Outside Sales Part II

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Why I chose to write about landing a job in outside sales for construction is because it's a real sales job. The last thing you want to do in sales is to be involved in legal pyramid sales where you are basically selling to friends or family. Outside sales is a real sales job with real potential.

As a matter of fact, if you work for a general contractor, he or she is basically in outside sales too which is why he or she asks about posting the company's name and number on work after it has been done.  For example, if you have fencing done on your home, the company will normally request permission to place a sign in your yard or on the fence, identifying the company that installed it.  This is free advertising for the company.  Sales professionals hand out business cards by the dozens and ask the company's best customers if he or she can use them as references.

So how do you land a job as an outside salesperson? For one thing you have to look the part in sales. If you have bad teeth, bad grooming and a bad personality, sales will not work for you. Sales is about selling you. So look in the mirror and ask yourself if you were dressed in a nice shirt or blouse, nice slacks and wearing decent causal shoes, would you buy from you.

If you pass this test, you need to know the book part of the job. Being in construction is a great first step because you can relate and help contractors with their needs. But can you use an Anderson book? If not, you need to get a job where the books are used. This may mean working at a Lowe's or Home Depot. As a wrote earlier, 84 Lumber is best because they have outside salespeople, and you can always start as a manager-trainee, and switch over later (or jump ship if you learn enough).

But assuming you can't get a job at 84, at a Lowe's or Home Depot it doesn't matter if you're hired in a different department than the windows and doors department. Stores like this love cross training people. You can ask if you can come in on your days off or during parts of your lunch break to learn.

Tell the person in charge of the windows and doors department that you want to make something of your life and tell him or her or your dreams. You’d be surprised how many people who become bosses will relate.

Now I know what I am asking you to do in this is a lot of work. So's going to school and holding a full time job, yet people do it. There is no easy path to success for mortals, and anyone who writes about how to get a job and make easy money is not being truthful.

Another alternative way to get into outside sales is to take construction science at school. A degree in this makes you qualified to go right into the outside sales field. I recommend that college students find jobs in school where they can try selling, like newspaper advertising sales. You'd live off student loans if you can't sell and the advertising selling experience gives you a window that's useful when applying for a job in outside sales. You need a car though and don't bankrupt yourself if you can't sell.

Also, most selling jobs where you pay for the product out of your pocket and then sell it are not legit. I don't want to say all because people do start up businesses out of their garages. The real ones where you pay first and then sell are like bears in a big city, though. You don't see it often.

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Jeffrey Ruzicka
Jeffrey Ruzicka is a retired executive of a small company that specializes in industrial water treatment. He lives happily with his wife in Western Pennsylvania and is a contributing writer toFinancialJobBank,FinancialJobBankBlog,ConstructionJobForce, ConstructionJobForceBlogand Nexxt.


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