The end result of any business venture, personal or corporate, is to profitably sell its products or services. Organizations have to sell their ideas if they want public acceptance. The politician trying to win an election has to sell the public on the idea that he or she is the best person to represent them. A minister or preacher has to sell his religion and sell his flock on the need for continued financial support. Teachers and professional motivational speakers must sell ideas and concepts to their audience. Even physicians, accountants, contractors, and managers must sell their ideas and services. No matter what profession or career you personally pursue, you will have to use selling skills and have the ability to persuade.
Some of you will consider a career in selling. Studies have shown that between 15-20 percent of college graduates will find themselves in a selling occupation. One of the reasons why so many individuals go into the selling profession is because so many jobs are available.
Think about job opportunities you have heard of that include sales.
Think about the benefits of a sales career.
Most sales jobs can be divided into three categories.
- Manufacturing Representatives: This first group of sales professional sell primarily to wholesalers, distributors, retailers, and dealers. Manufacturing representatives spend a lot of time selling to industrial users–buyers who will resale the products to other people.
- Wholesalers: This second group of sales professionals performs the role of a middle person by operating between manufacturers and retailers. Wholesalers will sell to every type of buyer except the ultimate consumer. This selling group serves several useful functions, from financing to storing thousands of items in a warehouse that can be quickly distributed to dealers. Wholesalers usually make between $50,000 to $75,000 a year. A wholesaler seldom involves himself with high-pressure tactics–they are very punctual and service-oriented.
- Retail Sales: This last group of sales professionals works with the ultimate consumer. They probably do the most work and receive the least amount of money, respect, and recognition. This sales professional can either work in the store or outside by going door-to-door. Usually, retail sales is a stepping stone to more lucrative and interesting work.
Benefits of a sales career.
- Mobility: Sales is one of the few professions in which you can leave a job in one day and pick up a new job within the week. If your company goes out of business, downsizes, or is being bought out, you can usually make a connection with another firm more readily than many types of other workers. If you can sell, you will have a job.
- Working Conditions: Many people have misconceptions about a sales professional’s working environment. They think a sales professional travels extensively and has an unlimited expense account. Today, most sales professionals travel very little because of advances in the telecommunications industry. One of the best things about selling is that in many cases there is very little supervision. Sales professionals have a lot of freedom. Because there is so much freedom, people who are not disciplined have a hard time becoming successful. Remember, sales is one profession in which one is paid based on performance.
- Challenge and Personal Growth: Selling is a very challenging job. Every customer is different. Competition is fierce. Also, conditions are constantly changing, and products are always improving. Personal growth is gained as you learn that hard work is directly related to high earnings. You learn good human relations skills as you constantly work with people. There is not a better feeling than receiving a big commission as a result of hard, honest work.
Rapid Advancement: Selling is the one industry in which your ability is quickly recognized. Chances are that you can move up into a level of management within six months. It is not uncommon for a retail sales worker to be moved up to a management position within the first year of employment.