ABC – Always Be Closing
A graduate career in sales requires an enormous amount of tenacity, resilience and original thinking. However, by combining all three this will help to ensure a rewarding and successful career. Sales people are essentially the ambassadors of any company and therefore a sharp, smart, bright and positive personal attitude is key.
Contrary to belief, sales is no longer about phone bashing, being pushy or confrontational but more so about working in partnership with your client and coming to the most effective solution to fill their requirements.
What kind of sales roles are available?
This is the $64m question! Almost every organisation/institution has sales opportunities. Therefore the best advice would be to choose an industry/organisation that you have a keen interest in and look at available opportunities through research at careers events, online or through specific journals.
At entry level, roles could be perceived as being a little monotonous, with repetitive calls and a lot of administration. However, this is the key learning pool for all new starters and those that are successful usually demonstrate that they can perform the mundane and follow a structure before moving into management positions or developing entrepreneurial ambitions.
Looking beyond the obvious
This is key in helping anybody secure a position in some very high profile companies. For instance Microsoft and Hewlett Packard are two companies who most observers would view as technology companies. However, the reality is that these types of companies are keen to employ high calibre sales people.
Sales is very much a person industry and an outgoing but selective personality can open up a whole range of opportunities. Depending on the industry, many people follow a structured path and look to reach positions such as Group Heads, Team Leads, Manager and Directorship levels. However, throughout your career you will work with several other departments internally and this can help in terms of project work.
Finally, many sales people feel that they have the creative flair, contacts and ambition to ‘Go it alone’. This helps in terms of setting up your own business and constantly learning new skills and developments that are associated with this. One word of caution is to research this option thoroughly, particularly in a challenging economic climate.
What are employers looking for?
All employers will be looking for people who can represent their organisation well. Degree educated will help (although not necessary) and open the door to larger organisations. Sales people need to have a multitude of skills including a friendly, approachable personality, business flair, empathy, resilience, tenacity, drive and enthusiasm.
Is this the right career for you?
This isn’t the career for any shrinking violets. However, the key thing to bear in mind is that it is a ‘what you make of it’ career. Those that are successful are usually competitive in spirit, have sociable hobbies and are tenacious, hard working characters.
If you enjoy throwing yourself into a project, while at the same time being organised, you will succeed in building key relationships and therefore live a rich and prosperous life!
Key advice for sales workers