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How to become a Salesperson

How to become a Salesperson

Vital for the growth of organisations, Salespeople increase revenue, help to drive and build brand reputation, develop strong long-term customer relationships, increase client loyalty and satisfaction.

They are often trusted advisors as they have close connections to customers and can find out what they like or need or where services and products are failing. As the “face” of many businesses they have a significant impact on how well a business performs in terms of making money and becoming competitive in the market.

If you’re great at making connections, building relationships, and listening, you’re outgoing, self-motivated, and resilient, then a career in Sales could be worth exploring.

 

About you:

 

  • Fantastic people skills and all-round communicator, empathetic and understanding of what your client’s requirements are
  • Driven and dynamic, able to create opportunities, move and close deals constantly, you’ll need to be great at multi-tasking
  • In depth knowledge of business processes, social media, and finances, as well as the products and services you’re selling
  • Confident public speaker and presenter, trustworthy and engaging, persuasive and the ultimate negotiator

 

Industry Specific Sales Roles

 

Regardless of the industry you end up, as a Salesperson ultimately your role is to take your organisation’s ideas, products or services to potential clients. Help them to understand how your goods will provide a solution or fill a void that will in turn help them. Clinch the deal and receive money or finance from the purchaser.

You could be working at a Coles checkout, selling theatre tickets, shoes, cars, financial services or pharmaceutical manufacturing equipment – the knowledge about your products will change, but the skills you’ll need will be the same.

Many Sales jobs pay a flat rate, but you could earn commission on each sale you make or for hitting set targets.

 

Art

 

You could be selling major works of arts in a gallery or historical artefacts at auctions, selling tickets for theatre productions or cinemas, selling arts degrees to potential students, or language learning tools online.

 

Design

 

A sales position in design could see you working in a fashion house, visual merchandiser, selling interior design solutions to commercial or residential clients, perhaps wholesale selling greetings cards to retailers, or web services to businesses.

 

Aviation & Transport

 

In these industries you could be selling seats or cargo room on planes, retailing in duty free shops, up-selling second-hand cars, or generating sales in premium brand luxury vehicles. You could sell service or maintenance contracts or parts, become an outback trucker, or make and sell your own customised boats.

 

Business

 

Business is such a broad term; you could find yourself making sales calls from a customer service centre, become a business development rep finding new clients for your service, or schmoozing with VIPs making mega million-dollar sales.

 

Law

 

Sales roles within the legal sector could be anything from cold calling people asking them if they need to make a claim after an accident or injury, or working out in the field working with clients to bring back lucrative contracts. You could even be working on cases with lawyers, challenging them on issues that clients may commonly be experience, changing the way services are provided and helping to win over more new clients.

 

Construction

 

In a sales role in this industry you could be selling major contracts to commercial clients, working in the office of a small building firm closing deals for dream homes to be built, or solving technical problems on building sites by selling specific products.

 

Education

 

You could be selling educational supplies and resources to education bodies, selling courses on behalf of training organisations, or selling outward bound and team building exercises to large corporations.

 

Hospitality

 

Sales jobs in this industry could see you selling holidays and plane tickets, selling venue packages for weddings or corporate functions, or making reservations in accommodation facilities.

 

IT

 

You could be selling websites and security systems to businesses or domestic clients, selling software and hardware parts or updates, or selling contracts for maintenance and IT support.

 

Communication and Marketing

 

You could be driving sales and generating leads through social media and other promotions, following up on leads and converting them into sales, selling tickets to events, selling speakers to host or talk at conferences and other functions, or selling publications to other industries and the public.

 

Health

 

In a sales job in this industry, you could be selling health insurance policies, selling medical and pharmaceutical supplies, products or services, or fulfilling recruitment gaps at hospitals and in community facilities. Depending on what you’re selling, you might be talking to the general public or specialists within their fields.

 

Police, Fire and ADF

 

You could be selling weapons and other supplies to the defence forces, selling fire and gas detection and extinguishing products, or selling health and safety, security, or installation services.

 

Environment

 

As a sales rep in this industry you could be selling workshops and information about sustainable practises and products, training packages, or identifying new markets and products whilst achieving safety and environmental objectives.

 

STEM

 

Sales roles in STEM rarely require cold calling – they are more often advisory or consultancy led, as companies will actually need the product that is being sold, and you’ll need in-depth technical knowledge of your field.

For example, Sales Engineers will extensive knowledge of engineering product ranges, offer technical advice and provide clients with bespoke engineering solutions that will solve problems.

 

Lifestyle Impact: Low

 

  • Part Time opportunities: Varies depending on the industry you work in.
  • Average hours for full-time workers: Varies depending on the industry you work in.
  • Salespersons’ salary: average salaries for this job are also a bit tricky, as many of advertise base salaries but commission varies hugely between industries, states, employers and individual salespeoples’ selling capabilities.
  • Future career growth: Stable – Moderate (source: labourmarketinsights.gov.au).
  • You will be doing most of your work indoors. Depending on the industry and role, you could find yourself travelling door-to-door, contacting potential customers via email or phone, or working in an office or retail environment.
  • Depending on the kind of business you work for, you might have to work on weekends or do shift work.

 

Salespeople are most in demand in these locations:

 

Because they work in such a huge variety of industries, Salespeople are generally needed all across Australia.

 

How to become a Salesperson in Australia

 

For many sales roles, qualifications are less important than the qualities and skills that you can bring to the table.

However, sales roles in some industries such STEM or Health may require formal qualifications, as you’ll need technical and detailed knowledge about products and their effects. You won’t just be selling off-the-shelf items and you could be selling them to experts and providing custom-made solutions and packages.

As always though, relevant qualifications could help to open doors and highlight your abilities more clearly to prospective employers.

 

There are dozens of Certificates in Sales to consider, for a start you can find out what’s advertised on My Skills, e.g.:

Another option to consider is to find a traineeship where you’ll receive a relevant qualification, on the job training and a salary.

A technical degree may be required in some fields such as Health or STEM, in which case you may need a related Bachelor’s Degree. A general business or marketing degree could also be advantageous and help you become eligible to apply for more jobs.

 

There are also micro-credentials and short courses with a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) to consider that could help you to gain and develop the many skills that you’ll need as a Salesperson.

 

Similar Careers to Salesperson

 

Cashier

Call Centre Agent

Sales Consultant

Business Advisor

Receptionist

Executive Assistant

Entrepreneur

 

Find out more about alternative careers.

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

 

What qualifications do I need for sales? 

 

There are many pathways into this role: a tertiary qualification, an apprenticeship or traineeship if you can find an employer who’s willing to consider it or already implemented a program, or through working towards the role by gaining experience in a particular industry or organisation.

 

What skills and knowledge does a Salesperson need?

 

The skills and knowledge you’ll need are specific to each role, and therefore changes between industries and employers, but as a general rule you’ll need:

  • A flair for selling products and services
  • customer service skills
  • persistence and determination
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • to be a great team worker and good with people
  • plenty of initiative
  • a great memory and pay attention to detail
  • excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • to be confident with technology to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

 

What does a Salesperson do?

 

Again, your role is determined by your employer, but a few basic duties that you could expect to carry out include:

  • contacting new or existing customers and creating new leads
  • doing presentations promoting new products
  • negotiating sales, prices and delivery
  • before and after sales customer service and relationship building
  • writing up and recording orders, chasing up late payments and problem solving orders or deliveries that go wrong
  • attending industry related conferences, networking, building your knowledge of products, services and competitors, and keeping up to date with industry trends
  • meeting sales targets to earn commission

 

Where do Salespeople work?

 

As a Sales rep, you could be working on a shop floor in general sales or specialising and advising in one department, you could work for a small business or an international corporation, or you may work out of an office or a mixture of office based and out on-site meeting clients. You may be able to work remotely and depending on your job you might have to travel too. You could own your own business and sell things online, at markets or from your own warehouse or retail space.

 

What are 3 things I can do right now to work help me become a Salesperson?

 

If you’re at high school and you think a career as a Salesperson would be perfect for you, here’s a few things you could start doing right now:

  1. Study courses that could be helpful in a sales career such as business, psychology, or marketing
  2. Seek work-based learning experiences including job shadowing, traineeships, or work experience
  3. Get a part time job in retail or hospitality, start up your own business, and start building on the skills and techniques you’ll need.

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