How to Get Sales Experience and Land a Dream Sales Job
Are you considering a sales career? If so, you’re not alone. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2021, more than 13 million people were working in sales in industries ranging from clothing and cars to construction and real estate. And speaking of real estate, it’s always a popular (and potentially lucrative) choice for a sales career, with an estimated 1.55 million real estate agents employed in 2022.
If you’re interested in learning how to get a sales job, the first thing you’ll need to know is how to get that much-needed experience. That way, you can walk into any sales interview and knock it out of the park.
How to Get a Sales Job with No Experience
Whether you want to sell clothes, condos, or fishing lures, you’ll first need to choose an industry. Next, you’ll need to focus on the two most important components of sales experience: industry training and industry skills.
Getting Industry Training
A certain level of training is typically required for any good sales job, but the amount may depend on the type of position you want. For example, if you want to sell real estate, you’ll need to take a pre-licensing course that teaches real estate practice, principles, and legalities, and then you’ll need to apply for a license.
However, the real estate industry also offers a number of positions where a license may not be required. In many states, you can take a non-license position as a touring agent (TA), which involves showing apartments to prospective clients. This entry-level position may be the best gig in the real estate industry because you have all the fun (plus commissions!) of showing attractive living spaces without the drudgery of dealing with paperwork.
As another example, you could become an apartment locator. This job is another entry-level position, and while it usually requires a license, the good news is it pays well and you don’t need prior experience to apply. As an apartment locator, your job is to find out exactly what the client wants, and then search through available property listings until you locate the best matches. Once you submit your list of contenders, you’ll continue working with the client until they choose their ideal apartment.
Whatever industry you choose, there are several ways you can educate yourself about the products you’ll be selling, including:
• Online research
• Visits to trade shows
• Interacting with industry professionals
• Trade schools or adult education classes
Top Sales Skills to Nurture
What skills do you need for sales positions? Here’s a quick list of selling skills you’ll want to develop:
• Intrapersonal skills: Intrapersonal skills include self-discipline, self-control (including emotion and anger management), and self-confidence, as well as persistence, resilience, and good time management. These skills will help you deal with your clients in a more effective and professional manner.
• Active listening: This gives you the ability to better understand your customers’ needs.
• Verbal communication skills.
• Storytelling skills (for compelling customers to buy your products).
• Strong presentation skills.
• Prospecting skills: These can help you identify a prospective client.
• Ability to handle objections: This skill gives you the imagination and resourcefulness to overcome customer resistance.
In addition, certain industries might involve other abilities that you’ll want to hone. For example, real estate jobs may require these skills:
• Ability to negotiate
• Knowledge of local area and geography
• Ability to write strong copy that sells
As you develop an interest in specific industries, you’ll be able to identify skills to nurture before you enter the job market.
Tips for Finding the Best Sales Jobs
It’s not hard to find sales jobs, but the hunt can get more challenging if you’re looking for jobs in specific industries. Consider these tips:
• Strategize your hunt according to your preferences. If you know nothing about drills or hammers and dislike anything to do with home repair, don’t apply at a hardware retailer. Likewise, if you love watching house hunting shows and adore the glamor of real estate selling, consider applying for an Apartment Locator or Touring Agent job (see above).
• Consider your qualifications and experience, and stick to what you know. Avoid applying for jobs where you already know you can’t meet the training/experience requirements.
• Stay away from companies with lots of legitimate bad feedback or reviews. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.
• Go for niche jobs where you can excel. For instance, if you’ve got lots of design talent, look for sales jobs with home furnishings retailers.
How to Prepare for a Sales Interview
If you’re still wondering how to get a sales job — especially how to get a sales job with no experience — the definitive answer might be: Ace your sales interview. These tips should help:
• Look for mock interviews online. Companies often use similar sales recruiting questions, and you’ll be better prepared if you know about them ahead of time.
• Learn about the local market. If you’re doing a real estate interview, educate yourself about local amenities and regional geography. If you want to sell consumer products, find what sells particularly well in your area.
• List all the things you’re good at, and provide examples of how they’ve made you successful. For example, if you’re great at presenting ideas, describe how this has helped you in other jobs or life situations.
• Be prepared to ask questions about the job. Interviewers like to see people come prepared, and by asking questions, you can show that you’ve researched the position, as well as the company itself.
• Don’t be too aggressive. The days of the hard sell are over. Most companies are looking for salespeople who can provide an air of confidence, likeability, and trustworthiness.
• Do your homework on the products you’ll be selling and the company you’ll be working for.
• Remember, you’re marketing yourself. Treat yourself like a terrific product — and sell it.
Growth Potential in Sales Positions
Now that you know how to get a sales job with no experience, you may wonder: Is there any growth potential in sales jobs? The answer is decidedly YES! Whether you choose retail sales or a sales rep career, you can advance to higher positions, including:
• Accounts manager
• Sales manager
• Marketing manager
• Customer success manager
• Business development manager
• Senior account executive
Sales Job Opportunities at AptAmigo
If you’re looking for the best entry-level sales jobs, AptAmigo can help. Created as a top resource for job seekers interested in the real estate industry, AptAmigo provides top-notch opportunities for starting and building a successful career in real estate sales. If you’d like to learn more about a sales career in real estate, visit AptAmigo and consider joining our team.
AptAmigo is proud to be an equal opportunity workplace and does not discriminate based on race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, genetic information, physical or mental disability, medical condition, marital status, gender, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law, in connection with any aspect of employment at AptAmigo.