Sales is a highly-pressurised sector, regardless of the industry in which the job falls. Traditionally target-driven, anyone that wants to go into sales must be in possession of particular characteristics.

Those that thrive in a sales environment are usually cut of a certain cloth: fearless, passionate, approachable and able to speak eloquently to anyone. They also need to develop a thick skin, in order that they might cope with the knock backs and doors slammed in faces that will occur from time to time. Especially early in an individual's sales career.

Many people are drawn to sales because of the perceived glamour associated with it: the well cut suit, the company car, champagne lunches, etc. That might have been the norm once, but this lavish lifestyle is not typical during these times of global recession. True, most companies do look after their sales people, especially those that do well, as this is the group that effectively brings in the money. However, sales people need to work harder for it now, as fewer customers have money to spend on corporate schmoozing; possibly even on the product being sold. It's not an easy job by any means.

Most sales people earn a basic - and this means basic- salary, to which is added on-target earnings (commission earned on sales). The remuneration works this way as it is supposed to serve as motivation to sell more. Unsuccessful sales people will obviously earn less commission and thus less take-home pay.

It's not a career that an individual can just slip into, becoming a successful sales person requires a lot of experience and the acquisition of much knowledge. Those who are interested in pursuing this career might like to approach a specialist sales recruitment company for some advice and also to find out what junior roles exist in sales companies.

Getting a placement as a temp in a sales firm is a great, initial grounding in the industry, one that allows an individual to learn from the bottom up and absorb the electric atmosphere of the sales office. Often, temps find they are offered a permanent role if they work hard and show promise, so it's a great way to reach that first rung on the sales ladder.


Author Bio: Reuben Dennis is a human resources specialist and recruitment consultant as well as career counsellor. To know more visit

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