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HOT TOPIC Best sort of sales job for experience?

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LiveEntrepreneur

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So recently I have been looking at changing jobs. I wanted to get a sales job because I know it's an important skill to have and is a really productive use of my time. Though I am having trouble figuring out what will be the best in terms of:

* Cold calling jobs
* Retail stores
* Internal sales

Was thinking cold calling. I am a bit scared of it and worried I was I'm going to quit fast but I do see good potential to it.

I looked at retail stores and such but if I am selling things like laptops, there isn't really much to sell a customer on. So I think it won't give me the best experience. I was looking at real estate and that sort of jazz, but a lot of it is hours like from 8am-8pm. No time for my personal projects.

Internal sales lastly, seems more like processing orders and taking orders over the phone not actual selling?

Just wondering on people's opinions here, what do you guys think is the best sort of role is to get sales experience? I did look a bit at startup's but there's not much around.
 

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Charnell

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Former cold caller here. It massively sucks 97% of the time, but that 3% when things work out is amazing. I'm thinking the worse the job is saleswise the better it is as far as building skill.

So in order of most miserable/most skill gained faster
  1. Door-to-door (b2c or b2c)
  2. Cold calling & emailing (b2b)
  3. Retail (b2c)
  4. Internal (b2b or b2c)
Door-to-door: you have no choice but to suck it up and march up to their door and knock. No way to hide or tricks to leave call-less voicemails. You'll get a door slammed in your face and need to go right to the next door.

Cold calling: next to no one enjoys receiving a cold call. This can be relieved with a cold email to gauge interest before the cold call like in Predictable Income.

Retail: I imagine when people are coming into the store/lot, they have some intention of making a purchase, whether that is right then and there or soon. Someone else can chime in.

Internal: sounds like that's more processing purchases and handling customer support. Doesn't sound like making a close, more like being the secretary.

Look out for direct marketing roles where you get paid trash and have to stand in stores trying to sell curling irons to grocery shoppers. Also, look out for organizations that have high turnover rates. Big red flag. If a firm brags about their turnover rate, yikes.
 

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Sell cars. You'll learn quick. Door to door will just make you think sales is punching yourself in the face for free.

You need personal sales experience. Reading body language, being face to face and building a relationship quickly. It works great. Don't just sit in an office and do it over the phone or email. That's not really sales that's just applying math. But if a customer has a 30% chance of buying if you're good at your job, that's a good mix of learning, failing, getting better quickly and actually getting a deal.
 

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My preference is sales where they come to you, or have raised their hand prior to you going to them.

If you want to improve as a business owner then consider selling to business owners. Surround yourself with them, and live eat and breathe their mindset and language.

What about selling digital services? Seems there’s plenty of techies in here who’d love to have someone selling for them.
 

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I looked at retail stores and such but if I am selling things like laptops, there isn't really much to sell a customer on.
What you can sell the the customer on is knowledge of the product. The average retail sales person knows practically nothing about the product they are "selling".

Retail: I imagine when people are coming into the store/lot, they have some intention of making a purchase, whether that is right then and there or soon. Someone else can chime in.
Absolutely true. In most cases they are seriously thinking about buying product X. You have to give them some reason to buy from you, because there is probably another store down the road selling the identical product.
Sell cars. You'll learn quick. Door to door will just make you think sales is punching yourself in the face for free. You need personal sales experience. Reading body language, being face to face and building a relationship quickly. It works great.
You will learn fast if you can handle the negative attitude most people have about car salesmen. So what do you have to do do? Learn to give them reasons to trust you.
Face to face selling in that environment can teach you those skills that @Johnny boy refers to.

Walter
 

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So from someone who tried all sorts of sales job and having close to 10 years sales experience. I would probably agree with some of the guys here:

Door to door is a king of selling. Anyone with 6 month door to door should get a diploma.

Cold calling... meh... I would say you have to get critical amoung of calls to be confident on the phone, but I would not focus on this as a career.

If I were you I would go Door 2 door 6 month, then switch to B2B sales (this is where all big contracts are after all, right?) it has a bit different dynamics and tactics than B2C.
 

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It is not about deciding how you sell now, but rather what you sell. My background is in finance so I definitely prefer selling financial instruments. Stocks, mutual funds and insurance for example. I am a salesperson tied to an insurance firm in Singapore.

I like it because financial products are standard products with a large demand. There is little difference in the products designed by different companies. Even a colleage student probably has a simple health insurance or a 100 dollar a month endowment plan product.

It is also an excellent market to sell big ticket items when it comes to investment. Having a few HNW customers can give you very good result. You cannot do that by selling personal computers.

I think one should avoid selling a product that only has a niche market in a narrow field. Because your success is always dependent on the market and the quality of the product that you sell (no control). That applies to a lot of B2B services.

I also do not like real estates because that market is very cyclical.
 

Kevin88660

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let me give you more indepth examples on how financial sales work in Singapore.

Internal sales- branch sales staff in banks , brokage houses and insurance firms.

Pro- Acquiring customers is easy. Customers walk in and and buy. Sales volume gets built up easily. A top producer in a branch typically can make up to half a million a year.

Con- low commission compared to mobile sales agents because you are already a paid salary staff. In addition there is also an extreme high target to hit or you will be fired in six months. Results often depends on branch locations (no control). Long working hours is required. A standard 8-6 office hours with two hours of telemarketing after dinner, for a six days work week is the norm.



Mobile agents-stock brokers or insurance agents

Pro- high commission since these are not paid staffs. You hunt what you eat. You are your own boss. No one tells you what to do on a Monday.

Con-you have to figure out how to acquire customers. Here is what the “door to door” vs cold calling comes in.
 

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So recently I have been looking at changing jobs. I wanted to get a sales job because I know it's an important skill to have and is a really productive use of my time. Though I am having trouble figuring out what will be the best in terms of:

* Cold calling jobs
* Retail stores
* Internal sales

Was thinking cold calling. I am a bit scared of it and worried I was I'm going to quit fast but I do see good potential to it.

I looked at retail stores and such but if I am selling things like laptops, there isn't really much to sell a customer on. So I think it won't give me the best experience. I was looking at real estate and that sort of jazz, but a lot of it is hours like from 8am-8pm. No time for my personal projects.

Internal sales lastly, seems more like processing orders and taking orders over the phone not actual selling?

Just wondering on people's opinions here, what do you guys think is the best sort of role is to get sales experience? I did look a bit at startup's but there's not much around.
I’ve done entry level cold calling and retail sales.

Both taught me how to run the numbers and keep tweaking my pitch. I also learned a lot from asking the experienced people what to do.

It also gave me nerves of steel in practically every social situation. Knowing how to ask the relevant questions about pain and frustration give you a major edge too.

Both jobs have their pluses and minuses. The important part is to stick with it until you master it. Move on after that. It Shouldn’t take more than a year.
 

LuckyPup

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So recently I have been looking at changing jobs. I wanted to get a sales job because I know it's an important skill to have and is a really productive use of my time. Though I am having trouble figuring out what will be the best in terms of:

* Cold calling jobs
* Retail stores
* Internal sales

Was thinking cold calling. I am a bit scared of it and worried I was I'm going to quit fast but I do see good potential to it.

I looked at retail stores and such but if I am selling things like laptops, there isn't really much to sell a customer on. So I think it won't give me the best experience. I was looking at real estate and that sort of jazz, but a lot of it is hours like from 8am-8pm. No time for my personal projects.

Internal sales lastly, seems more like processing orders and taking orders over the phone not actual selling?

Just wondering on people's opinions here, what do you guys think is the best sort of role is to get sales experience? I did look a bit at startup's but there's not much around.
While there are some sales fundamentals, there's really no such thing as generic "sales experience." But there is experience selling different things to different markets/customers/clients. For example, selling a tangible item is different than selling an intangible one. Selling B2B is different than selling B2C. Some sales are complex and have a long sales cycle, some are simple, "one call" sales. I could go on.

My question is what do you want to gain the experience for?
 

Zcott

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I've worked in five different types of sales jobs and my short answer is door to door sales is the best.

Now this is my long answer.

Getting sales experience is great but you have to know that you can't just take what you know from one type of sales and directly apply it to another.

Telemarketing sales experience won't help you in telefundraising sales.
Market/Shop sales experience won't help you as a door to door sales.

I have a great example of this from my time in door to door sales. We had a young guy who had bad social anxiety issues and another guy used to sell at his own market stall. At first we thought the obvious, the guy with anxiety would quit and the market guy would be great. It was the opposite. The market guy thought he knew it all and kept using sales tactics from his market stall and expected it to work, but it didn't. Ever. The guy with anxiety applied our training and he got sales.

That's also a second lesson in sales there: listen and apply the knowledge of the experienced successful sales people if you want to be successful in sales.
 

Sanj Modha

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I worked on a supermarket checkout from ages 16-18 and it was the worst/best experience in my life.

It taught me patience, teamwork, how products are priced, how offers work, how retarded most people are, confidence, how to solve real-life problems (I was working during an armed robbery, I was attacked by a customer who started shouting racist abuse at me because we didn't have his brand of cigarettes and a woman gave birth in the store!).

Ultimately, it taught me the best and worst in people and what I needed to do to rise above it all.
 
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While there are some sales fundamentals, there's really no such thing as generic "sales experience." But there is experience selling different things to different markets/customers/clients. For example, selling a tangible item is different than selling an intangible one. Selling B2B is different than selling B2C. Some sales are complex and have a long sales cycle, some are simple, "one call" sales. I could go on.

My question is what do you want to gain the experience for?
Hey so since i am going down this road of business/entrepreneurship i think its a great skill to have and if i am spending 8 hours a day at a job i may aswell do something tailored towards my goals. Though i do see a hard time seeing how ill use sales skills for an online service. I get copywriting. but i get the feeling its just basic stuff.
 
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I’ve done entry level cold calling and retail sales.

Both taught me how to run the numbers and keep tweaking my pitch. I also learned a lot from asking the experienced people what to do.

It also gave me nerves of steel in practically every social situation. Knowing how to ask the relevant questions about pain and frustration give you a major edge too.

Both jobs have their pluses and minuses. The important part is to stick with it until you master it. Move on after that. It Shouldn’t take more than a year.
One worry with cold calling i find that its inefficient. Because more than 96% of the time im guessing u are speaking to randoms who will hang up on you. So its hard to build the skills. I love the idea though of b2b and u are offering your product to companies
 

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My question is what do you want to gain the experience for?
Spot on! What do you want to learn? And are there people in the places you'll go work who are willing and able to teach you? My first job out of the Navy was as a sales engineer for an underwater robotics company. Why? Because I didn't know jack about sales but the VP of Sales said he'd teach me. And boy did he.
 
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Spot on! What do you want to learn? And are there people in the places you'll go work who are willing and able to teach you? My first job out of the Navy was as a sales engineer for an underwater robotics company. Why? Because I didn't know jack about sales but the VP of Sales said he'd teach me. And boy did he.
So as I wrote above:
One worry I have with cold calling i find that its inefficient. Because more than 96% of the time im guessing u are speaking to randoms who will hang up on you. So its hard to build the skills. I love the idea though of b2b and u are offering your product to companies
 
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let me give you more indepth examples on how financial sales work in Singapore.

Internal sales- branch sales staff in banks , brokage houses and insurance firms.

Pro- Acquiring customers is easy. Customers walk in and and buy. Sales volume gets built up easily. A top producer in a branch typically can make up to half a million a year.

Con- low commission compared to mobile sales agents because you are already a paid salary staff. In addition there is also an extreme high target to hit or you will be fired in six months. Results often depends on branch locations (no control). Long working hours is required. A standard 8-6 office hours with two hours of telemarketing after dinner, for a six days work week is the norm.



Mobile agents-stock brokers or insurance agents

Pro- high commission since these are not paid staffs. You hunt what you eat. You are your own boss. No one tells you what to do on a Monday.

Con-you have to figure out how to acquire customers. Here is what the “door to door” vs cold calling comes in.
Interesting. Thanks.
 
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My preference is sales where they come to you, or have raised their hand prior to you going to them.

If you want to improve as a business owner then consider selling to business owners. Surround yourself with them, and live eat and breathe their mindset and language.

What about selling digital services? Seems there’s plenty of techies in here who’d love to have someone selling for them.
See the thing with digital services or products, lets pretend amazon fba. There isn't much selling involved (I might be wrong on this). I think all you need is good copy and marketing and that's pretty much it for the sales part.
 

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So as I wrote above:
One worry I have with cold calling i find that its inefficient. Because more than 96% of the time im guessing u are speaking to randoms who will hang up on you. So its hard to build the skills. I love the idea though of b2b and u are offering your product to companies
Im a sales person.

Sales people choose this profession because they want to make good money without having to take the risk of a business owner.

By good money I mean getting a million between 3-5 years. Top performers make half a million a year. Even if you are not at top level but you hustle hard, you are not going to starve.

First you have to choose what you want to sell. I like insurance and financials because they are recession proof and not dependent on the performance any single industry (b2b).

Door to door vs cold calling are questions on strategies. Getting a customer to talk to you for one hour without sales isnt good either. People who hang you up are not doing a disservice. They are disqualifying themselves quickly so that you can move on to the next number who might be interested and have the money.

Sales people do not have scalability in time like internet business owner therefore time is critical to us. It is all about boosting how much you can make in one hour.

We always think about how to reduce the time spent on none selling hours-servicing and leads generation versus selling hours - calling and doing face to face presentation. We always talk about how to increase the quantity and quality of our clients base. These are the most direct ways to increase dollars made per hour without having a larger input of hardwork.
 

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One worry with cold calling i find that its inefficient. Because more than 96% of the time im guessing u are speaking to randoms who will hang up on you. So its hard to build the skills. I love the idea though of b2b and u are offering your product to companies
Many places give you a list of leads who aren’t random.

It’s for people who’ve submitted their info to be contacted. Other times your list will have old customers and current customers to upsell.
 

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Though i do see a hard time seeing how ill use sales skills for an online service. I get copywriting. but i get the feeling its just basic stuff.
See the thing with digital services or products, lets pretend amazon fba. There isn't much selling involved (I might be wrong on this). I think all you need is good copy and marketing and that's pretty much it for the sales part.
How would you sell a $15k website to a business owner?

How would you sell a $1,500/mth Google Ads management package to a business owner?
 

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Hey so since i am going down this road of business/entrepreneurship i think its a great skill to have and if i am spending 8 hours a day at a job i may aswell do something tailored towards my goals. Though i do see a hard time seeing how ill use sales skills for an online service. I get copywriting. but i get the feeling its just basic stuff.
1. That was my original question - why do you want to learn to sell, other that you've heard it's a good skill to have? What are your goals? How does learning to sell help you reach those goals? I'm not clear on that.
2. The underlying psychology of selling is fundamental to selling online as well as offline. Effective copywriting exploits this psychology. Great copy sells. Want to learn to sell online? Google Russell Brunson or Clickfunnels.
3. Just basic stuff? As in any profession, there's a wide range of proficiency among salespeople. There are millionaire salespeople and salespeople on food stamps. Just being familiar with the concepts doesn't make you a master. My 8-year old nephew swims competitively. So does Michael Phelps. Big difference.
4. Finally, let's pick a definition of "sales" we can agree upon. I get the sense that you think sales is limited to low-level things like cold calling, retail or door-to-door. Wrong. Everything is sales - EVERYTHING. Want to get a date? You're selling. Want to get a job? You're selling. Want to get into a college? You're selling. Master selling and sell the right things to the right people, and you can make a fortune.

If you want to learn sales psychology, techniques and skills, here's no substitute for experience, but you can start by reading books on sales. Learn from successful salespeople and good trainers. I don't recommend doing door-to-door or cold-calling for someone else. Those are the most inefficient ways to sell known to man, and while you may develop some knowledge and skill, you'll spend hours, days, years of your life making somebody else wealthy.
 

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I think the why question is most important.

Why do you want to be in sales? Dont do a job or start a business to learn skills. Thats not worth your time or youth.

Sales is for people who want to make money faster without having to own a business and the risk associated with it.

In short it is a middle lane between the slow lane and fast lane. Compared to fast lane it is less risky and less difficult to achieve. But there is limited upside. You cannot scale time.

You need to understand your market and read a lot of sales books. Then keep finetuning your sales system and keep track your number. As you get better in the business you try to outsource certain things to vendors and assistants to increase your time in your most profitable activity-selling. It is a combination of business acuman, data tracking and presentation skill.

Is that what you want?
 

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I worked at a car park asking people if they need a car wash which I did myself. In one month I lost all the anxiety I have when it comes to approach people. Then all of a sudden I found myself talking to random people(especially the opposite sex) on the street or anywhere.

That shitty job gave me a better experience more than the next job which was cold calling potential clients. The more discomfort the better.
 

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I have experience in retail, door to door and cold calling.

I learned the least in retail.

Door to door and Cold calling are both great for different reasons.

Cold calling forces you to pay attention to your voice and your words specifically. It's also great because you can make a hundred sales calls in one day if you hustle.

Door to Door is a whole different ball game, and the best thing you learn is how to handle rejection and keep moving forward. It's not a walk in the park though.

At the end of the day though it depends what it is you want to sell. Even copywriting is selling. So if you have a business in mind, choose whichever skill will be best for selling your product.
 

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So as I wrote above:
One worry I have with cold calling i find that its inefficient. Because more than 96% of the time im guessing u are speaking to randoms who will hang up on you. So its hard to build the skills. I love the idea though of b2b and u are offering your product to companies
Three words: CRM, qualified leads
 
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1. That was my original question - why do you want to learn to sell, other that you've heard it's a good skill to have? What are your goals? How does learning to sell help you reach those goals? I'm not clear on that.
2. The underlying psychology of selling is fundamental to selling online as well as offline. Effective copywriting exploits this psychology. Great copy sells. Want to learn to sell online? Google Russell Brunson or Clickfunnels.
3. Just basic stuff? As in any profession, there's a wide range of proficiency among salespeople. There are millionaire salespeople and salespeople on food stamps. Just being familiar with the concepts doesn't make you a master. My 8-year old nephew swims competitively. So does Michael Phelps. Big difference.
4. Finally, let's pick a definition of "sales" we can agree upon. I get the sense that you think sales is limited to low-level things like cold calling, retail or door-to-door. Wrong. Everything is sales - EVERYTHING. Want to get a date? You're selling. Want to get a job? You're selling. Want to get into a college? You're selling. Master selling and sell the right things to the right people, and you can make a fortune.

If you want to learn sales psychology, techniques and skills, here's no substitute for experience, but you can start by reading books on sales. Learn from successful salespeople and good trainers. I don't recommend doing door-to-door or cold-calling for someone else. Those are the most inefficient ways to sell known to man, and while you may develop some knowledge and skill, you'll spend hours, days, years of your life making somebody else wealthy.
Yeah I understand the selling is everywhere part, reading Grant Cardone's book a while ago made me realize that. The reason I want a sale job, everyone has said learn sales. I looked into the "why" and it makes sense to me. You need to be able to sell the product that you have because your product isn't so good that it will just sell it self. I also feel at my current job I am not getting anything out of it, the pay is great and taking a sale job I'll lose quite a bit of money, but I think sales just makes sense.

What recommendation do you have?

To answer the question above the end goal in life is to become a millionaire. And the second question, how does learning to sell help me reach my goals? Well I believe it helps because some day I'll have a product or service I think in order to get people buying what you have you will need to learn to convince people. And like you said everything is sales, when I go to promote my product, all the words I use, the copy I use, etc. Sales is going to come into the picture here. I believe getting that experience will help me in these areas, at least indirectly. Correct me if this is wrong.
 
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How would you sell a $15k website to a business owner?

How would you sell a $1,500/mth Google Ads management package to a business owner?
I see what you mean in that context. What I mean't was and I should of described it better, is like in the form of the website itself (the copywriting). But the answer to your question, I think I'd first have to justify the price somehow, most likely with the sales I get and I would speak about the consistent and predictable growth. I'd also mention other benefits like ease of maintenance, the fact that everything is setup and ready to go.
 

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True story...

I'm working with a friend who was recently made redundant. He's been a career salesman for over 25 years, and the last few years he was on contracts with the company he worked for instead of being on their payroll.

One day he said to me "But you're not a salesman Andy". He proceeded to tell me of all the books he'd read, courses he'd taken, and companies he'd worked for as a salesman.

"I don't want to be a salesman though", I told my friend. I'm a business owner. I'm a peer. I make sales because I'm *not* a salesman in their eyes. Sure, you could argue that I'm just better at not being salesy, but it took a while for him to get what I was talking about. I kept telling him to just "chat" with people. He now loves that. He's having to deprogram himself from a lot of the stuff he's read and been trained to do, and relearn how to just have a chat.

You already know how to chat to people. Don't over-complicate it.

Another thing... he's not on my payroll. I'm paying him as a freelancer, and he's having to learn a lot of the mindsets and lessons that a business owner (should) have.

There's a few threads where people ask "What's the best skill to have if you want to grow a successful business?". Often people answer with "Sales". I keep answering with "the skill of growing successful businesses". I'm not being pedantic. My friend might have better sales skills than me (although I'm making more sales than him so go figure), but I've got better business skills than him. Who's going to grow a business better?
 

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