A Step by Step Approach to Getting a Sales Internship

By: Ryan Stewart

Sales – it's one of the most interesting career options known to mankind. It's very dynamic and can be very rewarding in more ways than one – that is, if you are able to master the art. And though it seems to be an inevitable part of our everyday commercial life, not everyone can pursue a career in sales.

Claiming that you have read many books on sales and marketing and that you're familiar with a variety of sales techniques may be a good first step but may not be enough. Oftentimes, it's only through hands-on experience that one can truly learn the ropes and determine if he or she has the makings of a successful salesperson. As such, obtaining a sales internship is relevant.

By getting a sales internship, you will be able to gain the required sales experience while at the same time, you're able to put your textbook knowledge to the test. A sales internship is the perfect venue to develop the skills and learn tried-and-tested sales techniques such as recognizing both verbal and non-verbal buying signals in order to successfully close a sale.

Getting a Sales Internship Step-by-Step

First, identify which field in sales you would like to pursue. Is it in real estate? Pharmaceutical sales? From here, create a list of your strengths and weaknesses. You don’t have to zero in on particular job position but you should be able to more or less gauge where you fit best in sales.

Make a list of people in sales you already know and start contacting them. If you don’t know anybody in sales, start soliciting informational interviews. By meeting up with these people, you not only get to know more about the sales sector you like but also get start networking a bit. You never know who you might meet that is offering a sales internship or knows someone who does.

Now you need to seek sales internship opportunities but before you do, ask yourself if you are open to getting either a paid or non-paid internships. Paid internships are of course better but non-paid ones may be easier to come along so do keep your options open if getting a salary immediately is not an issue.

If you are still attending college, then one of the best places to start is your college’s Career Services department. They will likely have a list of resources you can approach. If you are in-between jobs or currently unemployed then check out marketing or sales firms in your area and contact them. Remember, you have nothing to lose here by doing this.

Lastly, if it’s just sales experience you need then why not venture out on your own first before seeking a sales position in a major firm? For instance, sign up as a distributor of products and start selling them!

A sales internship is a great opportunity for you to develop the confidence and aggressiveness that salespeople are often famous (or infamous) for. By actually talking to people – whether face-to-face or over the phone as a telemarketer – you will be able to hone your communication skills as well as your interpersonal skills, which include active listening, establishing good rapport and even handling small talk.

A sales internship also provides you with the much-needed exposure so you may begin networking and having contacts in different sectors of the industry.

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Ryan Stewart has coached hundreds to pharma sales success (and he's done it all for free). To jump-start your pharmaceutical sales career go to pharmaceutical-sales-representative.com

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