Why You Should Choose a Career in Sales

Salesman talking to a couple about a product

Andrew Olney / Getty Images

Author and motivational speaker Brian Tracy described sales as the "ultimate default career." By that, he meant that many people get into sales because they can't find any other job that pays them what they need. Yet, while some of the top sales professionals in the world will admit they had no intention of getting into or staying in the sales industries, most wouldn't change their decision to stay. There are several reasons why you should choose a career in sales instead of being a salesperson until something else opens up.

Earning Potential of a Sales Career

There are very few careers that offer the income potential that sales careers offer. While not all sales careers offer unlimited income potential, many do. In sales, your income is based on your performance. Yes, there will be quotas and activity expectations, but there will also be rewards. Rewards include commission checks, quarterly and annual bonuses, trips, prizes, and a slew of other incentives.

Those who hire sales professionals hire them to increase their revenues. Without sales, their doors will soon be closed, so employers are willing to do what it takes to get their sales teams motivated—that motivation usually comes in the form of income.

The Flexibility of a Career in Sales

Many outside sales positions come with the benefit of a flexible schedule. While the amount of flexibility ranges from job to job, most allow sales professionals to set their daily schedules, as long as specified activity and training levels are met. For sales professionals who don't abuse this freedom and who use their work hours for business-generating purposes, the resulting rewards are tremendous. When coupled with the ability to take a mental break during the day or to run a quick personal errand, sales careers and the associated flexibility become highly desirable positions.

If you were to offer a successful salesperson a full-time desk job, you'd probably have your offer rejected. Why? Once you've enjoyed the freedom of setting your daily schedule, it is very difficult to do any job that has the time and location expectations that most office or desk jobs demand.

Job Security

The more valuable you make yourself to your employer, the less likely you are to be fired, replaced, or laid off. However, if the economy turns, the industry you work in takes a hit, or if the owners of the company decide to sell the business or simply retire, your value decreases significantly.

The same can be said about sales professionals. The difference is that successful salespeople are usually the last to be cut from dying businesses because cutting sales means cutting revenue, which is not a good plan for a business trying to remain viable.

The other way sales create job security is through demand for experienced and prove salespeople. Every business that sells a product or service needs effective salespeople to drive their revenues. If you are good in sales, you have tremendous market value.

Competition in Sales

People like to win and to feel as if their work makes a difference. There is nothing like the feeling of closing a big deal that puts a substantial bonus in your wallet and also helps secure the jobs of support and administrative staff. Knowing that your efforts beat out your competition and helped your customer solve a business issue can be more rewarding than the income earned.

While the emotional rewards range drastically from sales job to sales job, and not all sales positions are rewarding at all, the thrill of your victories, the income rewards, the flexibility associated with sales, and the fact that you are creating and securing employment for others, makes choosing a career in sales a very attractive option worth considering.