Tips to Advance Throughout a Sales Career


When considering how to advance their career in sales, people sometimes overlook one simple and obvious thing they can do and that is to be likable. While that doesn’t mean that a sales representative needs to maintain close friendships with everyone in the organization, he or she should at least strive to treat every person with respect. That means no playing favorites and no varying professional treatment depending on the other person’s job title.

Always Remain Professional in Meetings

Meetings are such a common occurrence in a salesperson’s career that it’s easy for them to forget to be on their best behavior. They may interrupt others, attack people instead of disagreeing with ideas, or explode in a rage after other pressures of the day built up to a boiling point. None of these actions are acceptable in a professional setting. 

A sales professional with an otherwise excellent record may end up demoted or even fired due to creating a hostile working environment with peers. Needless to say, that is no way to advance a career.

Arrange as Many In-Person Meetings with Potential Employers as Possible

Sending out resumes and initiating online conversations via email can only go so far. The people who have the most success getting their foot in the door in a sales career take the time to set up face-to-face meetings with those who have influence over the hiring decision. 

Attending career fairs is a great way to meet sales managers in person and then follow that up with a longer one-on-one meeting. Speaking to hiring personnel the old-fashioned way helps to build rapport and trust much faster than a relationship that takes place strictly online.

Work with a Mentor

Forming a friendly partnership with a sales professional with several more years of experience or even a retired person is an excellent way for entry-level sales personnel to advance their careers. They can learn from their mentor what does and doesn’t work to help reach their goals. 

For example, voluntarily taking extra courses and asking for as much in-house training as possible are two solid pieces of advice that a potential mentor might give. The mentor can also help the newer salesperson learn from his or her mistakes or consequences the mentor saw others suffer over the course of a long career.

Always Have an Up-to-Date Resume on Hand

Creating a professional sales resume, updating it often, and carrying several copies in a folder or briefcase at all times is essential for salespeople who want to get ahead. After providing basic contact information, the resume should launch right into an objective statement or personal pitch. 

It should be short and highlight the benefit to the employer of hiring the salesperson, not just what the salesperson is looking for in his or her next job. Additionally, a sales resume should touch on several essential sales skills such as product knowledge, sales closing, prospecting, and customer relationship development.

Those who feel they don’t possess the skills to make the resume as on-point and persuasive as possible can consider hiring a professional resume service to prepare one for them. It’s that important to make a stellar first impression.