Jan 19th 2021

Spotlight on… Rich and his sales experience

Deciding what to do in life is never easy. And when you were asked what you wanted to be when you were older, a salesperson was probably not the first thing that came to mind. But you can gain some incredible experience and skills from a role in sales that will help you climb the career ladder.

Hit the button below to check out all the exciting sales roles we have on the Tempo platform.

Meet Rich, who has been working in sales since he left university. He recently signed up to the Tempo platform where we were able to use his skills and experience to match him to a sales role at an exciting startup called Visionable. He gave us some first-hand insight on why you should work in sales and how its developed his skillset.

How did you get into sales?

To be honest I sort of fell into it. I studied Biology at university so it’s not like a career in sales was the natural next step for me. But I decided to apply to a whole range of graduate roles that weren’t necessarily in the same field as my degree.

It was then that I found myself in a graduate position at a paper merchant. I was working mainly on the marketing side of things but part of my training had a sales element to it.

I started presenting market data and researching what other competitors were doing, putting strategic sales plans in place. That’s when my manager there told me I had a natural talent for sales. I was looking to change industries at that time anyway so this pushed me to start looking into graduate roles in sales instead and the rest is history.

What has been the biggest learning curve since starting sales?

It would have to be that one of the most important qualities for sales is to believe in yourself but also to be yourself. I hadn’t appreciated how necessary it was and how much more people responded to you if you came across natural.

I think another learning curve was that I didn’t think I would ever go into sales, or be the type of person that would suit it. I already had an idea of what working in sales was going to be like as my older brother was a salesman. He was a lot more outgoing than me so I was concerned I wouldn’t be the right fit.

“But my time spent in sales has taught me that everyone has a different approach and there is a range of different personalities in the industry.”

I am the quieter type whereas my older brother was the opposite. It doesn’t matter which one you are as long as you play to your strengths.

What’s kept you on a sales career path all these years?

There isn’t really one thing for me. For starters, I really enjoy speaking to new people, namely customers. I love the challenge of developing new relationships as it scratches my competitive edge. And it’s this competitive drive that has really flourished over the years as it keeps me motivated to keep pushing myself, wanting to be the best.

This ultimately meant that I was lucky enough to be successful very early on in my career, and once I saw the rewards that came with this, whilst doing something I love, I thought I would be crazy to give it up.

I would also say that being in the right industry within sales has made a big difference. There are different types of sales out there so it is important to choose a sales job where you believe in the product or service and that it both interests and challenges you. This is why I made the switch from the paper merchants to medical sales, which I have now been doing for around twenty-seven years. I wanted to sell something that stretched my knowledge and skillset.

Would you recommend sales to others as a good place to start your career?

A career in sales provides you with great experience and the opportunity to learn new skills. As one of the quieter people, it has greatly enhanced my communication skills and I now excel at forming new relationships. There are also loads of career opportunities in sales as it’s a really diverse industry, and the fast-paced element that comes with it sets you up well for dealing with things under pressure later on in your career.

But I would say you need to have the right personality for it. During my time as a regional sales manager, I lost a couple of people because they didn’t like the pressure of facing potential rejection.

It also teaches you great resilience when it comes to rejection which will help in your own personal confidence throughout your career. If you are self-motivated then you will excel in a sales role, giving you the opportunity to develop your interpersonal skills and giving you a competitive edge in your job interviews.

Do you have any advice for people looking to go into sales?

I would certainly suggest trying it out by shadowing someone you know that works in sales as this will give you a great insight into what it takes and what you can get out of it. This is especially true if you want to get a sales job with no experience, it could make a big difference in how to approach your job applications.

“I would also recommend looking into what market most interests you. It is important to be passionate about what you do and the company that you work for. This will give you the extra edge you need for sales success.”

If it is the wrong environment then you might find yourself giving up quite quickly. Whereas if you are interested in the industry you are in, then you are more likely to stay motivated in a sales job and keep pushing yourself in the right direction.

At Tempo, our mission is to make finding work an adventure. We use machine learning to match thousands of candidates to some of the UK’s most exciting companies. If you are looking to start your career in sales or any other non-technical roles then why not head over to our platform.

Want to find out more about working in sales? Have a read of our 5 reasons to consider a role in sales.