Bust those myths!
Myth: You need a degree in marketing to get a job in sales
While having a relevant degree, particularly from a reputed institution, certainly helps, companies are increasingly flexible about academic requirements, and recognize that demonstrated potential far outweighs formal qualifications. Data also suggest that for many career paths, the most successful individuals possess skills not typically gained in their traditional training for that role.
Myth: Sales is a ruthless industry with questionable ethics
Ethics are no less important in sales than in any other profession. Compromising on ethics for short-term gain rarely proves to be a successful long-term formula for success – questionable ethical practices will invariably be found out eventually. Most companies have strong checks in place to weed out unethical sales practices, and with the growing presence of consumer protection watchdogs, a strong work ethic is likely to get you noticed and move you upward in sales.
Myth: Entry-level jobs in sales are hard to find
There are plenty of opportunities for freshers in sales and marketing at the entry-level, ranging from field sales to product and market research. Some of the best industries in which to get a start to your sales career include consumer goods, healthcare, banking, insurance and other financial services.
Myth: It’s hard to have a healthy work-life balance in sales
While a career in sales certainly presents significant challenges in this regard, and makes a heavy demand on your time, it is still possible to maintain a good work-life balance. This comes from learning early on how to maximize the return on your time investment, and cut out non-rewarding endeavours.
Myth: I need to be a smooth talker to be successful in sales
In reality, the most successful salespeople work hardest on their listening skills, rather than their talking skills. Good listeners, who understand the needs of the customer and the company, are likely to greatly outsell smooth talkers.
Myth: Handling rejection is the most difficult part of sales
The most successful salespeople learn early on to distinguish rejection from criticism. Having done so, they are able to learn from every “no thank you”, and convert rejection into growth potential.
Myth: Sales is a dead-end career with little scope for growth
Many successful CEOs and entrepreneurs today got their starts in sales. The skills and business sense they acquired in their sales roles cannot be learned from textbooks, and these have proven invaluable to their success.
Cover image courtesy – Flickr user Martin’s Bricks
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