Sell me this pen. Would you be able to do it? Would you have any clue where to start?
You need to know how to sell before you graduate college, because sales is the most important business skill you can learn. And the earlier, the better.
Businesses thrive and survive by exchanging goods or services for money. The problem is that companies are competing for customers 24-7-365. What separates the successful ones from the failures?
Their ability to sell.
And guess what? The only way to learn sales is to do it. If you’re going to build your career from scratch, sales is a great way to start.
Why Learning to Sell Will Be Key for Your Career
You’ll learn important business lessons/skills
Salespeople hear the word “no” a lot. The difference between a good salesperson and a bad one is how they handle that rejection. Making a living based on commissions from sales will help you:
- Be persistent and have a sense of urgency
- Learn to successfully negotiate
- Close deals
- Stay disciplined and focused on production
- Gain confidence in your abilities
You grow by stepping outside your comfort zone. What better way to do that than in a sales position? And is there a better time to take that risk than when you’re in college? If you can keep up with your classes, I think not!
When you can sell, you’re valuable to any business
I don’t care if you work for a coffee shop or a tech company. At some point, you’ll need to use sales skills to help move the business forward. But the implications of sales go further than that. Much further, actually.
Businesses also exchange goods and services with other businesses, whether it be suppliers, distributors, or other independent contractors that help their business run smoothly. Believe it or not, these interactions aren’t free! A great salesperson can use their negotiating ability to get the best deal for their company.
At its core, an effective salesman is an great communicator. Their job is to firstly listen to the needs of others and present solutions to fill a need or desire. That’s a valuable quality to have. Businesses like people like that.
You need to sell yourself to land a job
When you’re trying to get a job, the process can be filled with confusion, anxiousness and hope. It’s natural to feel those emotions because let’s face it – you’re competing with many qualified candidates. To find success, I think you need to keep it simple. Focus on building connections and selling yourself.
I’m sure you’re thinking right now, “sell myself? What are you, nuts?” Not exactly.
If you’re landing interviews, your resume is good enough and you’re more or less qualified for the role. That’s a great start. However, the real work starts during the interview process.
When I was looking for a job as a soon-to-be college graduate, I made the mistake of going through the motions during interviews. I answered the questions well, was friendly, and asked good questions. What I didn’t do was make the interviewer absolutely 100% sure that I wanted the role and that I was going to succeed.
A great salesman knows how to close the deal. They can sense the other party’s lingering doubts and steer them towards a positive outcome. To get the career you want, you’ll need to be a salesman. Learn to sell yourself!
You’ll be more confident in negotiations with future employers
Guess what? The benefits of salesmanship aren’t only external – they’re necessary to help climb the corporate ladder as well.
When your yearly review comes up and your boss isn’t recommending you for a promotion, how will you handle that? In those situations, it helps to have the confidence and skill set to push back and get what you want.
Firstly, you’ll be used to rejection. Secondly, you won’t be afraid of uncomfortable conversations or situations. Thirdly, you’ll have the confidence to try to steer your boss towards a positive outcome and seal the deal! And if that doesn’t work out you can always make a couple calls and test the waters (wink wink).
So What Can You Do Now?
In order for you to balance your schoolwork with your new gig, it’s best to find a part-time sales job. If you can’t find one through a career fair or networking, try calling local businesses to see if they have openings. You’d be surprised what you can discover by doing that.
All opinions expressed on this blog are solely those of Home at 30 and are in no way affiliated with any other organization or institution. The purpose of this blog is to give general education and information about investing, wealth, careers, and college; It is not intended to be professional advice.
Author: Josh Ramos
Josh has paid off $130k in student loan debt in 4 years. By founding Home at 30, he wants to help end the student debt crisis by helping students and young professionals make decisions that will reward them for a lifetime.