to help you assess whether a sales position might be a good fit for you:
- Potential for high income and rewards – In most sales positions there exists the potential to earn a substantial income including possible bonuses. Companies need their sales to survive, so they typically reward successful sales people well to keep them satisfied and wanting to remain in the job.
- Non-monetary rewards – Depending on the type of sales you are hired to do there are often other perks offered to top producing sales staff such as company cars, travel vouchers for a paid vacation, sales contests, public praise where people receive awards, non-cash prizes such as technology gadgets or event tickets, paid parking or gas mileage, expense accounts and subsidized gym memberships.
- Career path into management –Experience in sales prepares you to communicate effectively which is a useful skill regardless of what job you hold. Many executives and senior managers have spent time in sales earlier in their career.
- Freedom and flexibility – Often sales professionals can control their time by making their own appointments and organizing their day the way they see fit. Some positions require a great deal of travel which allows people to explore the world way beyond their office.
- Abundance of options – Sales departments are found in so many different types of companies and industries that you have the opportunity to pursue organizations that you truly believe in. Look into the brands and places that you feel best represent your beliefs and values. Successful sales people can always get a job and earn a comfortable living once they have a track record of success
- Fun – Sales is about relationships between people. It allows you to help others achieve their goals by introducing your organization’s products or services. It’s about understanding what others need and working hard to provide it. You will feel useful while getting to meet all types of people, which can be both rewarding and fun.
- Pay for performance – The amount of money you make is dependent upon your performance and how hard you work, so you have some control over the outcome in a commission based model. You will be more successful if you have a strong desire to succeed, strong networking skills, an existing client base and the ability to work independently with little or no supervision.
- Compensation – Salary plus commission jobs offer a consistent income regardless of the market, economy, customer base or other factors. They may also give you better potential for borrowing capacity (loans, etc.) because 100% commission jobs can be seen as risky. However, sometimes these positions provide less overall earning potential than jobs that are commission only. In a salaried plus commission position many additional perks may compensate for a lesser earning potential and additionally provide a lower risk compensation package overall.
Regardless of what decision you make, always be mindful of the impact it will have on your financial situation now and in the future, your professional and personal goals and your overall job satisfaction. With a good thoughtful career plan, careful budgeting and the motivation to succeed, you will likely pave your way to an exciting and satisfying sales career.
By Lisa Gorman, JCS Career Coach
The JCS Career Center offers comprehensive employment assistance that helps job seekers of all abilities and skill levels find and maintain employment. Services include career coaching, career assessments, resume and cover letter services, interview preparation, job readiness training, vocational rehabilitation and job placement assistance.