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A Step By Step Approach To Getting A Sales Internship

Jan 4, 2008
Once a sale has been made and the goods and services consumed, the consumer moves to a higher level of wants, thereby creating a desire for a higher level of goods and services - and so the wheel of life moves with consumers shifting to higher levels of wants and the purchase and consumption of goods and services circulating money.

Sales is a much sought after and rewarding career. It is both dynamic and demanding. Sales is an intrinsic part of our lives whether it be a mother selling discipline to her children or a preacher selling teachings to his congregation or a salesperson selling goods and services to his customers. We all have a Salesperson within us, but not all of us are born to be successful salespeople.

Numerous books have been written and numerous workshops have been held on salesmanship, but in the world there are Salespeople and there are Salespeople! There are Born Salespeople, and there are Learned and Practiced Salespeople. The common thread that runs through all successful salespeople is the success or failure of actually making that sale. Your personality, education, communication skills . . . all play a part in making that final sale.

Enrolling in a sales internship program is a useful and constructive way to gain practical job knowledge to jump-start you in this life-changing career. It is a controlled environment in which you can test all that you have read or learned on the subject.

Step-by-Step Guide to Getting a Sales Internship

1. Identify your field of interest. There are myriad products and services out there for you to sell. No salesperson can be a master at selling all of them. Based on your personality (strengths and weaknesses), lifestyle, exposure, education . . . You would be more suited to selling a particular set of goods or services. To kick start your sales career, it is useful to first identify which goods or services you are most likely to succeed at selling, or which set you would be most interested in selling.

As your career develops, you should feel free to branch out and test your selling skills with other products.

2. Make a list of natural customers. In our day to day lives, we interact with a number of different people for different purposes. This varies from our families, to relatives and friends, to classmates, to members of our peer group . . . the list is never-ending. These people all form your natural customers and some of them could be prospective customers for the goods or services you are planning to sell. Others may know people who would buy from you. List these people in two columns:

a. Those who would be likely to buy directly
b. Those who are likely to know people who would be interested in buying.

3. List possible internship organizations: Research on the Internet, ask around among your peer group or contacts or teachers for recommendations of organizations that offer internships. Research organizations on the Internet. Study their reputation and their placement record. Look into the internship program that they usually offer . . . the duration of the program and the classroom/field ratio. Decide if you are looking for a paid internship program or if you are willing to work without pay.

4. Set up as a distributor: If you believe you have enough academic and practical knowledge on the product or service you will like to sell, you may consider setting up on your own. Apply for a distributorship and then go out and sell.

A salesperson needs to have confidence in the product or service that he is trying to sell. He needs to be aggressive and self-confident. Communication skills and interpersonal skills are also of prime importance. All this cannot be learned by rote - it has to come from practical experience and the only place to gain that experience is out in the field. A sales internship is the ideal place to get all this.
About the Author
Tony Jacowski is a quality analyst for The MBA Journal. Aveta Solution's Six Sigma Online offers online six sigma training and certification classes for lean six sigma, black belts, green belts, and yellow belts.
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