“Every brand isn’t for everybody, and everybody isn’t for every brand,” Liz Lange, an American fashion designer and entrepreneur, once said. While Lange was largely talking about her line of form-fitting pregnancy wear, it’s also a quote that applies to people interested in finding a job in sales. The question isn’t always “why a career in sales” — sometimes the more appropriate question is, “where in sales do you really belong?”
Today, consumers have an entire internet of information at their fingertips. A sales job is less about convincing someone to buy a product, and more about providing them an in-depth understanding of how the product will be a great fit for their current lifestyle or work.
How can you figure out where you belong in sales? Here are three things you should keep in mind.
1. Your Level of Experience and Acceptance of Risk
As a recent Forbes article points out, “The low-paying sales jobs are very transactional, low value, and low risk.” If you’re starting out in sales, the average earnings of a telemarketer, at $25,500 a year, might not seem too appealing. However, it’s not necessarily a bad stepping stone if you aren’t equipped yet to be highly knowledgeable about a product, and if you want a steady income.
2. Do You Have a Specialty?
There’s often an assumption rolling around that the best sales people have always been involved in sales. However, sometimes the best sales people have previously been involved in completely different industries. Why? Consider science and medical equipment products. The best sales representatives for this industry are often people who have an in-depth knowledge of what solutions are needed for doctors, nurses and more. They can use that perspective to communicate clearly how a company’s products will allow for a better experience. Someone who has always been in sales won’t often have this perspective. If you have a background in another trade, that could work to your advantage, and should be something you keep in mind while looking at sales job descriptions.
3. Are You a Talker or a Teacher?
There are a few ways to approach a career in sales. Many sales positions do fare well with a talker — someone who is at ease talking and can continue talking for long periods of time. If this is you, you’ll be best suited to industries that are more about swaying someone toward a product rather than educating them about it. If the field is more difficult for buyers to understand, however, you might have more success if you have a teacher mentality — if you listen for 50% and look to help consumers solve the problems they have.
Where do you see your career in sales taking you? Let us know in the comments. Read more about this topic at this link.