That reality is dawning on Baby Boomers. You might have even been surfing the help wanted for full time, part time and contract work in selling. But, you don't know how to take the first steps.
This new series on Over-50 takes you by the hand and leads you through the process of transitioning to selling for all or part of how you make your living.
Sales is hands-on. Therefore, if you have a track record, even a very short and recent one, you can be hired by a brandname organization. Education is essentially irrelevant. There are top producers selling Nissan vehicles who didn't attend college.
So, how do you get a track record? Go to the help wanted and study the ads under "sales," "marketing," and "customer service." If you want to start slowly, you can apply for a part-time telemarketing job per se or a full-time one in a call center where selling is only about a fourth of the job. EGS here is Tucson, Arizona, for example, is hiring for customer service representatives for Home Depot online orders. In servicing the calls coming in, you might be suggesting added items for the overall project. But that's a small component of your responsibilities.
If you want to take the big leap, you can present yourself at the car dealership which requires no sales experience and no knowledge of cars. But be prepared to put in about 80 hours a week. If you last, you could make six figures.
To get a background in selling fundamentals, there are a growing number of books in the public library and free articles online. Set aside time each day to study that material, think about it and role play with those whose business judgment you trust.
Another way to learn the nuts and bolts of how to sell is to enroll in one of the Dale Carnegie seminars in marketing and sales. To upgrade my skills, I invested in an intensive program in 2002. The instructor, Michael Francoeur, remains my executive coach - and friend.
Stay tuned for Part 2 on your new career path in sales.