They are advertised under many categories-marketing, advertising, customer service, public relations. Most of the time, they require no previous experience, provide on-the-job training, and promise rapid advancement from entry-level to management. And without a doubt, they are the biggest nightmare of many a regular visitor to the biggest online job boards.
They are business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-consumer (B2C) sales jobs, and they fill page after page of the most popular job boards on the web.
Few people I know can imagine anything worse than going door-to-door, trying to convince some unsuspecting soul in an office park to purchase what you're selling. I myself have worked this type of job during brief periods of unemployment in my own career, and although I hope to never have to do it again, I will say there's nothing quite like a sales job to teach you a few vital things about life and work. Following are ten good reasons to get a sales job, even in the short-term:
1. It's a quick way to make some cash in a crunch
2. A sales job teaches you to use your own, unique voice. By showing up in front of strangers day after day, you learn to coherently and articulately express your thoughts and ideas in front of others, often on the fly
3. It helps you fine-tune your own personal sales pitch; because sales promotes a product or service's benefits, rather than features, you learn to think of what you have to offer, not just what you'll accept, in your work life
4. It puts you in charge of your own luck, and paycheck, every day. How much, or little, you earn is completely up to you
5. It teaches you how to approach/talk to people you might otherwise have no reason to engage
6. It teaches you how to deal with rejection
7. It teaches you how to celebrate success
8. A sales job teaches you the basics of negotiation, an invaluable skill to possess when negotiating raises, promotions, and other issues in the workplace
9. You learn two truths critical to a successful career and life; that people don't buy products; they buy solutions, and that the best salespeople don't focus on making sales; they focus on building relationships
10. It may actually be the gateway to a better opportunity. This happened to me once, when I was offered a higher-paying job on the spot while making a sales call on a prospective client for my employer.
I understand the fear and trepidation many experience when considering taking a sales job. But sometimes, you have so much more to gain by stepping out of your comfort zone and into the great, big, scary unknown.
What was the best (or worst) sales job you've ever had? Email me. I'd love to hear from you.