If you are wondering exactly how to get a sales job with no experience then read on, as I have some good news for you.
Over my forty-year sales and business career, the one thing I struggled with most was recruiting good salespeople.
I’m not talking about the best salespeople, but simply people who could be relied upon to hit their sales targets consistently and who I could trust to uphold my brand and deal with the most challenging customers.
But…and on the subject of the best salespeople I have ever worked with, they all had one thing in common:
Absolutely no, or extremely little sales experience!
Now, I bet that surprises you — especially when you see all of the sales training courses, self-proclaimed gurus, and experts out there, who at best, try to over-complicate what should be, a very simple process.
And, of course, you have a huge number of companies out there who are offering opportunities for experienced salespeople but will not consider anyone without experience, so how do you get your foot on the ladder and start to make a career in one of the best industries you can work in?
I’m going to give you some tips to get you started and whatever you do, don’t give up hope if you don’t immediately succeed.
You need to work hard on the very subject you’ve probably overlooked and that is the subject of “you”!
Entry-level sales jobs are sometimes seen as low-paying, menial positions that require little skill or training.
But there are actually plenty of opportunities for those willing to roll their sleeves up, work hard and learn and develop new skills.
Take a look at my sales method of training and philosophy to understand how I approach becoming the best in this industry.
It’s a long article, but well worth the read.
Become The CEO Of YOU
It’s time to take stock and start how you mean to go on.
“YOU” are the most important corporation of all and you must make sure your house is in order before you try to land that new sales career as you do not have any direct sales experience (which for me is a good thing), then you need to tell potential employers exactly what you could do for them.
It’s like any CEO, who is trying to portray their company in the best light — you have to make sure people understand exactly what your company does and articulate what it can do for your clients and customers.
So here are a few tips:
- Make sure your resume is totally overhauled.
- Make sure you understand and articulate your own unique value proposition.
- Clean up your social media accounts and professional profile.
- Get ready to unleash it on the world.
If you don’t have any tangible work experience in sales, then you need to work on what we term “soft values.”
You need to communicate your passion; your desire and make sure you thoroughly research the industry you wish to work in, so at the very least, you can hold your own in a good conversation with anyone.
Sales are all about research and understanding and if you have read the article concerning my own sales training philosophy, I show you how to do it.
And one last point — make sure you have a passion for what you want to sell because if you don’t, forget it.
Any employer or customer will see right through you if, for example, you are just in the industry for the money…but passion is infectious and it always shines through.
Why I Don’t Value Sales Experience
The answer to this point is that most salespeople are highly experienced in the wrong way to sell.
How can I make such a bold statement?
Well, I started my sales career knocking on doors selling home improvements to customers who would rather be watching TV on the cold, dark winter nights than listening to a nineteen-year-old trying to explain the benefits of having new windows.
Over the years, I worked my way up, selling into the boardrooms of some of the world’s largest companies…and everything in between.
And…I started with absolutely no experience.
I know what works and more importantly, what doesn’t and in my world of sales, what doesn’t work is rapidly discarded.
Finally, I still practice what I preach today, training the sales team at a real estate company I am part of, which started in lockdown with zero billings and now is on track to reach half a million dollars in the next financial year.
All of the salespeople have absolutely no experience.
When you come into an industry totally fresh, with no expectations and you are highly coachable, you will find it easy to quickly grasp the concept of sales.
You have to be willing to learn and listen, plus you need to work hard…very hard.
I find that when I recruit people with the right soft values, it’s easy to shape them into the salespeople that I want:
- Presentable, articulate people who are not afraid to communicate their knowledge and ideas.
- People who understand that it is vital to connect with their customers at the highest level.
- People who understand that research and doing your “homework” is vital to success.
- People who are willing to be taught to be commercially aware.
- People who will never quit.
- People who use industry passion as the driving force.
Do you fit the bill?
Start with a Plan
Getting Your First Sales Job
This is the easy part — if you have come up with a plan and are ready to do some homework.
This is going to sound stupidly simple, I know…but bear with me and it’s a tactic that every salesperson should follow when they are looking for a new job:
Find a company you would like to work for, research the industry and the company like crazy, pick up the phone, call the CEO and tell them that you would like to work for them!
It really is that simple and if you have your own personal value proposition, which I mentioned earlier, you can do this effortlessly.
The “pitch” although I hate that word, would be structured along the following lines:
Call the executive assistant to the CEO and explain to them that you do not want to bother the “boss” at this stage and that you would like them (assistant) to listen to what you have to say and advise you accordingly.
Explain that you are looking to land your first sales role and you have thoroughly researched the companies that you would like to work with, and have shortlisted 3, of which your (assistant) company is one of them.
Explain that you have understood that the best people work directly with the executive leadership team of their clients and that is why you have started by calling the CEO.
Finally, explain your value proposition to the company and send a copy of that, along with your resume to the assistant, explaining that you would like to talk with the CEO.
That’s it and let me explain why it is such a powerful method:
You are showing that you are fearless when it comes down to contacting senior executives and if the company has any sense, they will recognize that this is exactly how you would approach their target clients.
You are also showing that you respect the time of the “boss” and are using one of the most important assets in any company, the executive assistant.
You are also demonstrating that you have conducted research and this shows that you are thinking about your future and the company you would like to work for.
You have also created a shortlist of 2 others (competitors) and that will show the first company that you have other, carefully selected options.
Finally, you are not in any way “begging for a job,” you recognize that you have a strong value proposition that could go to any of the 3 companies you have shortlisted.
There you go and that’s it!
If you need any help or wish to discuss anything further on this, then please get in touch with me and I will do my best to help you.
Last modified: September 30, 2022