A career in sales takes a certain skill set, confidence, perseverance, and the ability to form quick relationships. You’ve got to be a great networker; meet as many people as you can.
If you have decided on a career in sales, why not shoot for the top? It takes as much energy working for a small company as it does for a large one. If you don’t have a niche, you can choose an industry or product line and learn to adapt your sales style to fit the industry.
If you’d like to make six-figures, a job selling securities and financial services may be for you. The good news is if you qualify for their training program, Financial Services companies offer extensive training, mentoring by a seasoned professional, office space and even a small salary in addition to your commission. The sky is the limit on how much money you can make in sales, but here the average annual pay is over $98,000 per year.
Second on the list is a Sales Engineer. These professionals usually have an engineering degree in one of the engineering disciplines, so they can talk easily about selling engineering services, equipment and computer systems to large engineering and manufacturing companies. Annual take home pay—over $97,000.
Third on the list is a Sales Representative for manufacturing, technical, wholesale and scientific products which can bring in an average of $86,000 per year. Real Estate Brokers, those that own large real estate companies with a host of agents that specialize in different types of real estate properties, earn an average of $83,000 a year. Even in a down economy, real estate brokers and agents can take advantage of the fact that people have to relocate, downsize and upsize.
Forbes lists Sales Mangers as the highest paying sales job, at over $119,000 per year. Why focus on high-paying sales jobs? Because in a tough job market with salaries stable or going down, sales is one career with endless opportunities. Sales professionals, though they may work for a company and draw a paycheck, can make double their salaries in sales commissions. Sales skills are transferrable, and a good salesperson who can close sales consistently is a highly sought after commodity.
Sales professionals need a new set of skills to sell to a wider audience. Your old customers have new tools to find products and services, and they are shopping online. They may not be doing as much shopping as they are researching and comparing products. They still need to buy, but they don’t have to spend time meeting with a string of sales reps, taking time to pour over brochures. Information from a wide variety of customers with more information than ever before is a click away on the Internet. They can search for products or services that they would never have been aware of, just by “googling” a few key words strung together. The sale may not depend as much on the person-to-person sales style as in the past but on a strong Internet presence, easily navigable website and a variety of services and information readily available for customers. Sales pros need to do the same research online as customers just in order to stay ahead of the competition.
Instead of a local market, the world is the sales territory for top sales professional. Aim for the top and utilize all the new sales techniques available. You could end your sales year in the six figures and above.
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