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Looking for a Role in Sales? What You Need to Know

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by Herman Benade

7 months ago

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I joined the recruitment industry in 2014.  I started off recruiting engineers for the Mining, Oil and Gas sectors. Very soon after I started my career, the Oil and Gas price dropped and with that, we saw mining plummet as well. Suddenly no one would take your calls and if you advertised for a mining engineer role,  you would receive a 100’s of applications and usually from job seekers who were more than capable to perform in these roles.

This was obviously a problem for me, as it was my job to source what is typically difficult to find!  I was then given the option to look at other sectors in which to recruit. At this time, although most roles had been put ‘on hold’ across Western Australia, companies were still recruiting BDM’s and Account Managers. This surprised me somewhat, as I didn’t know what I know now, which brings me to the topic of this blog. 

Sales people are always hard to find. From a candidate’s perspective that is great, but there’s a couple of things that you need to take into consideration when looking for a sales role. 

  • The interview is going to be hard and you need to be a ‘top gun’ in selling yourself.  (See my blog on how to prepare for a sales interview
  • Sales is not an easy job and you need to be resilient. But if you become proficient at what you do, a robot can never take your job.  The ability to influence and make human connections will become even more invaluable
  • Do not jump from company to company based on the base salary. I promise you, you will struggle to secure a good sales role, 5 years into your career.
  • Prepare your questions going into the interview and make sure you know what type of sales culture they have.  Then have a serious conversation with yourself about whether that is the right environment for you. 
  • Do lots of research on the product or service, if you are not passionate about the product or service DO NOT accept the role
  • Don’t out price yourself, remember your expertise is to bring in new business and in most cases you are seeking a $150,000 base salary, understand that the employer is going to expect a return on their investment and most likely with a year.  Think about this.

On the positive side, this is the one career path where you can write your own ‘pay cheque’ no matter what gender or age you are, which can’t be said about a lot of other roles.  On that note I will recommend staying away from capped commission structures unless the business has structured their packages to have a higher base salary.   

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