Salesmanship suggestions

Want a new challenge where you could use your technical skills to your advantage? A career in IT sales could be worth considering. Here's some advice from IT pros who made the jump:

  • Rip through the stereotype of tech people being regarded as having weak social and interpersonal skills. If you enjoy the company of people more than your keyboard, develop your social qualities.

  • Learn to be flexible. IT people see things in black and white, but you can't do that in sales.

  • Ask your sales colleagues if you can sit in on sales calls and observe. If possible, take a sales training program.

  • Tap smaller companies or start-ups for sales-related opportunities. Call the CEO or sales vice president directly to show initiative.

  • Play up your strengths as a tech professional. Your background lets you empathize with customers, maintain credibility and communicate easily with other techies.

  • Demonstrate that you're comfortable giving group presentations and that you have organizational skills.

  • Dress and think business-smart.

  • Show commitment. Even if you're not hired the first time around, get re-skilled and reapply.

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