If you have worked as a sales professional for several years, you probably know about all of the traditional sales jobs available for inside sales and outside sales professionals. If you are not interested in moving into an account management position, you don't have to give up your career in sales. Nontraditional sales positions require the ability to be persuasive and convince people to buy products or services, but they are different from typical sales jobs.
If you have a bachelor's degree along with experience selling scientific or technical products, consider a career as a sales engineer. Sales engineers do a lot of selling, but they also get to ask customers what they want in new products and communicate that information to the engineers responsible for designing scientific and technical equipment. This job also involves explaining technical information to customers, providing sales support to customers, securing orders for scientific or technical equipment, troubleshooting problems with installed equipment, and assisting with the development of new products. Some employers will even train you for one of these sales jobs if you have a technical degree and no sales experience. This type of business-to-business sales job is best for someone who has a strong professional network and proficiency using computers to complete work-related tasks.
An experienced outside sales representative should consider a career as a college admissions counselor. This job typically involves inside sales work, but admissions counselors may have to travel to college fairs or give presentations to groups of high school students. Instead of selling a product, you are selling the school as a desirable option for higher education. Much like other sales jobs, the job of admissions counselor typically comes with specific targets that must be met to secure pay raises or promotions. One such metric is the number of students you enroll each semester or academic year. Telecounseling, or contacting prospective students to answer questions and gauge their level of interest in the college, may be another responsibility of a college admissions counselor.
If you're interested in sales but lack aggressiveness, don't give up your career goals. Adam Grant of The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania studied the personality traits of successful sales professionals. Although many people believe that extroverted salespeople perform better, Grant found that salespeople with the traits of both introverts and extroverts were the ones who brought in the most revenue for their companies. If you have those traits, think about a career as a public relations manager. PR managers pitch stories about their employers to local, regional, and national media outlets. They also build relationships with journalists and broadcasting professionals. If you are an introvert, you might excel in this position because you are not required to do any hard selling. You must also have good listening skills and the ability to build strong relationships, which are two things that come naturally to some introverts.
Inside and outside sales jobs can be personally and financially rewarding, but there are other options out there if you decide to pursue a career that does not involve direct sales. If you have sales experience and the ability to persuade people to take action, a nontraditional sales job may be right for you. Increase your chances of la
nding a new job by investing in additional sales training or enrolling in an educational program that will help you improve your sales skills.
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