Summer sales is a great way to make some extra cash to help you get through school, become financially independent, or even jumpstart your career. Depending on who you sell for, your experience can either be incredible or barely bearable. Choosing a company to sell for is as important as deciding on which university you should attend or who you should date and the last thing you want to do is give your time to a company that doesn't have your back!
1. Find Your Category:
Generally, the sales industry as a whole is split up into a couple of different smaller categories (Solar, Pest Control, Waste). The business models for each category are somewhat similar but do have some important differences.
Solar: Out of the major categories, solar is one of the harder sales to make but has the most lucrative returns. Since solar contracts are expensive a sales person's commission (the amount of money they make on a sale) will also be large. Solar companies often offer big incentives for their top performers. Experienced sales people and hard workers will find that they fit right in.
Pest Control: An upside to pest control is that people don't want bugs and critters in their house so in some cases, the product sells itself. Pest control packages vary depending on the size of the house, the amount of times that the product needs to be applied, and the severity of infestation, meaning that your compensation will also vary with each sell. Pest control sales teams have competitive cultures with incentives for the top performers.
Waste: In some parts of the country, trash collection is not run by the government which means that people have a choice on who their trash company will be. Waste sales people generally offer discounts on a customer's current service, making for a fairly easy sell. Waste contracts are uniform in price so your commission on each sell will remain constant.
2. Set Compensation Goals
Let's be honest, the biggest reason you are going to go out and do sales for an entire summer is to bring home the bacon. Having a good idea of how much you are expected to make in a summer is vital to your decision making process. Some sales recruiters will try to wow you with large amounts of money but the best way to get an estimate on your potential earnings is to ask other people who have sold for that company before.
An important distinction to make is between a company's average compensation per sales person and their median compensation:
Average: This takes the total amount made by everyone in the company and divides it by the number of sales people in the company. Unfortunately, because some people within the company (like managers) make more per sale than an entry level sales person, this doesn't give an accurate assessment of how much some should expect to make.
Median: This shows the amount that is made most often within the company. A median is a good indicator of how much someone will make at that company, especially first year sales people.
A useful tool is the average and median compensation stats offered on each company's Sales Rookie page. On the site, search a company that you are interested in and check out their information. You can also use the Compare feature to look at two companies at the same time.
3. Make Sure You Are a Cultural Fit
You need to make sure that the people you are selling with are motivated towards the same goals that you are. When it gets tough to make a sell or you are tired you want to be around people that will encourage you. Getting a good idea on how a sales company's culture is can be difficult. The best way to dive in is to read the reviews on each company. Sales Rookie can also help you get in touch with a recruiter from the company so you can get a feel for how that company will help you reach your goals.
See Also: Best Questions To Ask a Summer Sales Recruiter