What's your dream career path after graduating from business college? Want to manage an office, land an executive assistant job, work in marketing for a global brand? Maybe even start your own business?
There are tons of options out there for talented business grads—but we're willing to bet sales isn't at the top of your wish list. The truth is, many, many business careers begin with sales jobs.
Why are there so many opportunities in sales? Because it's actually really hard for employers to find (and keep) solid sales reps.
Global recruiting firm, Randstad, ranks Sales Representative and Sales Manager the two most in-demand, best-paid jobs in sales and marketing for 2018, across Canada.
Here's the catch: sales jobs might be relatively easy to get, but only a select few will have the talent and drive to benefit from all the perks sales has to offer.
Wondering if you should consider doing sales? Start by asking yourself these 6 key questions.
By the end of this post, you'll know if sales could be your unexpected—and highly rewarding—career path after business college.
Are you a determined person who pushes hard to achieve goals?
Sales people have to get through a lot of "no's" before they hear the "yes's" that make their careers. If there is one quality you need to succeed in this field, it's determination.
Bouncing back from setbacks, and persevering to meet those monthly sales goals is what it's all about. Think about obstacles you've overcome in life, and dreams you've worked hard to make happen.
Are you the type of person who keeps pushing, no matter what road blocks lie ahead? Do you have a thick skin? The ability to stay positive? These are all key characteristics of the very best sales reps.
Can you communicate easily with new people?
Look at any list of "top sales skills". You will always, always see communication skills highlighted as an essential quality to work in sales.
This is because sales is not really about pushing a product or service—it's about building trust and relationships. People do business with people they like and have faith in. Period.
To do well in this field, you absolutely must be good at meeting new people, striking up conversations, establishing rapport, and convincing others that you can be trusted.
For this reason, sales can be quite difficult for highly introverted people. You're better suited to this role if you're naturally out-going, and genuinely enjoy networking with others.
Do you know what it means to really listen?
We've all been there. Those one-way conversations where the other person just talks and talks, and doesn't seem to really hear anything you're saying. Unfortunately, this happens a lot in business.
The sales rep has a script to follow, and isn't really interested in an authentic back-and-forth with the person they're speaking to.
These types don't last long in sales. In order to build trust, you absolutely must be a careful listener—someone who reads between the lines, and can figure out what each prospect really needs, and adapt your pitch to those goals.
This involves having empathy, and actually caring about your prospect's challenges. It means asking thoughtful questions, taking note of key details, and showing you're interested in the real person—not just making the sale. It's about being human.
Listening is so crucial in sales, it often ranks #1 on skills lists, including this one from InsideSales.com.
Are you good at doing research and noticing small details?
Sales people never make a call, or go into a meeting, unprepared. It might seem like they're "making it up as they go along", but the truth is, they've done their research.
A good sales rep knows their products inside and out. They understand the marketplace. They've researched the competition. They've dug up important facts on the person they're trying to sell to.
This is a key skill you'll learn in business college, when you study economics, marketing strategy, and project management. Sales is all about advance planning and preparation—combined with the ability to think on your feet.
Do you value honesty and integrity?
It's not about saying and doing anything to make a deal. It's about proving you can be counted on to recommend the best product or service for your clients' needs. And then following up with them to ensure they're happy.
The best sales people genuinely care about their clients. They want to feel proud of the deals they make, knowing that both sides are benefitting.
At its core, sales is about helping people. Your goal is to help others succeed by selling them the tools and support they need to grow and get things done.
Do you have a competitive streak?
Competition is the life-blood of sales. You'll always be aiming to beat your numbers from last month, and do better than your competitors at rival companies.
The best sales reps are like star athletes. They love a challenge, thrive under pressure, and always seek to improve. They have drive and ambition, and get a natural high from constantly achieving new goals.
So... what's the verdict? Can you see yourself taking a sales job after business college?
Want to explore other business careers, or learn more about your training options?
We strongly recommend talking with a qualified admissions advisor, so you fully understand what's involved in earning a business diploma and plan your next step.
Chat live with an advisor now, or click below to explore the Business Administration program.