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10 tips on how to get into sales with no experience

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Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

A common misconception is that you need to have previous sales experience to land a sales job. But that's not always the case.

With the right approach and strategies, it’s possible to launch a sales career regardless of your background. Follow these 10 tips on how to get into sales with no experience and start your path to success.

How to get into sales with no experience

1. Understand your motivation.

One of my top tips for getting into sales is to think about why you want to pursue this career. Hiring managers often ask this in interviews to know what drives you.

Reflect on your motivations and the top benefits of a sales career. Ask yourself:

  • Am I money-motivated?
  • Am I competitive?

  • Do I enjoy building long-term relationships?

  • Do I like working with customers?

  • Do I enjoy bringing value to others through the services I can provide?

2. Expand your sales knowledge.

Even if you haven’t worked in sales, you should know the basics of industry trends and sales terms. Taking the initiative to do some independent study shows you are willing to go above and beyond to learn something new.

You can grow your sales knowledge by:

3. Tailor your career development.

If you currently work outside of sales, find ways to get sales experience through your current tasks.

For example, you can sell an idea to your leader. This would give you some experience in following a sales process.

You can:

  • Brainstorm an idea to sell, such as improving a process at work.
  • Consider the steps to convince your leader to use your idea.

  • Present your thought process to your leader.

4. Connect with hiring managers.

Most sales don’t fall into your lap; you have to go out there and get them. The same goes for sales jobs without experience.

My advice is to apply for a role, then find and connect with any recruiter from that company on LinkedIn. Let them know you’ve applied for the job. They’ll likely be able to tell you who you need to talk to or will pass your message along.

5. Do your research.

Informed candidates leave lasting impressions. As you start to land job interviews, take the time to research the companies you’ll be interviewing with.

Check out each company’s website and social media channels to learn about their:

  • Mission.
  • Values.

  • Culture.

  • Benefits package.

  • Community involvement.

And don’t forget to reread the job description of the role you applied for!

6. Leverage your background.

Experience counts, even if it’s not from an actual sales job. Make connections between your current/former job duties and what you’d be doing in a sales position. Highlight those connections on your resume and in interviews.

For example:

  • If you were a server and sold the most appetizers last summer, put that on your resume.
  • If you worked in retail and helped customers by suggesting products, include that too.

  • If you are a recent college graduate, highlight how you hit project deadlines and collaborated with peers.

Don’t be afraid to get creative in drawing connections!

7. Sell your personal brand.

Approach your interview as a sales pitch; you are the solution to the company’s needs.

Explain how your skills and experiences match what they’re looking for. Prove that even though they may need to spend some time training you, you'll be well worth the investment.

8. Be eager and sincere.

Employers can train for skills, but not for attitude. During your interview, show your drive for success and willingness to learn.

Talk about times when you went the extra mile to learn a new skill or faced a challenge with a positive outlook.

9. Ask questions during your interview.

Sales reps need to ask the right questions to help customers and close sales. You want to show recruiters you have this skill.

Create a list of questions to ask the hiring team during your interview. Be prepared to ask extra questions that aren’t on your list based on your conversation.

Active listening and thinking on your feet are also important sales skills, so make sure to display you have them during the interview.

10. Follow up after your interview.

In a sales role, it is important to follow up with your customers and on leads. Following up with the hiring leader after an interview shows you know how important it is to maintain communication.

After your interview, send your interviewers a handwritten note or a thoughtful email. This leaves the interviewers with a good last impression of you before they make a hiring decision.

Write a stand-out sales resume.

Make your resume stand out to potential employers. Follow our step-by-step guide to learn how to write a sales resume and see an entry-level example for reference.

About the author
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Kylie started her corporate recruiting career at Schneider in 2021. In this role, she's responsible for bringing in successful inside sellers and freight brokers to the Green Bay STM location. Kylie transitioned to recruiting after several years of working in sales in the home interiors industry. She enjoys thrifting, DIY projects and spending time on the lake with her husband and English bulldog mix.

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