How to Get A Sales Job Without Sales Experience


You found your perfect sales job posting, but you don’t have the “desired work experience”? Don’t let that deter you. Learn how to get hired for a job in sales without experience.

In my last blog post, I detailed why Millennials make ideal salespeople. Based on this excellent how-to guide by Matthew Bellows, I tackle how you can land a sales job without experience.

Employers’ preference for experienced job candidates is based on the assumptions that they will be productive faster and perform better than those who are inexperienced (Rynes, Orlitzky, & Bretz, 1997), even though research has shown this isn’t necessarily true. This has meant that one of the biggest challenges faced by job candidates is finding legitimate ways to prove that they do in fact possess the required work-related knowledge, skills, and abilities in lieu of work experience.

When it comes to a job in sales, what’s the best way to do this? Think of yourself as a valuable product or service and your potential employer as the prospective customer. Learn what the best sales techniques are and use them to sell yourself.

Sales technique #1: Be genuinely passionate


Although sales has a money-motivated reputation, the best and happiest salespeople are those who are passionate about the service or product they’re selling. Ask yourself: What am I interested in? What do I genuinely believe adds value to someone’s life? Narrow your focus on an industry, company, and product you actually like and support.

Sales technique #2: Be self-awarehow-to-get-a-sales-job

Figure out your strengths, weaknesses, and preferences by completing a psychometric assessment that measures your personality traits, skills, interests, and cultural values. Think about how to best showcase the characteristics that make up your strongest value proposition for potential employers.

Are you looking for a job in sales? Click to browse open sales roles on Find your match and make more money.

Sales technique #3: Be persuasivehow-to-get-a-sales-job

Understand the role of the buyers’ emotions in sales and give employers a reason to take a risk on you. Use the persuasiveness of highlighting your future potential versus your proven success to your advantage when you pitch yourself as your employer’s next top salesperson.

Sales technique #4: Research your customer 


Educate yourself on the sales industry including best practices in sales techniques and approaches, and the latest sales trends. Learn the personality traits, abilities, and skills sales leaders look for when they hire salespeople. Set up Google Alerts with your desired keywords. Research potential employers on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ and create customer profiles: their company values, their pain points, and their desired outcomes.

Sales technique #5: Listen and engagehow-to-get-a-sales-job

It’s an inescapable reality of today’s workplace: You must have an active online professional presence. Lucky for you, you’re probably already (too) active on social media. What does this mean for a job in sales specifically? Go to where the salespeople are: Follow and engage with industry thought leaders and influencers on Twitter, blogs, and Youtube. Join and participate in sales groups on LinkedIn. Remember: The majority of your interactions should be meaningful ones that demonstrate your knowledge, your ability to ask insightful questions, or otherwise showcase your talents.

Sales technique #6: Create value

how-to-get-a-sales-jobThe reason why salespeople are so active online is largely due to the shift towards inbound marketing and sales – creating value for potential customers so that they come to you. You can do the same as a job candidate: Showcase your knowledge, skills, and abilities through your social media presence. Share content on Twitter and LinkedIn. Even better, you should be creating your own industry-related content using WordPress or Blogger and Youtube.

(Bonus Pro Tip) Let The Employers Come To You

Join job candidate databases and get potential employers to come to you. The Ideal database uses your personality to match you with top sales employers. Sit back and let your unique style bring employers to you, regardless of prior work experience. [Apply Here]

If you still think a sales job is out of your reach, don’t just take my word for it, check out the Tom Hopkins Story. The now world-renowned salesman explains, “With my first sale, fortunately, the buyer had invested in other real estate and actually helped me fill out the paperwork.”

Good luck out there! Any tips on how you landed that first sales job? I’d love to hear them!


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Ji-A Min

Ji-A Min

Head Data Scientist at Ideal
Ji-A Min is the Head Data Scientist at Ideal. With a Master’s in Industrial-Organizational Psychology, Ji-A promotes best practices in data-based recruitment. She writes about research and trends in talent acquisition, recruitment tech, and people analytics.
Ji-A Min


  • AB

    All of this is so true! I am about to interview for what I believe is a dream job but with no sales experience. Thank you for this.