The fact is, salespeople always have to have an ear out for the next great opportunity. Maybe you are ready to take a step up, or you want to sell for a company that inspires you. Or maybe you want to learn how to get into sales, because blasting out resumes just isn’t working.
Here’s a new take on how to get a sales job (and it’s only six steps!). Even in this brutal job market and without a lot of experience, take the steps below with passion and energy, and you’ll be well on your way to the next step in your career.
How To Get A Job In Sales (That You Genuinely Love)
Step 1: Pick three companies you love
The best, happiest, most successful salespeople genuinely love where they work. If you are starting out fresh, with no industry experience (or baggage), consider the image that various companies project. Research as much as you can about the history of the company and its current management team.
You might have an educational background that makes you a better fit for a particular industry, but don’t let that pigeonhole you into the companies you choose.
Step 2: Learn everything you can about just one product or product line
With the exception of very small companies, salespeople don’t work for a company, but rather, for a division, an office or a product line. From your three target companies, choose from all the products they make and narrow it down to a single product or product line that you have a genuine connection with.
If there’s a product that has made a personal difference in your life – your dad’s heart stent, your favorite surfboard, the insurance company that rebuilt your family’s house – choose that. The personal interest and experience you can bring to your sales efforts will set you apart from all the other job candidates.
Step 3: Think about which companies would benefit from buying it
This sounds glaringly obvious, but you’d be surprised how many sales candidates don’t consider this.
Step 4: Look at LinkedIn for the names of people that buy that product
How do you choose? The main thing is to decide whether you want to sell to a lower-level person or a Director/VP. For the purposes of this exercise, it doesn’t matter which you choose, only that you can explain your reasoning to your future boss.
Step 5: Craft a PowerPoint deck that you would present to that person
The point of this exercise is to explain the benefits of your product to your buyer. Don’t cut and paste product specs. Think carefully about how your buyer will benefit from your product – what problem of theirs will it solve? What positive, powerful feeling will it give them when they use it?
Extra-credit – get a friend or inexpensive online designer to give your deck the graphical polish it deserves.
Step 6: Send your presentation to the VP/Regional VP/Dir of Sales where you want to work
Finally, email your deck with a simple cover letter explaining what you’ve done and why. After all your efforts, you don’t want to work for anyone who doesn’t bring you in to discuss your future career in sales.
A track record of successful selling is the best way to add value to any company – whether it’s owned by shareholders across the globe, or your own next startup. Oftentimes, sales jobs are the best first step towards starting your own company. It’s no coincidence that most big company CEOs were salespeople at one time.
Remember: The next major stage of your career could be only six steps away.