Thursday, 20 January 2011

Think you’ve got a flair for sales? opportunities for graduates – and where can a job in sales take you

In a live Q&A on 9 December 2010 I had the pleasure in joining the panel for a live Q & A with the subject“A guide to your first job in graduate sales for the on line site Guardian Careers”

( Scroll down for the questions they asked)

The invitation to readers read

”Whether you prefer dissecting - or mocking - the efforts of 'Britain's brightest business prospects' on The Apprentice, it is clear from watching the show that to be worthy of landing the chance to work with Lord Sugar a flair for sales is essential.

After all, whether you are a fan of the series or not, you don't have to look far to see how important sales experience is to getting ahead in business.

Miles Brignall, writing for Guardian Money, said a close look at the profiles of managing directors which routinely feature in the broadsheets will often reveal sales experience on their CV - quite often at the start of their career.

In fact, he said sales experience is almost a prerequisite if you want to be a corporate leader.

It's not surprising then that working in sales is perceived as a strong graduate career choice - and working in this area even acts as a springboard to bigger and better things. According to Brignall, a stint in sales can allow graduates to get their foot in the door of a large organization, which can open up a raft of career possibilities.

So, if you'd like to know more about what is involved and how you can land your first sales role, we've decided to run a live Q & A examining what it takes to break into graduate sales “
Here are some of the questions from undergraduates and graduates :-

1. I'm not 100% sure whether I want to do Sales in the long run, or even if I will be a good Salesperson. Should I commit to a 2 year Sales training scheme if this is the case?

2. I have noticed a lot of CEOs have sales experience. My question is, would you say that if a graduate who doesn't particularly excel at sales is doomed to have a mediocre career?

3. I don't class myself as having an innate ability to sell, but surely given the right training I would be able to do it?

4. Additionally, would it help the many unemployed graduates if companies (sales sector included) acknowledged that training is the answer, rather than placing very high standards on their many competitive graduate schemes?

5. We've touched a bit of the different types of personalities that are attracted to a career in sales. I was wondering if the panel could explain how a graduate can discover if they have what it takes to get ahead in sales?

6. My question is how is best to develop my career through sales & what progression should I am for.

7. Why pick a graduate over another 21 year old with 3 more years’ experience in the world of work?
8. Any market trader can sell. Why do people need to put themselves £30k into the red to get a job with no security?

Respones can be found on
Click for responses

Click for info on Winning Edge Magazine & Institute of Sales & Marketing Management Membership Information

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