December 22, 2021

How to Get a Sales Job With No Sales Experience - Ep.24

How to Get a Sales Job with No Sales Experience Using Your Current Work Experience

Here's What You Should Do

Working on sales is one of the best things you can do and if you’re thinking of getting into sales when you have no sales experience, listen to this episode!
Note: Due to our temporary setup, we had technical difficulties with the recording of the audio in the first 11 minutes. Please bear with us and thank you so much for listening!
Welcome to Degree Free, where we explain what you can do instead of going to college, and how to teach yourself, get work, and make good money.
In this episode, we talk about:
  • How to get a sales job by using your current or previous work experience.
  • The difference between B2B(Business to Business) and B2C(Business to Consumer).
  • Where to start looking for a sales job if you don’t know where to start.

Enjoy the episode!

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Check out our previous episode where we talk about why you should apply during the holidays!

Links and Notes from the Episode

Episode Transcript
Please enjoy this transcript or our episode!

Please note the transcript may have a few errors. We're human. It can be hard to catch all the errors from a full length conversation. Enjoy!

Ryan: Aloha the guys and welcome back to degree free. We are your hosts, Ryan, and Hannah Maruyama on this podcast, we shared fundamentals we've discovered, the mistakes we've made while self-educating, getting work, building businesses and making money. We'll tell you how to make it happen. No degree needed.

Hannah: Welcome back. Welcome back everybody. We are happy to have you. This week, if you are returning, we are very happy to have you back. Listen to us again. If you are new then we have a really good guide that will teach you how to find a job without a college degree, which is going to be what we're talking about here.

I hope you've talked about previously, so they're looking for further direction and how to make that happen. Check with the website it's

Ryan: Before we get started today. I just wanted to make a quick note for a long time listeners, you guys will notice that something is a little different.

Our audio, if you're listening is a little different and if you're watching, you can definitely tell that our video is 100% different. Yeah. So we are on the backup gear and we are currently transitioning our life. We're moving. And so we had to break down their studio, but we wanted to make sure that we didn't miss a single episode in a single week.

So we broke down the studio, but then we are now in our living room and we had to move a whole bunch of stuff around, but we made it happen, and here we are. So it will do for the next few weeks. Sorry for the poor audio quality and hopefully the video is up to your standards

if it's not up to your standards or, sorry, we're sorry, but we're not.

Anyway. But yeah, so here we are and let's get into it. So today we are talking about one of the questions that we've gotten the most heavier, gotten a couple of questions, a couple of different questions. So I think that we're going to make a couple of different episodes. It might be one of two or one of the three in a series.

We've done about sales jobs and about how when we got sales jobs, Hannah and myself how it changed our life and it changed the trajectory of our life. Learning the sales process, learning that we could make an argument to somebody of why they should spend their money with us, whether or not that was our selling a product or whether or not that was in our own businesses.

It was life-changing. And so we are getting a lot of questions about how, to get a sales job with no sales experience.

Hannah: And this is something that if you listen to this podcast that Ryan and I do tend to harp on the sales, on sales aspect of work, because it really does impact everything that you do.

And it can shoot you ahead. It can make it easier for you to change jobs and also make it much easier for you to find work in general because it's just such a universally needed skill.

Ryan: Yeah, definitely. Sales makes the world go round and I guess a quick note of who this episode is for, because today we're going to be talking about how to get sales job if you have no sales experience. But you do have a little bit of work experience. A lot of them are on internship, a lot of the people that will be getting questions are like nurses and teachers or tradesmen trades people. And there are, not sick of, but they're tired of their current career and they want to transition into maybe something maybe not as labor-intensive or right, I'm not sure, whatever their reasons are. But they want to move into a sales role and we're talking to the people that have a little bit of experience and who could possibly leverage that experience in that specific niche into a sales role in that same niche.

Hannah: Yeah.

There's quite a lot of people that I think they have the ability to do this. And some of them, the people who are asking these questions realize that they're willing to do it, they just don't know where to start, and also because of the way that our school strategic jobs, they don't teach people how to look dynamically at job opportunities and the way that jobs move in different industries. So people don't even know what they can do, and that's what we realized that sort of getting into this. There's a lot of people that we're speaking to with this. So in this one, we're going to talk to people that they have experience and they want to move into a different, job specifically in sales.

The only type of Salesforce I'm familiar with is movies where a guy was a suit and he goes around and he closed the deals and shakes hands and signs, papers, in board rooms. And that's really an accurate picture of what sales looks like nowadays.

Ryan: Yeah, definitely.

And I think I think there's also another cohort of people that have been asking questions and that's going to be usually the people that have no work experience at all, but they want to get into sales. We try to, in our pre-planning for this episode, we tried to see if there was a way that we can make it one episode, but it was a little bit too difficult so we're going to split, we're going to split that up and we're going to make this one, and then we're going to talk to that cohort of people later. I think there's going to be value either way in both episodes, but the way that you're going to go about it is a lot differently. So without any more preamble, let's get into it.

So we owe it to our listenership to go over a very brief overview of sales in general. So very generally there's two different types of sales. There's B2C or there's B2B,

Hannah: and those are going to be business to business and business to consumer.

Ryan: Exactly. And so business to consumer is going to be anything that you've bought recently.

Hannah: Some things you buy from Amazon. So your paper towels from Walmart those are business to consumer. They're selling something to somebody who use the thing.

Ryan: If we want to talk about jobs that have sales people in business to consumer, think about car salesman. Think about vacuum sales.

Hannah: Yeah. Door to door sales. Girl Scouts when they're selling cookies they're selling business to consumer, right? That's a good example. I think that's pretty clear that most people are familiar with buying awkward and Boy Scouts or peaceful Girl Scouts.

Ryan: In person can be like something like vacation what do they call like?

Hannah: Travel agents.

Ryan: Yeah. Travel agents. That's an example of a service, business to consumer.

Hannah: Because you can sell anything this consumer, it doesn't assume if we had product.

Ryan: And then the other one is going to be business to business.

Hannah: So that's a company that sells windows to companies that build skyscrapers.


Ryan: Exactly. Or if you're, if you've been to the doctor's office recently, the software that the receptionist uses to check you in the software that the nurses and the doctor used to catalog, take notes of your visit to make sure that everything's all in one place.

That's, an example of business to business. Somebody sold them that from one business. And then quickly, so those are the two different types and then. There's also inside sales and outside sales.

Hannah: So I have a good example for this one, actually it's the McDonald's app. So if you have the Mcdonald's app, that means that you bought something from McDonald's and then if you were buying inside the app, that's technically inside sales because you're currently a customer of McDonald's and they're just continuing to sell you things, but that you've already bought from them. Whereas someone who's never bought anything from McDonald's is not a customer at McDonald's. So when they're trying to sell them something, so when they're trying to sell them a Coke slushy or whatever that is outside sales, those people are not current customers, so they're not inside of their ecosystem.

Ryan: Yeah. That's an interesting one. I never would've thought about that myself, but so when I think of inside sales versus outside sales, I think of timeshare. I think that's like the first example that pops in my head. And if anybody that's ever stayed in a timeshare will know when you get there, like the next morning or that day, there's going to be somebody that calls you up on the phone.

And Johnny's going to want you to come down to the lobby to get your welcome packet. And Johnny is going to tell you that he's got discounts to restaurants and attractions around the local area. And it's his job to get you into a presentation because you already own, or you're with an owner, they're going to get you a deal presentation with the hopes of you buying more.

That is inside sales, because you're already a customer, and they're trying to get you to re up your package or buy a bigger package. Outside sales in that same industry is going to be those people that stand out in the street or the people that are just stand or sit at the concierge desk and they, when you ask, can I get more towels or hey, can I go on a helicopter ride or they're they're gonna be like, yeah, absolutely.

I can get you that for free. If you go to a two hour presentation and that presentation, they're going to try to sell you a timeshare. And that is outside sales, two different examples, but that, that just quickly gives us a differentiation between inside and outside sales business to consumer business, to business.

Hannah: It's getting to know the context.

Ryan: Yeah, definitely. Especially if we're gonna be applying to these jobs this is super basic stuff, but it's good for a lot of the people that are asking us questions because it seems that, where we need to give everybody the base of where to have where to at least start conceptualizing how they think about their future roles as a salesperson.

Hannah: When you apply for an outside sales role. If you're not prepared to go through doing that because prospecting and getting people from the outside is it's difficult.

Ryan: Yeah.inside sales is kinda difficult too.

Hannah: It's just different kind of difficult.

Ryan: Yeah. Different, difficult, they're both difficult.

They're both easy. It just depends on how you look at it. The last thing that I wanted to say too, is on this is that a lot of people when we were talking about sales, a lot of people have that picture of in-person. So what we're doing right now, where we have to talk to somebody in person and think like cars, think like Macy's salespeople when they try to sell you vacuums or delicates, I dunno, whatever they're

Hannah: Delicates. I think like more, makeup would be a good example.

Ryan: Jewelry. There you go.

Hannah: Yeah. It's like a man. Who's never bought a bra at Macy's.

Ryan: It's funny. It's funny. I was thinking about Sears, I think about Sears. So I thought about Sears first, but I was like, I don't even think they're around anymore.

They're not

Yeah. That would just put a, showed my age.

Hannah: That was funny.

Ryan: But I was like, oh, Macy's is still around. But then Macy's, doesn't sell appliances.

Hannah: They do not.

Ryan: I know. And so I got, I got lost there.

Hannah: What do they sell anyway? Thanksgiving day parades.

Ryan: Exactly.

Hannah: Yeah. Miracle on 34th street. That's what they sell.

Ryan: So a lot of people think that's going to be in person, but with technology nowadays it's going to be all shapes and sizes. A lot of sales, happen over the phone. A lot of sales even happen through text message and chat nowadays, especially with COVID happening. People are going more and more digital and as long as it makes sense for the company, saves them money, and it also doesn't hurt sales. Why wouldn't they?

Hannah: And I think that's people are going to realize too, there are a lot more opportunities for sales jobs now than ever. It is just unreal cause people need sell things and there's more, there's more things that are more easily saleable over the internet. And that is just making for this explosion of online sales jobs that are available.

Ryan: Yeah, definitely. And so I guess to get into, so that's just an overview of just sales in general. And just to get into, if you are in industry, and you want to break into sales and you want to do it in an adjacent or the same industry.

How do we go about doing that?

Hannah: So I would say that the easiest way to do that would be to look around at the things that you touch on a daily basis, and then think about where they come from. So a nurse is a great example because there's a lot of really easily available options for sales, right?

So obviously you distribute drugs. So there's pharmaceutical rep right there, right at the very top on another level would be the equipment that you use because you're familiar with it, and medical sales of medical equipment is a very good, it's a very good job, often pays extremely well.

And for a lot of people it's going to be mostly, it's going to be mostly phone calls. You're not going to be in places very often. And another thing is that what people don't realize is that, as a job, knowing how those machines work, how they're used, why they're used, how frequently they break is really going to give you an insight into the sales process.

And that is actually a huge tool that you can use to leverage your way into that. Another example would be if there's somebody that brings supplies even that sells your gauze, there's a distributor that does that, and you can look into that and see if there's roles available there that you can apply. You have a unique view of what gets to use, how it gets use, where it gets used what department uses it the most. So your insights into the way that materials are used would even give you a foot in the door at a company that sells materials that are used by hospitals too. Another example, probably last one would be the software that you use to keep track of your patients or log notes that your hospital uses. There's somebody sold the hospital that software, and that is, that's a decent contract right there. That's money. And somebody sold it to them. And if you understand, again, what's used why it's used, how it's used. That's a unique view that you have as a sales person.

That means that you can, if you can understand it, you can communicate it to somebody else and sell them a product.

Ryan: Yeah, definitely. So I think. Those are definitely great examples. And I think the basis of it for those that are not in the nursing profession is going to be basically the best way to identify the jobs or at least possible sales jobs is going to be looking at the different companies that make the things that are around you. So for nurses, you gave pretty solid examples there for teachers, it's going to be the things that you use to grade papers. It's going to be textbooks. It's going to be. The white boards that you use or it, if you're not working, if you're not using like expo pens, you're using a specialty type of pattern or something like that, or a specific projector company, something smart projectors, smart whiteboards, things like that, kind of companies and brands are all over the place in any industry. And as you said, as somebody as a professional already in that industry who is already using their products, you have a unique perspective of the pros and the cons and you in your role, you're already, you already have that perspective that you can tell other people, prospective clients and prospective customers.

So for example, like just another example as well, thinking about like people in trades, if you're a plumber and you want, do you want to get out of doing actual plumbing work? There's a million ways that you can go to leverage the things that you already know about the industry.

You can go if you're a plumber that doesn't sell jobs. You are just the plumber and somebody else sells it and you go, and you do it. You could transition to the person that sells the jobs. That's, super easy, not easy, but it doesn't take a stretch of the imagination for us to identify that is a sales role that is around you in your niche, that you probably given the right training you could probably do it pretty well. Also there's power tools that you could, that you can be power and hand tools that you could look into these companies and different competitors of those companies. So just because you use sort of power pills to say, just because you used the wall, doesn't mean you can't look at whether or not Makita is hiring.

And it's just things. Of that nature, that if you look deep and look at everything around you, you can find something, and I think that is one of the biggest issues, which is why we're talking about it. That people that have never worked in sales. I had to have a hard time with, they don't know where to start to even look for these jobs.

Hannah: I think that's a really accurate take. Yeah. They're just, they don't even know where to look.

Ryan: Yeah. Where do I, go to find sales jobs, even in this industry?

Hannah: 'Cause I think a lot of people go if they're a teacher I can't sell teachers, you can't sell there's no sales involved.

Yes, there is. So much, and they don't even realize they don't even realize it, and in the case of nurses, actually, that would be a good one too. Like you can't sell nurses. Yes. You can. You could work for a travel agency. You could work for a travel nursing agency, in which case your entire job would be to sell labor to hospitals.

Cause that's sales.

Ryan: Yeah. Those are just a couple of examples, but like I said, regardless of whatever you do, just look around at the things that are around you and look at the tags, look at the labels and just start Googling, started looking up those companies. You know what I mean?

That company, careers, that company, jobs it's that simple guys it's like that simple

Hannah: And it's, it doesn't have to be complicated.

Ryan: Yeah. The next thing that we get a lot is where a lot of people get hung up on is that the fact that you have no sales experience, right? So you a are nurse or you are just a teacher, but you've never sold anything to anybody.

And so you don't know, you're wondering why would a company look at you? That's a good question.

Hannah: And I think that it can be answered with the fact that you need to look at your own value, which is you need to understand that as a user of whatever is being sold, you have a unique perspective because if you've used it and this is where it really helps to apply for things that you use like you don't have to like, love a product, but you have to believe the product is useful or worth having. Because if you do, you can convince somebody else that it's worth having. If you're a teacher and you're really fond of the smart board that you use, you're like, this has changed the game for me.

I use it every day. And this is how I use it. That is a sales proposition. That is a value proposition for a product, and if you can understand why it is that you like something and you apply for that company to sell that exact thing or to sell products around that thing. That's great. That's you do have a value proposition and that is you're a user. You're a user of the product and you like the product and you want other people to use it and like it also. That's sales.

Ryan: Yeah, definitely.

Hannah: It's very sincere also.

Ryan: And you, it's your job in the interview to get that all across. And so I'll, give an example, I have a friend that just recently they transitioned into a sales role and that what they're selling now is they're selling insurance to business.

So whether it's not health insurance, they're selling long-term care insurance, they're selling like accident insurance.

Hannah: Benefits, packages.

Ryan: Like benefits packages. Like , like long-term care things like Aflac like interruption in paychecks because of, yeah.

Like you break your arm and you're. Your health bills are covered, but your regular bills are not, your regular bills are not covered. Whatever, something like that, things like that type of insurance and this person invited hannah and I over to their house for dinner because when he got the job, because we are some of the only entrepreneurs that he knows, and he wants, wanted to pick our brains about the needs of entrepreneurs.

And, so we had dinner and we were just talking about the different hurdles and headaches that us as business owners go through, and he was there taking notes and learning. That is a type of experience that you will already have, right. Or to put this better, if he was an entrepreneur already, he would have had more insight into,

Hannah: What bothers people, what exactly they need, what do they want?

What they not care about?

Ryan: Exactly or what they do care about.

Hannah: And why.

Ryan: And because he's never been an entrepreneur, he can't even fathom the different problems.

Hannah: Someone who's graduated with a degree in business, but hasn't been, I'm going to go back to the teacher example, cause I think that's the best example, but like somebody who's graduated with a degree in business and wants to go into the same sales job let's say you're up against the teacher who you're selling those smart boards.

You're selling the smart board. And you as a teacher can say, oh, I have a fourth grade class and the reason I like this whiteboard is because these kids are used to iPads. And so if I were to S to draw on the regular whiteboard, they don't pay attention to it as much, but because you know, because it reminds them of their iPads and I can engage them in a way that's familiar to them.

And also because I put it at this eye level because that's where they can see it. And I use these colors or this feature on here, because it keeps their attention. Those are really, specific uses right. And somebody who just has a general, like I'm going to go get a sales job because my degree is in sales, but they don't know.

They don't know anything about what the product is or why people care about it or what matters about it. They don't have a compelling of a case, I think, to sell that product because they don't understand it. And they're not going to connect with people who as effectively because they don't even know how it, they don't even know how it works.

Ryan: Yeah, definitely. And

Hannah: If that was me, this is me hiring. I would pick somebody who's used the thing and understands the thing and likes the thing over somebody who is like on paper, more qualified because the person who actually understands how it works can effectively communicate that to somebody else.

Ryan: Yeah, absolutely. And I think that where you're going to struggle, where you're struggling in the interview is actually knowing the sales process. Whereas if you're up against somebody that actually has been a salesman before they have sold things, that's where they're going to have you.

But you're going to just have to know that and educate yourself on the sales process first. There's a plethora of things online and there's a plethora of books that you can read.

Hannah: So many books on sales.

Ryan: And so some of the, books that come to mind when I was, learning it, you wouldn't think, but one of the most recommended like business or relationship books out there is like Dale Carnegie, how to win friends and influence people still.

Hannah: Yeah, still it is.

That's another one that a lot of people,

Ryan: Yeah that's, another one. Robert Cialdini had a article, I forget exactly what the title of it was, but I'll put it in the show notes for everybody. He ended up making it a book, but it was in Harvard business review.

I think that you could probably get around the pay wall if you do a little bit of Googling. But we'll, link to it in the show notes below or on our website and yeah, there's a bunch of different books. We'll put it, we'll put a few resources of the things that we have that we've the different sales books that we have read over the years, which we've read a lot, quite a few what we haven't read all of them the way and we have, so much more to learn.

Hannah: But you don't even really need to read that many to get a decent idea of what's going on.

Ryan: Yeah. Yeah, definitely. I wouldn't say, and I wouldn't let that stop you either from applying. I think that even if a short little article. If you just look up the seven steps of selling and like I said we'll link all this in the show notes below. If you just look that up and you read that and you internalize it, and you think about the last time that you got sold something for most people, that's probably, I trying to think the last time that I dealt with a salesperson.

I can't really think of one it'd probably be, the last time that I bought a car. Maybe, the last time I was on vacation and I bought a tour.

Hannah: No, it was actuallypicking a CRM. It's picking software and you were chatting with them.

Ryan: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

Hannah: The software, the last person you interacted with, you never spoke to on the phone. It was a chat software salesman.

Ryan: That's true. Yeah. Yeah, I guess if you think about, if you think about for our business. Yeah. I just, I interact with, salespeople all the time that I think about it.

Hannah: You don't even realize this chapter are salespeople, but they are. Sneaky.

Ryan: True. Yeah.

Yeah. So software sales, I just deal with those guys all the time actually.

Hannah: And you don't even realize they're salespeople.

Ryan: Yeah. I was thinking I just got caught up in my own fallacy. I was thinking about people in person, right?

Yeah. I talked to all for people all the time.

Hannah: See, there's so many, there's so many sales jobs guys and sometimes people won't even realize you're selling them things.

Ryan: But yeah, I think that that is, along with the resources that we'll link below. I think the, biggest part of this is just so many people that are not in sales and never been in sales they don't even know where to start looking for sales jobs. They don't even know. What people are selling. Right? And so hopefully this episode is a quick one and just gives you an idea of where to start looking. And it's going to be difficult if you're a teacher and you want to sell jet engines that one's going to be a jump.

That's going to be a little bit difficult. Definitely not impossible, not even close to impossible. You're just going to have to probably get a sales job and or a job in that industry and then work your way up. Either or, but this is more, this episode is more towards people that are in an industry and want to go and do sales work in that industry because probably going to be a lot easier because you have industry specific knowledge that you can market when you're interviewing. And it's probably going to jump out off of your resume much better than if you were, it's a little bit difficult, more difficult to sell somebody that you're a teacher and you have relevant experience to sell Jetta.

That's a tough sell.

Hannah: But you're a teacher and you want to sell curriculum. All right. That makes sense.

Ryan: Yeah. That's, a little bit easier. Yeah.

Hannah: Yeah. I would say that's a point in your column actually. The people you're going to be competing with at that level of sales, or you're going to be competing with people who have other sales jobs on their resumes.

I would think that somebody with, experience in that field would beat out somebody with a degree and no experience almost every time. I don't know. But that's, what I think, because you would pick somebody who actually understands who they're going to be selling to.

And why.

Ryan: I think for sales, especially, you don't need a degree for sales.

Hannah: No. Some of the most, some of those prolific salespeople that you know, that you hear speak that you've heard little YouTube clips of, they, they do not have college degrees. They're just really effective at communicating and that's all it is.

Ryan: Yeah. And I think that that is it for today.

Hannah: I think. Yeah. I think that's all. If you liked this episode and you want to know more and want to see it synthesize in a formal way, we do have the guide, like I said, on the website, which is Do check that out. If you want to use some of those methods to help you down this road of getting a job without a college degree.

Ryan: Thank you so much for listening guys. If you guys made it all the way through, if you guys want it to help out the show, one of the best ways that you could do is go on apple podcasts or wherever it is that you get your podcasts and give us a five star review, really helps get people to know what it is that we do here so we can get our ideas out there also.

We're trying to be better about it. I'm trying to be better about it. Follow us on the socials. We'll put up on the screen. We'll link them down below. We're trying to be better. Yeah, if you can give us a follow up, give us a like thumbs up, but yeah, if you have any questions, you guys can always email us [email protected].

But until next time guys. Aloha!

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