When you hear the word "sales" what immediately comes to mind for you?

If you’re like most people you might picture something like this...

A used car salesman walking around a used car lot saying

Regardless of what it conjures up for you, the modern sales specialist is a reputable and potentially lucrative profession and career path. 

How do you know if sales specialist is right for you?

What Sales Specialists Do

They sell products and services to drive company revenue.  Flaticon Icon

They help customers by finding the right products or services to meet their needs. Flaticon Icon

They do that by:

  • Asking questions to assess customer needs and understand the problem to be solved

  • Educating customers about the options available 

  • Demonstrating the product or service

  • Making recommendations based on specific customer needs

  • Closing the sale by obtaining the customer’s permission to proceed  

To be successful, sales specialists develop in-depth knowledge of: 

  • Customers and their wants and needs

  • The products and services they sell

The Upside

Thumbs up icon

  • You aren’t limited to an industry - sales specialists work in virtually every industry

  • It’s very social - you interact with new people every day

  • You have a direct impact on the salary you earn - huge salary upside if you consistently achieve or outperform your quota

  • Opportunity to travel - meet with clients, attend conferences or trade shows, etc. (depending on industry and company you work for)

  • Opportunity for entertainment perks - build relationships (eg. social events, dinners, etc.)

Are You A Risk Taker?

Woman in a bathing suit jumping off a cliff into water

Quiz

Which of the following describes how you feel about risk?

The Downside

Thumbs down icon

  • Sales has an image problem - for some people the word “sales” conjures up negative images and feelings (pushy, manipulative, etc.)

  • Your life is quota-based - you’re chasing your quota every day

  • Your income fluctuates - no results means no money

  • At times stressful - your boss is pressuring you to achieve quota, customers don’t always want to talk to you, income is variable

  • Need to be “always on” - can drain your energy

Quiz

How do you respond when you hear the word "no"?

Does It Pay The Bills?

The average salary for a full-time sales specialist is:

Canadian flag icon $59,039/year (CAD)

American flag icon $60,045/year (USD)

Salary varies widely depending on the employer, the industry, their geographical location, and commission structure.

Sales Specialist Might Be For You If…

  • You thrive on human interaction and building relationships

  • You like initiating conversations with people

  • You’re a self starter; you take action and get things done

  • You’re fired up by the opportunity to earn more based on performance

  • You like the idea of travel as part of your role

  • You like entertaining people, eating out and going to events

A man saying

Find A Different Career if...

Happy face emoji Dealing with people all day, every day doesn’t light you up!

You’ll be calling, emailing, video conferencing and generally communicating with people day in day out.

Sad or exhausted face emoji The pressure to achieve sales quotas wears you down. 

Sales quotas are the backbone to every sales job. And you’re under pressure to achieve them.

Upward and downward trend arrows icon Despite potential upside, the idea of a variable monthly income is very scary.

Most sales roles have some sort of commission-based pay. Achieve quota, achieve commission. Miss quota, lose commission.

Shedding tears emoji The thought of repeated rejection makes you want to run and hide.

Not everyone you want to talk to is going to want to talk to you. Sales can be an emotional rollercoaster.

Take Action

Is a career as a sales specialist something you’d like to try?

Start by identifying the sales specialist skills you already have and those you want to develop:

Man looking at a computer and talking on a mobile phone asking

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This Byte has been authored by

DD

Daina Dunlop

https://www.linkedin.com/in/dainadunlop/