A job in sales is often one of the most in-demand and least filled positions. So if you’re looking for a job that lets you meet lots of new people, often allows flexibility to set your own hours and the chance to make more money the better you perform, look no further than a job in sales.
If you’re thinking to yourself, I’ve never done this before, can I get a sales job with no experience in sales? The answer is yes!
As a sales trainer and sales manager, I look for and encourage my clients to look for when hiring someone for a sales role. Actually, I highly recommend everyone work in sales at least once in their life.
Here are 10 ways to get a sales job with no experience.
1. Learn Core Sales Principles To Land A Sales Job With No Experience
You’re passionate, eager, and full of optimism but do you know the core Sales principles? Memorize, internalize, and apply these three core principles to get a sales job with no experience. Trust us; your interviewee will be impressed!
Build Sales On Trust
Your potential employers want to see that you’re honest, truthful, and open. Why? Because that’s who customers need to perceive you as a Salesperson. It would help if you were likable, easy to trust, and impressionable to make and continue to make sales. An excellent way to represent your trustworthiness is to open up, maybe discuss your weaknesses or perhaps even tell a story about a time where you failed – it’ll show integrity, which will definitely land you a sales job with no experience.
Benefits Sell – Features Don’t
In sales, you sell the benefits, not the features. Do the same in your interview. Don’t focus on the skills you have focus on the benefits you bring to the company.
How’re you going to make your boss’s life easier? What can you help them with? What can you improve? Fix? Optimize? It would help if you sold the benefits of hiring you to your prospect manager. While sure, there’s some use in explaining what you’re great at, the deciding factor will come down to: What can you do for the company?
Persistence Is Key
Sales Representatives have to be persistent by nature; following up, checking in, and making constant contact with prospects is the name of the game. So if you can immediately follow-up after your interview, you’ll show your ideal employers that you understand the fundamental idea that persistence is key to land a sales job with no experience.
2. Read Sales Books
There is a wealth of information about sales, and one of the easiest ways to learn about sales is by picking up a few classic books. Check out To Sell is Human by Daniel H. Pink, Sell or be Sold by Grant Cardone, and The Challenger Sale by Matthew Dixon. My book ‘The SOHO Solution: 21 Selling Strategies for Growing Your Small Business” is also my book. Yes, I couldn’t help but include my own book.
To view my 9 all-time favorite books on sales, read: 9 Books You Should Read on How to Sell
3. Take a Course in Sales
Impress your future employer, and show up already trained on the art of selling. You can take several great sales workshops, both in-person and online, including our online sales course Soco Academy. If you’re a Singaporean, you can often use your skills future credit to pay for these courses.
Not only are sales courses a fantastic way to deepen your knowledge on sales, but they’re also a great way to network (particularly with in-person courses) and show potential employers that you are serious about the sales field.
4. Highlight Transferable Skills
When you’re applying and interviewing, don’t be afraid to tout transferable skills you may have from other non-sales jobs. If you’ve ever worked in a restaurant—or any customer-facing job—you’ve developed skills such as identifying needs, problem-solving, and basic customer service. These skills are directly applicable to sales and are very attractive to employers.
5. Research Other Sales Professionals
If you’re looking to land a sales job in retail, go shopping! When you’re interacting with salespeople, please take note of the traits you like in them. How do you feel about the way they approached you and spoke to you? What did they say or do that swayed (or didn’t sway) you?
If possible, visit the store or location of where you will be applying to get an idea of how their salespeople operate. If you’re applying for a role as a business-to-business sales professional, you might not be able to visit their location, so instead, skip to #5 and do your research.
6. Do Your Homework on the Company
Do your research before interviewing. Check out the company’s website and learn everything you can about the company and the products they sell. These efforts can go a long way in showing your initiative. You can also show your enthusiasm for the products; if possible, become a customer.
7. Demonstrate Your Skills
To drastically increase your chances of getting a sales job with no experience, show your sales skills in the application process. First, follow up after you send in your resume. If they ask you to come in for an interview, call the person in charge and confirm the meeting the day before. Follow up after the interview, as well. These are skills they are looking for in a salesperson, so if you can demonstrate them during the interview, you are more likely to get the job.
8. Know the Lingo
The sales industry is full of its own language, terminology, and jargon. Don’t get caught not knowing common sales terms or the distinction between different sales positions. Looking for an Inside Sales role selling B2B with a long sales cycle? No problems!
9. Build Rapport
One of the most important skills of any sales job is quickly building rapport and trust. During the interview, be friendly and outgoing. Ask the interviewer something about themselves and try to find out what you both share in common.
Have a confident posture. Sit up, don’t avoid eye contact. Listen, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Also, don’t forget to laugh and have a good time!
10. Starting At The Bottom – The Quickest Way To Get A Sales Job With No Experience
If you have no experience in sales, there’s a good chance you’ll start at the bottom. That could include starting as a ‘sales assist’ where you help the main sales professionals with their deals, or you could start by qualifying new leads that come in. Other times, starting at the bottom in sales means selling some of the company’s cheaper products or being assigned lower quality leads.
While this might not sound glamorous, the beautiful thing about working in sales is your results speak for themselves. You don’t need to be the most popular person on the team or the manager’s favorite to move up or get a raise. When you close deals effectively and do your job well, people will know and you’ll quickly move up the ladder.
How to Get a Sales Job with No Experience
So let’s review: If you really want to land a sales job (and you should), but you lack experience, here’s what you need to do. Read books on sales; take a sales course; focus on your transferable skills such as identifying needs, problem-solving, and basic customer service; think about what you like (and dislike) about salespeople you encounter; research the company thoroughly before interviewing; demonstrate your sales skills during the interview process, and build rapport with the interviewer. You’ll be well on your way to a great sales job!