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How Did you end up in sales?

If you are like me Sales wasn't the career I originally planned for. I started doing it while going to school with the idea of becoming a Physical Therapist. But I realized I had a talent for communication and a talent of talking to strangers that paid more in the short and long term.


There was a moment for me where I realized I would rather have a job that I was content with but allowed me the financial liberty to follow some of my real passions than a job I may like a bit more but would limit me.


Whats your story? How did you end up in Sales and did you have any other plans before that?

🏰 War Stories
🚀 Career Goals
14
LoneMaverick
Opinionated
+3
Strategic Account Leader
I enlisted in the Army at 17, told my mom my age waiver for enlistment was just for a physical.  I was injured 6 mo in during a field training exercise and discharged.

Decided to start selling cars to help pay for college, graduated and kept trying to get back into the Army, but couldn’t get a waiver for my previous injury.  Ended up selling corporate insurance for a bit after college then decided to make the move into tech after it was clear that I was never getting back into uniform. 

I’ve been in these trenches ever since traded M4 for a MacBook and my seat on a C-130 for status with Delta.  

Still prefer getting shot at over cold calls!
Archivist
Good Citizen
Sales Manager
Shockingly similar story to mine. Love it man!
fluffy_yarik
Good Citizen
BDR Team Lead
Back in the day average salary in my country was about $300. I went for a job fair and some lady followed up with 10 calls offering a job I wasn't able to grasp a concept of. I really wanted to do Event Management or work for NGO. But guess what, she told me I'll be getting $500 a month net. "Damn, that's more than my father makes after a lifelong career in science" - thought I. 

And that's how I sold my soul :) 
De
DentalSales
Managing Director
A lack of straight A's in college kept me from being a dentist. A job offer with a company car got me into sales. And now I sell to dentists. It's the circle of life. 
sellout
Good Citizen
Hybrid Account Executive
If you can’t join them, take their money
funcoupons
WR Officer
+11
up in Fiji, under paddy
I was originally interested in working in HR in some capacity, most likely as an internal recruiter. I even went to school for it. Once I graduated I took a job at a recruiting agency to get out of my lame office job, and to gain some recruiting experience. Of course, agency recruiting is about 50% sales and I found out that I actually enjoyed the sales side more than the recruiting side. I quickly decided I didn't want to work in staffing for a whole myriad of reasons, and when I got laid off due to COVID it kicked my ass into gear to look for a fully sales centered role, and here I am a year later. Started out as a BDR and transitioned into an advisor role (I work in insurance) four months later.


It did help that I was dating someone who was in sales for years, and he was making bank and enjoying his role. He encouraged me to be open to sales and helped me prepare for my interviews. When I got the job he took time out of his busy days to give me a crash course in Sales 101 so I didn't completely embarrass myself as a BDR.

Couldn't be more happy with my decision. Sales fucking SUCKS sometimes but the upside is 100% worth it.  
sellout
Good Citizen
Hybrid Account Executive
I had a stay at home mom, my dad was in corporate investments, he stole money, like big money from my grandparents and some very wealthy suits, so we moved and he went to jail (pretty nutty situation). 

my mom picked up her bootstraps and started selling timeshare....and crushed it. 

she gave my sister and I a great life where we missed out on nothing all from crushing it daily and selling a shitload. 

I quickly realized I’m not book-smart but I am personable, ok with rejection, and I’m willing to get uncomfortable. Went to school for marketing and now I sling weed tech for good money. 

thanks mom!
Incognito
WR Officer
+11
Master of Disaster
@sellout your mom is my hero
sellout
Good Citizen
Hybrid Account Executive
@Incognito mine too haha
ihatecomingupwithusernames
Good Citizen
AE
Dope
CaneWolf
Politicker
+12
Call me what you want, just sign the damn contract
Your mom is a fucking legend. I feel like your life is a future book. I'd read that.
sellout
Good Citizen
Hybrid Account Executive
Damn I need to try and have an interesting second act then hahaha 
fuzzy
Notable Contributor
+21
CMO (Chief Meme Officer)
I knew I wanted to learn the business side of technical engineering. And I saw a position open and applied. I've always had a nack for sales though so I guess it was invevitable. 
webhead
Owner
Was absolute bullshit luck.

I actually graduated with a B. Eng. in Computer Systems and my first "real" job was at a software company where they slotted me in as a Support person as a stepping stone to becoming whatever a Computer Systems Engineer does...and I fucking HATED it. Did not last 2 months.

During the 2 months of hell I vented a few times to some pals and one (who was working in Software Sales) suggested I apply. I did so, and got the job (as an SDR) and loved it. never looked back to Engineering!
CadenceCombat
Tycoon
+13
Account Executive
My first retail jobs were selling shoes and then later selling electronics... 

I was recognized as a top performer in both those environments... I was never a top performer at anything else in my life and it felt so good to be valued like that... and that’s when my life became S.A.D.N.E.S.S.
Boutdamtime
Opinionated
+4
Client Executive
My 10 year plan to join the FBI as a special agent after getting a top secret in the Army didn’t work out and I didn’t come from a rich family so I had to figure something out real quick or be homeless. So I sales’d the shit out of that situation.

Edit: grammar  
SaasyS
Major Account Executive
By accident. I sold my soul by accident.... 
Ch
Chesher_Mat
Good Citizen
Enterprise Account Executive
I couldn't find a job in finance.
LivinTheDream
Good Citizen
BDR
Started in politics in college, worked my way up to chief of staff and realized I didn't want to be knocking on doors my entire life. So instead I make cold calls. At least the money is better
MorShark
Notorious Answer
+8
Sales Engineer
someone asked me if I wanted to go into sales and I thought - sure I could give that a try...  it has been years and here we are
TheVeteran
Opinionated
+1
Enterprise Account Executive
I can listen to people and talk to them. Apparently that is rare.
E_Money
Arsonist
+8
Outbound Sales Manager- US
Sold my soul to the devil
MSPSales
Notorious Answer
+5
Account Executive
I was studying for LSAT for law school. Did a unpaid internship during this time and came to the realization I would hate being lawyer. I didn’t know what else to do so I kept studying. 

Went broke at this internship and needed a job. A few of my friends were working sales for value added resellers. I got job through one of them and haven’t looked back ever since 
eatthefrog
Politicker
+2
Sales Development Representative
Software Sales..one of the few orgs actually hiring at the beginning of the pandemic 
neversettle
Politicker
+6
SDR
I had some friends that were in pharma sales and I liked their lifestyles and the way they described their jobs - no day is ever the same, lots of variety, flexibility, some travel. I got sucked in and have never left sales. I've also been a sales manager for a hospitality related business. Now I'm selling SaaS in the healthcare field and love it!
hagianni
Account Executive
I worked straight commission for a clothing store when I was in college... and I just kinda got the bug.
taylor
Opinionated
+2
Enterprise Sales Executive
I studied nuclear engineering in school, and slowly realized that the job is _not_ what I thought it was. Met the right person at the right time, and everything fell into place. Still incredibly thankful for him taking a chance on me. Take chances on other young folks, squad!
CREAM
Good Citizen
Manager
Majored in Psychology..... didn’t get a PhD. What else is there to do? Also, love making money so there’s that. 
DaveGreen
Arsonist
+8
Head of Sales
The money dude

Also, I moved countries and it was the only thing I could get back then.
CRMLord
Good Citizen
Business Development Representative
I genuinely don’t know. 
Wolf
Opinionated
+2
Account Development Executive
Growing up in an Asian household, my parents led me down the path of life-sciences up until I met some teachers in high school who taught business leadership. That catalyst led me to completely switch and go into business instead.

In my first year of University, I went to a sales event mainly for the free food since I was already on campus anyways but ended up resonating with the speakers and their stories. This led me down to dive deep into the path of what sales is and what careers could come of it.

I am grateful to have met everyone I have met in my life who have helped me get to where I am today. Super stoked to be here in a community of like-minded sales professionals as well to dive even further down this profession.
Incognito
WR Officer
+11
Master of Disaster
Been selling since I was a teenager because the overhead on my sport was insane. Kept doing it until a year or so ago, then switched to insurance sales because it just made sense, and I’m too old to start at the bottom again. 

10/10 recommend if you can handle the density of subject matter and like an instant six figure salary. 

TBH I like being in management better, but that’s a long term goal 🤷‍♀️
HarryCaray
Notable Contributor
+14
Regional VP
Worked for the government.  Hated that pay was strictly based on time in service, and people performed at the level you'd expect when you have no fear of being fired.  I'm too competitive for that.  Needed to be somewhere where I eat what I kill.  Sales it is.
Filth
Good Citizen
Director of Client Development
I got my undergrad degree in Pre-Law then quickly realized that I couldn't sleep with my student loans floating above my head and we all know how cheap law school is.  So I started doing any and every job I could.

This meant I was delivering for Papa Johns, Jimmy Johns, and selling cell phones for AT&T - finally someone gave me a big boy opportunity selling copiers in a suit with my face cleaned up.  Not where I imagined I would be, but year 1 with sales I cleaned up the loans and have been living the sales roller coaster ever since.

Wouldn't trade it for the world...that's not true - I'd trade it for anything without a quota that goes up every quarter lol.
lemonard
Old School Bravo
+1
AE
My dad died of cancer when I was in first year of college so I had to go get a job at a telco doing CS/sales. Eventually started liking it and switched to tech. I'm 6 years in and don't know what I'd do if I haven't gone down this path.

Now I'm 'that' annoying fella telling everyone to go into sales because it's MAD money and you don't have to be the smartest kid on the block.
Ja
Jaga
Good Citizen
+1
Director of Sales
Was a musician my whole life into university, took a fluffy Bachelor of Arts to get a degree and wanted to be able to make more money for working harder than the next person - my dad is an IT reseller business owner and said "You should try sales, XYZ company has a good sales bootcamp program with a low barrier to entry and the salary is shit but if you do well you will make 5x your salary in 2-3 years anyway" he was right, then I did well, then I moved into Saas Tech sales cause IT reselling was a bit of an antiquated industry to me, or maybe I just wanted to work with more people my age - here we are.
Grant_Horun
Politicker
+5
Account Executive
Because software sales is the best thing that isnt selling stocks
6
How did you end up in Sales?
Question
13
4
How did you end up in sales?
Question
6
Path to Sales
+22
BCD ,   rsamm ,   kbc   and 22 people voted
2
You ever had to start a sales team?
Discussion
9
You Should...
+27
MichaelScottKnowsBest ,   verbalzzzzzz ,   BCD   and 27 people voted
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