Show Me the Money!
There are very few careers that offer the income potential that sales careers offer. While not all sales careers offer unlimited income potential, many do. In sales, your income is based on your performance. There will be quotas and activity expectations, but there are also rewards. Performance rewards come in the form of commission checks, quarterly and annual bonuses, trips, prizes and a slew of other incentives.
Those who hire sales professionals hire them to increase their revenues. Without sales, their doors will soon be closed. Knowing that, employers are willing to do what it takes to get their sales team motivated to improve their sales. That motivation usually comes in the form of income.
Don't Fence Me In
Many outside sales positions come with the benefit of a flexible schedule. While the amount of flexibility ranges from job to job, most allow the sales professional to set their daily schedule, as long as specified activity and training levels are met. For the sales professional who doesn't abuse this freedom and who uses their work hours for business generating purposes, the resulting rewards are tremendous. And when coupled with the ability to take a "mental break" during the day or to run a quick personal errand, sales careers and the associated flexibility become highly addictive positions.
If you were to offer a successful sales person a full-time desk job, you'd probably have your offer rejected. Why? Once you've enjoyed the freedom of setting your own daily schedule, it is very hard to do any job that has the time and "location" expectations that most office or desk jobs demands.
The valuable you make yourself to your employer, the less likely you are to be fired, replaced or be the victim of a "reduction in force." However, if the economy turns, if the industry you work in takes a "global hit," or if the owners of the company decide to sell the business or simply retire, your value decreases significantly.
The same can be said about sales professionals. The difference is that successful sales people are usually the last to be cut from a dying business. Why? Cutting sales means cutting incoming revenue which is not a good plan for a business looking to remain viable.
The other way that sales creates job security is that successful sales pros are seldom out of work for long. Every business that sells a product or service needs effective sales people in order to drive their revenues. If you are good in sales, you have tremendous market value.
Superficiality can be a concern to consider with sales, in that more and more businesses are no longer just looking for someone who can sell, but for people who can sell within a specific industry. While specializing in a sales industry can decrease job security, specializing also increases a sales professionals income potential.
The Thrill of Victory
People like to win and to feel as if their work makes a difference. And while every job serves a purpose and is important, many people are in jobs that are not emotionally rewarding to them. Not so in sales. There is nothing like the feeling of closing a big deal that not only puts a substantial bonus in your wallet, but also helps secure the jobs of support and admin staff. Knowing that your efforts beat out your competition and helped your customer solve a business issue can be more rewarding than the income earned.
While the emotional rewards range drastically from sales job to sales job, and not all sales positions are rewarding at all, the thrill of your victories, the income rewards, the flexibility associated with sales and the fact that you, as a sales professional are creating and securing employment for others, make choosing a career in sales a very attractive option that you should consider.