Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Entry Level Sales Jobs - Find A Good One

Here's a few things any good entry level sales job should have...

  • A base salary.

  • A paid training program.

  • A product to sell that people need.

Getting a base salary is HUGE, even if you don't get paid much. There's nothing like getting paid to learn. Remember how you went to college and had to pay a bunch of money to learn stuff? This is like that, except they pay you. The biggest reason a base salary is important is one simple reason... the company believes in itself enough to take a risk on you. 100% commission opportunities are not jobs at all, they are small businesses where you are the owner. Real estate agents can make a LOT of money, but they are all (or at least 99% of them are) self employed. I'm a recruiter and I work on a 100% commission basis. Some months that stinks and some months I make a killing, but there's no way I would have survived starting out as a recruiter 4 years ago if I didn't have a base salary to live on.

Paid training programs are good. Not only, as previously mentioned above, is it awesome to get paid to learn, but you'll probably need to unlearn bad sales habits you've got and didn't know it. Who do you think of when you hear the word salesperson? If you think of a pushy jerk who once sold you a piece of junk, you're mentally using that person as your benchmark. Bad. Don't focus on being better than someone bad, but try emulating the best! The reason I bring this concept of unlearning preconceived notions of sales is that a decent training program will teach you things you didn't know would be important. Take the time to learn everything there is to know about sales, hopefully from someone who is awesome and pays you to become awesome.

Lastly, sell something people need, or at least something that they like. No one likes to buy crap. There's a great book called Rubys in the Orchard by Lynda Resnick. She talks about how she used to make a pretty good living "selling ice to Eskimos". Eskimos don't need ice, but a few of them will buy it. She started "selling heaters to Eskimos" and made a bloody fortune. Read her book. Listen to her. Anyone who can sell a tiny bottle of fruit juice of $5/bottle AND have repeat customers must be doing something right.

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