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Why sales careers continue to attract top graduate talent

  • By
  • Managing Director

A career in sales can be a smart move for a lot of graduates and there are a number of compelling reasons why it’s an attractive choice for so many who are now leaving university or college. Money is always a great motivating factor and from the outset, a career in sales is likely to offer more in terms of starting salary and earning potential than many other industries. On average, starting salaries are between £18,000 and £24,000, and most sales jobs will include commission on top of that; so eventual earnings could be significantly higher.

What also makes a career in sales appeal to many is that hard work and effort is seen to be rewarded. The more you sell, the more you earn. Add to that a company car and other perks such as laptops, mobile phones and an expense account for entertaining clients, which often come with sales jobs and it’s easy to see why the industry is attracting young, ambitious graduates. Popular and well paid sales jobs - some of which include the opportunity for travelling and working abroad - can be found in the IT, commercial, technical and construction sectors to name a few.

Skills set for sales

Companies are keen to take on graduates and use their existing skills and knowledge in a sales role and develop them further. Technical or specialist knowledge is obviously an advantage for anyone wanting to sell certain products, such as IT software or hardware, and employers in this sector will often expect candidates to have an appropriate degree. For many other roles however, technical or product knowledge can be learned on the job itself or through training. The overarching skills that a graduate possesses hold enough appeal by themselves.

Key to success in sales is having good communication skills and the ability to persuade people of the benefits of your product or services over someone else’s. Many companies have their own, in-house training but graduates wanting to land a sales job will need to show they are good communicators and actually enjoy meeting and talking to people.

Sales is not a career for the shy and retiring. To be successful, graduates should exude self-confidence, be articulate and have bags of enthusiasm. Most graduates will already be comfortable asking questions and taking on new information, both transferable and important skills for a career in sales. To seal the deal – and land that first sale or job – presentation can be important, so looking smart, make eye contact and listening attentively can go a long way.

The rewarding nature of a sales career, tied with the prerequisites for an entry level role make it an exciting, attainable path for graduates. Development can come quickly and earnings are often unlimited.

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