Do the words ‘cold-call’ or ‘sales pitch’ make your palms shake in fear? Do you shy away from job descriptions with the word ‘commission?’ To many new grads, sales is the dreadful career path of absolute last resort. Too often, a career in sales is disregarded before giving it a fair go. If you’ve never pictured yourself starting a career in sales, you may want to reconsider what you’re leaving out.
Not only does a career in sales give you the opportunity to earn more than a capped income, but more importantly it teaches you life-long transferable skills. At the end of the day, everything revolves around some form of transaction. By starting your sales career early on, you can learn valuable skills that separate you from the competition and that apply to any career path you may find yourself on. Ask yourself, do you want to invest in a career that continues to pay dividends years down the road?
Input in. Input out.
A career in sales gives you the opportunity to have your hard work pay off. What other career do you get to see direct results and reap the benefits of your blood, sweat and (occasional) tears? With a career in sales, the results of your efforts are tangible, in both quotas and commissions, and you have the potential to make more than $100K per year. Unlike most jobs, the harder you work, the more you can make.
Set Goals. Reach. Repeat.
Learn to set goals, eat targets for breakfast, and then do it over and over again. Sales positions have performance metrics that are clearly defined and easily measured. Although this may seem intimidating at first, once you learn how to set goals and blow them out of the water, you’ll start dreaming of targets in your sleep.
Keep your chin up. Shake it off. Move forward.
Let’s face it, rejection sucks! And with a career in sales you’ll certainly have your fair share of rejection. A positive attitude and perseverance are traits that open doors and get you ahead in life.
Strengthen your communication skills.
Have you ever been jealous of those “rock star” presenters who make public speaking look like a walk in the park? A career in sales forces you to step outside your comfort zone and learn valuable communication skills. You also gain the ability to articulate ideas, inspire others, and give TEDx worthy speeches.
Expand your network.
Relationship skills developed in sales experience are crucial to success and becoming a networking King or Queen is just one of the many perks of a career in sales. When you’re fresh out of university, you realize the importance of having a strong network. Don’t you wish you spent more time networking than you did napping? Sales offers you the opportunity to build a network early on and you never know where those connections might take you 5, 10 or 20 years into your career.
Learn your value proposition and find solutions.
What do you have and why do I want it? Bottom line: “Nobody cares about your product, service or solution,” says sales expert Jill Konrath, author of Selling to Big Companies. “All they care about is the difference you can make for their organization.” Sales allows for you to form relationships that provide value to the customer and solve real business issues they are facing. Sales is all about understanding a product (or service) and teaching others about its benefits. In order to sell the product, you have to know it and believe in it. Gaining the ability to articulate your ideas and inspire others are valuable skills that will help you succeed in any situation.
Learn to ask the right questions.
Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it doesn’t kill salespeople. Everyone wants to be heard; learning to ask the right questions and listening to other’s needs will allow for you to identify opportunities in which you can help solve their problems. Being curious is one of the best qualifying skills you can have.
Learn about yourself.
Need we list any more reasons at this point? The most important thing you can learn about is yourself; self awareness is valuable, life-long skill. Your personal development is your best investment.