How to Land a Sales Job with Little Experience
How to Land a Sales Job with Little Experience

It might seem that entry-level sales jobs are easy to get because of the relatively high number of available positions, but it’s not as simple as you might think. There are many pros to becoming a sales representative, but there are also many hidden challenges.

One of the most appealing aspects for young professionals is that they don’t have to have an extensive education to break into the field. Rather, they can learn through experience and take classes or attend webinars to supplement their knowledge.

As with any field, however, there are many difficult aspects of a sales career, such as:

  • Sales quotas. There are always sales quotas required, and missing one or more can cost you your job.
  • Commission. Most positions are commission only or provide a very small base salary. If you can’t make sales, you don’t get paid.

These challenges can be daunting, but if you focus on your goals and find a sales strategy that works for you, you should have no problem meeting your quotas. Here are a few more pieces of advice for landing a sales job with little experience.

Learn as Much as You Can About the Industry

Knowledge is the foundation on which competence is built. Therefore, expanding your understanding of the sales industry is fundamental to succeeding as a sales rep

Having a strong knowledge of the sales industry can also influence employers to give you a chance if you don’t have a lot of experience. Reading books about sales, attending trade seminars, asking a sales pro for guidance and watching sales training videos online are all simple ways to immerse yourself in the industry without breaking the budget.

Contemplate Your Personal Sales Philosophy

Using what you learned about sales, formulate a vision of how you’d like to approach the task of selling and what you think you could bring to a sales job. It’s very important that you explain your selling philosophy to your prospective employer so he will understand your process.

For example, if you are especially interested in psychology and know that you have a very tenacious personality, then your sales philosophy might encompass assessing the customer’s innermost, subconscious needs, then appealing to those needs consistently and persistently until the customer approaches you for a sale.

Use What You Have

When creating a résumé or filling out a job application, it is important to remember that you don’t necessarily have to have worked in the sales industry before.

Instead, think about how your previous job responsibilities prepared you for a sales career. For example, if you are applying for a sales position demonstrating power tools in a home improvement store, then it would be worthwhile to list your past construction job and public speaking experience.

It’s also a good idea to research the position you’re applying for so that you know what type of employee the company expects. Look around on the company’s website to get a better idea of the type of work the employees do, the company culture and what type of clients you’ll have.

Also, take note of what specific qualities the job posting lists. If the employer specifies a desire for an “honest, organized and extroverted” salespeople, then you can use real-life examples—sales-related or not—that exemplify your possession of those qualities.

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About the author
Stephanie Bauer
Stephanie Bauer works as marketing specialist, brand strategist, social media enthusiast and all-around whiz at Worldwide Express' corporate office in Dallas. Find me on Google+

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