How to Start in Sales With No Experience (2021)

Start In Sales

If you are starting or considering a career in sales, I know it can be really difficult to even know where to begin. The ability to sell is one of the most important high-income skill to learn.

But how do you start?

Do you need any prior experience?

What does an entry-level role look like?

And if you have your own business, how can you get started selling your own products and services?

In this guide, I’m going to break down sales and share with you how I was able to start my sales career with zero experience, become a sales rep, and eventually started my own business, selling my own products and services.

And my goal for you is to really give you a high-level overview of exactly how sales work, especially if you’re just getting started.

And you want to make sure you read this until the end because if you don’t, you’re going to waste weeks, months, or even years of your life trying to figure this out on your own.

Do You Need Any Prior Experience To Start In Sales?

The short answer is no, you do not need any experience to get started in sales at all. And this applies to whether you’re looking for a sales job, or if you are an entrepreneur, you’re starting your own business.

Do you need any prior selling experience to do these things?

No, you don’t. You can literally get started, no matter what your background is.

Think about this, when most people go to, let’s say a business school right to learn the business. Usually, they don’t take a class called Sales 101.

They might take:

  • Operations
  • Finance
  • Accounting
  • Marketing,

But rarely, rarely do they actually take a course in sales.

So if business people are able to become sales reps without having to take any courses on sales, then you don’t either.

And people who are English majors, philosophy majors, even biology majors who went to college for that might end up sales reps too and what they learned in school has nothing to do with what they’re actually doing in the real world.

And you have to think about this for sales, there’s a ton of entry-level jobs out there.

And when I say entry level that means you don’t need any prior experience, because it’s literally the first job you get in sales.

So companies all over the world recognize that, yes, if you want to fill this role, you can always hire salespeople, because you’re doing an entry-level job.

So you don’t need any experience to get started.

The Most Important Thing in Sales

The most important thing if you’re starting in sales, and you have no experience is not really what your prior experiences, but more about your attitude.

It’s the ability to sell your skills.

And when you go in for the interview, and they meet you, do they feel like you have the right attitude to learn how to sell on the job, and do whatever it takes to become successful.

Because your attitude determines your ability to sell and your ability to learn, will determine if you can actually learn on the job.

And also are you confident in yourself and are you confident selling another person’s product or services?

Because if you’re not confident in doing these things, you’re probably not going to succeed in sales.

But if you are you got the right attitude, and you’re willing to learn, that is what people look for when it comes to hiring for entry-level sales roles.

Think About Your Passions

So when it comes to you and the jobs you want to go for, think about what, actually you’re passionate about selling?

What industries do you really cared about and you want to work in there, whether it’s tech, real estate, finance, clothing.

And when you go into the interview, show your passion, show your confidence, show that your ability, show that you have the right attitude to do whatever it takes to succeed and learn on the job.

And I’m pretty confident you’ll get the job if you’re able to do that, demonstrate it, and communicate it.

Entry Level Sales Roles

Now, the next part of this is let’s go ahead and give you an understanding of these entry-level sales roles.

So what exactly are you going to be doing on a day to day basis?

When it comes to sales, in the beginning, if you’re doing entry-level, let’s say you’re working at a company like Oracle or Salesforce, or even if you’re working at a startup that has a good amount of funding.

A lot of times you start out as an SDR, sales development representative, also known as a business development representative, where your entire job is to generate appointments for account executives.

sales job title hierarchy

An account executive is just somebody that gets on the phone and closes the deal.

So in the beginning, they don’t really take a big risk on you. They don’t know your capability yet. They just want to see what you got.

So what you’re going to do it all day, every day, you’re going to go on LinkedIn, you’re going to go on your computer and send cold emails and LinkedIn messages to potential customers and generate meetings.

And you’re just saying like “Hey, you have a problem, I can solve the problem. You want to take a meeting?”

If they say yes, then you schedule that appointment for the account executive, and you get paid, usually on salary.

And then for every meeting, you set, you get some type of commission, or they might say, for every deal that closes, you get a commission from that deal.

Sales Commission Structure

For a lot of sales roles out there, you get a commission, and you get a salary.

And there are other roles where you’re starting out as an SDR and maybe you’re only based on commission.

Typically, if you’re working at a large company like:

  • Oracle
  • Microsoft
  • Salesforce

They will usually always do salary and commission. But if you’re working for a smaller company that can’t afford to pay salaries, and they could only afford to pay you if you get results, then it’s going to be commission only.

So from my experience, usually the better jobs pay commission and salary. Other opportunities may not do that, because they can’t really afford it, or they can’t take the risk.

But both can be good depending on what you’re looking for. And so that’s how that works.

Sales Account Executive

Sometimes, if the company is new, or their sales organization is new, you will actually become an account executive right off the bat instead of an SDR.

You might have to go on the phone, close deals get clients, but at the same time, you might have to generate your own leads.

So you got to send the emails, get the meeting, and close the client, which is a lot more work. So for a smaller sales team, that’s usually how it works. You got to generate leads and close deals.

When I started at Oracle, I was in kind of a special program where I started as an account executive. So, I was in a role where typically someone with three to five years’ experience enters that role.

So depending on the company you’re working for, that’s how it rolls. You might be SDR or you might be an accountant or off the bat really just depends.

Alright, so now we covered what sales is like if you work for another company.

But what is it like if you are an entrepreneur, or Freelancer, or contractor and you’re selling your own products and services?

Let’s find out.

Sales For Entrepreneurs

If you’re selling your products and services, probably you don’t have any prior sales experience. So you have to just get started from ground zero.

And don’t be afraid of this. Don’t be like, “Oh, I don’t have sales experience, I can’t do it,”

You can do it, anybody can learn it on the job. If people can’t learn sales, they don’t have a business.

And there are many reasons why entrepreneurs should start in sales.

So this is something you definitely can learn, even if you’re not that great with people.

And if you think about it, if you are selling consulting, freelancing, or contract works or any type of service business, for example, if you don’t have any clients you’re not really doing any work for anybody.

So you should actually just be doing sales all day, every day until you have enough clients, where you’re doing creative work, or whatever it is, and you’re generating sales.

So for service type of businesses, I would probably spend half of it is just selling.

Importance of Sales For Entrepreneurs

And that’s a trap most entrepreneurs fall into. They think they’re working on their business and putting together a business website and they spend months and months doing this stuff doesn’t really move the needle.

Actually, they should just hardcore focus on sales, in the beginning, get clients, and then do all the other stuff.

Because if you can’t generate sales, you got nothing.

Sales Process For Business

If you are self-employed, you got your own business, whatever here’s what you want to do to get started with quickly.

#1. Create an Offer

What is it that you’re offering to your customer?

#2. Find Your Ideal Customer

Who is your ideal customer? Who exactly are you going to bring this offer to? And why would they even want to buy it

#3. Reach Out To Your Customers

Once you got that down, reach out to them, send them a LinkedIn message, you could cold call them or send them a cold email, whatever works best in your industry, find a way to generate an appointment.

#4. Get The Appointment

When you’re actually on the phone or in person, meet with them, talk with them, understand the problems and sell your products and services.

#5. Close The Deal

After you go through all that process. If they are a good fit, close the deal.

So that’s a simple breakdown of how it works.

But essentially, if you’re starting out selling products and services, that’s a process you just got to do over and over and over until you get the clients rolling and you start generating more revenue.

There’s no escape from that if you’re doing any type of high-end ticket services, selling things are thousands of dollars.

Because they’re paying for your time, then that’s what you have to do, you cannot avoid it.

Conclusion

That’s pretty much how you get started in sales, whether you want to get a sales job, or if you want to get started in sales as an entrepreneur.

And if you want to learn more about starting your own business, whether it’s coaching, consulting, freelancing, make sure you check out my other articles on exactly how to do that.

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