Blog Archive

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


Return on Investment

Return on investment, or ROI, as it is commonly knownis a terribly important concept in business. It is simply a ratio that expresses how much one has to spend to make a certain amount of money. Deciding upon one's career is clearly an important  - in many ways, life-determining - business and personal decision. Read further and you will discover that a career in professional sales has a spectacular ROI, compared to almost any other. 

Educational Requirements

I am really big on learning. I loved school and I chase knowledge at every turn. However, formal higher education requirements for many sales jobs - especially, retail sales jobs -  is either very light or nonexistent. Well, nonexistent beyond a reasonable functionality, that is. Companies that are looking to fill B2B (business-to-business) sales positions often list a college degree as a requirement, but even then experience, a successful track-record, and a good job of selling oneself in the interview can frequently win the day.

When you consider the upside of potential high-income (which is theoretically limitless) in a sales position with that of other professions (medicine and law often come up in this comparison), in view of educational considerations, the return on investment is nothing short of mind-boggling.

Obviously, medicine and law require significant amounts of schooling - and even more impressive amounts of student debt, usually. For example, it takes an average of about eleven years of college, medical school, and internship to become a medical doctor. The median student debt for medical school alone is over $160,000, in the U.S. Law students have a similar situation. Medical professionals have a much nobler intention than just making money, no doubt, and we owe them a huge debt of gratitude. It is still, however, a mighty expensive way to get a good job.


It is quite common for employers with retail sales positions to fill to advertise "No experience necessary." In fact, some employers prefer no sales experience, whatsoever! In the case of the "no experience necessary" crowd, they are just trying to deal with the difficulty of  getting people to take commission sales jobs. The employers that want applicants with no previous experience are trying to mold new recruits into their ideal of a good salesperson.

Most people want no part of sales for a variety of reasons. Most don't think they have the personality for it. Almost all are terrified of the prospect of working on a commission basis. Those two reasons for not going into sales are exactly the same reasons it pays so much - to the selling professional. People that give it a shot, and give it everything they have, are quite rare. Those that become pros are very well rewarded for their efforts.


Most selling professionals work for someone else. That someone else is paying the great bulk of your overhead. And, in many ways, the sales pro is a business unto himself. There is great freedom in being a salesperson and it comes from the fact that selling effectively is a very individualized thing. It is art and science and both require copious amounts of talent. Good sales managers are fully aware of this and are generally happy to let good salespeople do what they do best, with a minimum of interference.


There are obviously more glamorous and status-filled jobs. However, salespeople, remember this: Our economy would collapse instantly without you. Salespeople end up on the wrong end of many jokes, no doubt. Don't take it personally. It has taken an awful lot of really bad salespeople to accomplish that. Sales professionals do more than their share to keep money moving. Without that, we all have nothing. Do your best, invest in yourself by learning integrity and relationship-based selling techniques, count your money, and sleep well at night. Those things are tough to beat in a job.

If you are serious about honing your selling skills to a fine edge, please join this site, won't you? You will never miss another Connell On Selling post, again! Join through Google+ by clicking "Join This Site," in the right margin. It is free and I would love to have you.

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by Kevin Connell