Getting a Sales Job With No Experience


When you are fresh out of college or looking for a career change, you come to find out that the majority of jobs in your field require you to have at least 1 year of professional experience. You might start to wonder where that experience will come from if you just graduated. Sound familiar right? We can all relate to that. Even famous salespeople like David Ogilvy and Samuel Palmisano started out with no experience. The process of trying to kick start your career can help you acquire the necessary skills for a job in sales without experience.

If you decide to start a career in sales, a good way to get going is by applying to junior sales positions. Junior sales positions require little to no experience, which is a significant advantage for any aspiring salesman or saleswoman. Another way to gain sales experience is to join a start up. It is very beneficial because you will be able to grow with the company and quickly develop different skills.

While you were actively applying to sales jobs, you certainly noticed that even entry-level jobs require 1-2 years of professional experience. If you’re doubting whether you should apply or not even if you don’t qualify, in our opinion, you should! The more doors you knock on, the more chances you have to land an interview.

How do you get a job in sales with no experience?

Be okay with the idea of starting from the bottom:

Working at an entry-level position provides you with valuable training. You will have to have an open mind because the manager wants you to succeed and wants to shape you into the ideal salesperson. Therefore, during your interview, you will need to express that you are a fast learner eager to learn new skills.

Do your homework before the interview:

Doing research on the company before an interview is highly recommended. If you are new to the world of sales and you have no experience to brag about during an interview, you can showcase your sales skills by taking the company as a case study. Show how great of a salesperson you are by digging into the customers’ needs and offer them a solution.
During the interview, you can mention what your research results were:

  • You’ve connected with one of the current sales employees at the company to understand how to fit into their mission
  • You did research on their competitors to understand what makes the company different from them
  • Learn about the products and services they offer, who are their potential customers are and why would they buy the product
  • Look up potential customers on LinkedIn that would be interested in the product. It can range from a high or low profile, like a VP/Director or a customer service representative. The most important thing is that you are able to identify key buyers.
Build your network:

Attending networking events is a staple to get job opportunities. If you are interested in a certain industry, go to industry-specific events or join professional associations. Doing this will allow you to demonstrate your interest and knowledge. Use these opportunities to impress sales managers and professionals in attendance, connect with sales managers on social media as well. Building a good relationship with professionals you meet can help you get a job faster.

Highlight your transferable skills:

If you don’t have any sales experience to brag about on your CV or interview, try to highlight your transferable skills. Think of the best skills a salesperson could possess: are you good with public speaking or presentations? Have you ever convinced someone to agree with you on a project idea? Have you done any negotiations that you’ve done in the past?

An extra tip to get you more goodie points is to show passion in the role you applied for. Showing your enthusiasm and why you want to work in sales. Passion can make up for lack of experience, especially in sales! If you want a successful sales career, your passion will prove it!

There are 3 core sales principles that you should keep in mind during your job hunting process:

  1. Sales are built on trust and transparency: In general, clients value honesty and trust and so do employers.
  2. Benefits sell, features don’t: Don’t just say what you are good at, try to explain how you can contribute to the company’s success. For example, avoid saying things like “I am goal-oriented.” Instead, tell them, “I might not have a lot of experience, but I am very goal-oriented. I am confident I’ll be able to meet all goals and even surpass them.”
  3. Persistence is key: Being persistent is one of the important traits for a salesperson. If you get rejected by a company, follow up with them and ask for feedback. You can also ask for another opportunity. Apply to another opening if they have any.

If you want to kick start your sales career and you have no experience, remember these 3 core sales principles! These are key points to showcase the sales side of you. Before the interview, prepare yourself with research on the companies’ products and show your potential employer how you will sell their product to future clients. Try to be creative as well, show them you are different from other newbies! Good luck!

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