If you are considering a career in sales, here are some things
to think about.
Pro: All the money you can make, especially if you work on
Con: If you’re strictly on commission, having a slow
month can hit you hard in your wallet. Spam anyone?
Pro: No supervisors breathing down your neck while you’re
on the road selling.
Con: If you have a quota and you don’t meet it, your
supervisor will breathe down your neck.
Pro: You get to pass out business cards so everyone
knows your name.
Con: Sometimes customers forget your name (even how
to spell or pronounce it) despite the dozen business
given them. (“Thanks for stopping by Sherry.”)
Pro: You get to set your own hours.
Con: You work long hours.
Pro: If your job requires you to travel, you get
to see cool places on somebody else’s tab.
Con: If your company doesn’t reimburse you, you have
to wait until the end of the year to claim expenses on your
taxes, tying up a lot of cash.
Pro: You get to network with individuals
in the industry on a personal level.
Con: Competitors (the bad ones) can be
dirty and talk a lot of trash to sway
customers to buy their
Pro: Sales meetings or conventions—you get paid to attend
a conference and mingle with colleagues on the company’s
Con: If you have mandatory meetings
or conferences away from the office,
may have to pay
your own way. (See
regarding your taxes.)
Pro: You get to look cool talking
on your cell phone about stuff
important to passersby.
Con: If you’re not having a swell month, your cell phone
doesn’t ring at all.
Pro: You can earn frequent
flyer miles. (116,000 and
Con: If you don’t fly anywhere to sell, you don’t
rack up mileage at all (except on your personal vehicle).
Pro: SPIFFS and bonuses!
(SPIFF is an acronym
for Sales Promotion
Fund—the extra “f” is added for
pronunciation purposes. It’s a company’s way of
motivating sales reps to sell more of a product or service
in a specified time for a cash or prize incentive based on
what was sold.)
Con: If your company
isn’t large enough to offer SPIFFS
or your company doesn’t pay out bonuses, you get nothing
except your regular pay. (Gosh, you could work at HPU.)
Pro: Seeing long-time
customers and having
a good time.
Con: Going to see
a potential customer
the shoulder shrug
like you’re a pest.
Pro: Great customers
who are wonderful
to deal with.
you dread dealing
with, but they
there’s no one else who
will put up with them.
on a customer
even a “No, thank you, I’m not interested.”
on a customer
for a competitor
hundredth time: “What’s your
name again?” “Who are you with?”
they’re willing to pay for it.
you “sharpen your pencil” just
so they can get a better deal. (“Sharpen your pencil” is
an industry term that means your prices are too high.)
good and the people you work with are great, yes. If your stress
level is as high as your liking of luxury and your customers
are difficult, probably not.
you’re selling. Customers want people
who know what they’re talking about. You’re the
expert, like it or not. You have to sound and act like one,
or else they will simply look elsewhere to get what they need.
customer’s bottom line:
What can you do for the customer? Frankly, you’re the
slave to the industry masses. Your livelihood depends on whether
they buy from you or not.
you’ll venture into once you’ve
graduated from college? Whether you’re selling an actual
product or an intangible service, you must be able to handle
constant challenges of the sales industry. Many people can
and do make a ton of money doing it. And you have job security,
unless you’re selling something that becomes obsolete
like canister vacuums.
you’re sold on sales, there are a lot of sales jobs
in Sunday’s classified.