Learning how to interact and influence people in person or on the phone is an important skill set for people in professional sales. So many potential employees rely on written communication which is often not effective at professional sales. The sales jobs available when I was in college usually involved going door to door selling vacuum cleaners or cutlery to all the parents of your friends or trying to sell to other broker college students. Instead of doing that, here are the best places/jobs to learn sales skills while in college:
1) Property Management: Every college is full of property management companies. Do what it takes to get into one, whether its maintenance and repairs, property showings, or answering the telephone. Learning how to sell the benefits of a crappy house/apartment in a college town is great experience in overcoming objections in professional sales. You may also pickup some skills that’ll help you develop a nice real estate side hustle/investment portfolio in your future life.
2) Personal Line Insurance Agency: The local State Farm, Allstate, Liberty Mutual, or Nationwide agent may employ customer service representatives or outbound call representatives. The ideal job is to be paid to call their clients and leads to setup appointments to meet with the agent. Learning how to build rapport over the phone and convince someone to take a meeting is a skill that will help you for the rest of your career.
3) The College Bar: No, I’m not talking about your best pickup line, I’m talking about being a bartender. You have to learn how to be friends with everyone while working fast and efficiently. Bar tending is sales and you are selling your time. Every second you have someone in front of you that’s indecisive, is a second you loose serving someone else and improving total sales. You have to be personable, efficient, and juggle multiple clients at once.
4) Fundraising/Alumni Relations Department: Many colleges utilize students in a volunteer or paid position to make outbound calls to their alumni lists. These calls could be anywhere from updating information to making direct solicitations of donations.
5) Cell Phone Stores (my entry into sales): As of writing this, cell phone sales has been an attractive sales job for the last twenty years. The majority of consumers still go into a store to ask questions about features of various phones and service plan options. You also get the opportunity to up sell clients to a new phone or higher plan when they c These stores have traditional retail hours and need employees on nights and weekends, often allowing them to employ college students.
What jobs did you find in college that helped you develop your sales skills? Please share below