Working in sales is a career choice that many people find rewarding. Most businesses hire salespeople and sales executives to maintain and increase profit. However, our statistics show that there’s a high demand for salespeople in many industries and not that many applicants.
There are too many misconceptions about working in sales, that is why some people feel it is unappealing. Even though, the reality is far more attractive than most people think.
Why do we hate it?
Of course, it is fine to decide against a job in sales. However, too often, college students and recent grads rule out sales positions based on flimsy stereotypes and societal misconceptions.
When people hear the word sales, they imagine a sleazy used car salesman wearing a tattered suit and a creepy smile, while what they should really think Steve Jobs and Warren Buffet and other great, successful businessmen who started their careers as salespeople.
The truth is, there are many different roles that you can play in the corporate sales world depending on your personality and what you love to do. None of them involves running down the street and chasing after clients.
Another common reason for people to disapprove sales is that “it’s too unstable.” That is because salespeople income is not fixed; it depends on achieving a specific financial target. However, people, in my opinion, focus on the empty half! They forget to mention that reaching the target means a substantial bonus, i.e., you get rewarded for a job well done. A much more fair way of compensating if you ask me.
Caption: Sales is one of the most misunderstood industries, which makes many people hesitant about it when choosing a career path.
The struggle is real
Stereotypes and misconceptions can go a long way. According to WUZZUF’s statistics, there were 33,000 open sales vacancies in the last 12 months while other job roles like the accounting and finance industry only had 3,300 open vacancies, and marketing, business development and administration vacancies all combined had 17,000 vacancies only.
Also, sales jobs are the second most demanded jobs on WUZZUF. They represent almost 20% of all job posts in the last 12 months.
Compared to other industries, sales have only 59 average applications per vacancy, which is one of the lowest application rates compared to the general applications per vacancy on WUZZUF which is 98. The accounting and finance industry, for example, has an average of 223 applications per vacancy administration has 110, marketing has 70, and business development has 82, which shows the high demand in the market for sales applicants.
Moreover, represents an incredible opportunity to build a fruitful career in a field that is both rewarding and with relatively lower competition that can set you aside from the large crowds of job seekers fighting for jobs in other industries not realizing this opportunity.
Sales pays really well
Let’s be honest, one of the most significant reasons that wake us up at seven every day to go to work is to make money. According to WUZZUF’s statistics, a sales manager’s basic salary in Egypt – which as you know by now represents a small portion of the salesperson’s income- can start from 8,500 EGP per month.
Caption: Sales is one of the least competitive industries, with a large number of job vacancies and a relatively small number of applicants.
You probably need sales skills more than you think
As a salesman, you get to deal with different people with different attitudes, backgrounds, and languages on a daily basis, that type of exposure to a variety of personalities will make you socially smarter.
Think about it; your life is all about selling; selling yourself in an interview, selling an idea or selling a point of view in an argument. It’s all about communicating effectively.
Furthermore, effective communication is not just about how well you speak to people; it’s more about how you build relationships and trust with them. Entrepreneur and motivational speaker Jim Rohn once said: “Effective communication is 20% what you know and 80% how you feel about what you know.” It’s also about your ability to ask questions and listen, rather than just talking about what you can do. That’s something sales can teach you.
- How to be a good listener.
- How to understand hidden meanings and read between the lines.
- How to ask questions and when to ask them.
- How to answer questions and choose your words wisely.
- How to handle rejection efficiently and not take it personally.
- How to tackle needs and persuade to win.
- How to build sustainable relationships with people.
- How to have thick skin and build character.
Sales experience is applicable everywhere (literally)
About 20% of the current Fortune 500 CEOs spent their first few years in sales. If you can succeed in sales, you can succeed almost anywhere. Sales can also be viewed as the typical training ground for the future of any business. The reason behind that is: Sales is all about understanding the product or service in depth, communicating that to other people effectively and showing them how they can benefit from it.
No matter what career you are going to choose in five, ten, or twenty years, the communication and persuasion skills that are developed in sales will be vital to your success. Moreover, there are sales jobs in all industries.
Here are a few examples of the jobs that are available in the sales industry:
- Business development, which entails selling to new customers and developing new opportunities to increase revenues from existing clients.
- Real estate sales, which includes buying, selling or renting properties for clients.
- Account management, which involves managing relationships with particular clients.
- Software sales, which includes selling technical solutions or software.
You learn how to do networking the right way
People with strong sales skills naturally tend to be the center of attention in any gathering. They usually strike a balance between talking and listening to people; they know how and when to ask questions, which makes them capable of building meaningful business relationships with others.
Furthermore, if you can show how strong of a leader you are and you know how to ‘talk the talk’ and ‘walk the walk,’ you are more likely to be chosen to present your company at networking events. They need a person who has strong communication and negotiation skills so that they can be the face of the business, which means you might get to attend exclusive company events. Also, investments in building your network will increase your career prospects.
Caption: Despite the market’s high demand for sales professionals, the supply continues to lack.
Caring about your clients leads to a less stressful life
The successful salesperson tries to sell a solution for people’s pain. If people felt your sympathy and that you are actually trying to help them, they will tend to trust you and buy your product. Also, giving to people will make you feel good about yourself.
Motivational public speaker and self-development author Brian Tracy summarizes the essence of good sales in this sentence: “Approach each customer with the idea of helping him or her to solve a problem or achieve a goal, not of selling a product of service.”
Therefore, being a great salesperson doesn’t mean being sleazy and dishonest, it means being caring and considerate of the clients’ needs. A 2013 study done by the American Public Association says that helping others reduces death rates caused by stress because it relieves stress and brings satisfaction to your life.
Maybe you are still skeptical, and you still can’t shake off that mental image of the sleazy salesman cramming awful products down your throat. That’s OK; change takes time. However, consider the fact that the corporate sales industry can be the perfect launchpad for you to start your career and get to a promising and financially secure future.
What do you think about working in sales? Have you ever tried it? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.
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