It has been said that sales is the lifeblood of business. Every company, regardless of its size, relies on sales to drive profits, feed research and development, and grow. Without sales there is no business, and without the men and women who do the selling there are no sales.
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If you are looking for a second career that values life experience, creativity, problem-solving skills, and ingenuity, you should consider a sales career.
According to the United States Department of Labor, talented sales professionals are, and will continue to be, in high demand. The department estimates that the need for sales managers will grow by 8 percent over the next seven years, and the need for retail sales professionals will grow by 10 percent.
Companies of all sizes need sales professionals—and they need them with an array of life and professional experiences. Regardless of the industry in which you are currently employed, your background, track record of success, knowledge, and willingness roll up your sleeves and get the job done are almost certain to be of value to a company in need of sales professionals. It is why companies work so hard to recruit people with work experience into a sales career.
Every industry—from healthcare to automotive to fashion to technology—provides ample opportunities for people with real-world experience. If you have the desire and the willingness to apply your experience to a new company, you can have a successful sales career.
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The question of whether great salespeople are born or made has been vexing hiring managers for decades. The answer likely lies somewhere between the two options.
While it is true that some people are born with the intangible ability to sell, it is equally true that everyone can learn to sell—if they can first sell themselves on the fact that they have the skills it takes to succeed. Selling yourself on a sales career often involves identifying the five characteristics of a great sales person:
- The best sales people are problem solvers who enjoy helping others connect with products and services that deliver solutions.
- The best sales people are creative and able to offer practical advice that comes with a dose of wisdom. In other words, the best sales people have a practical wisdom that can only be gained through real-world experience.
- The best sales people are driven by results. They want to be rewarded for their hard work and success.
- The best sales people understand the value of relationships, which is an understanding that is developed over time by dealing with people in the real world.
- The best sales people bring a breadth of personal and professional experience with them to their jobs, which makes them better able to relate to clients.
That is exactly why a sales career just might be the perfect second career for you.
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If you have learned to listen more than you speak, sales might be ideal for you. If you are action-oriented, sales might be ideal for you. Most importantly, if you have the desire to be responsible for your own income, a sales career might be the right path for you.
If you believe in yourself—and your experience and knowledge—a sales career allows you to be self-sufficient.
There are some professions that do not appreciate the practical wisdom that comes with age and experience. Sales is not one of them. A sales career respects experience and knowledge. If you have practical life and professional experience and a desire to be self-sufficient, sales just might be the ideal second career for you.