The 6 Worst Sales Jobs (and why you need to avoid them — at all costs)
In this entry I’m going to run through what I think are the 6 Worst Sales Jobs you could be in. I’m going to encourage you to avoid them, or, if you’re already in one, encourage you to get the hell out as quickly as possible.
Because here’s the thing …
* The economy is suckin’ it right now …
* and it’s probably not getting better anytime soon.
A lot of companies (even big ones) are downsizing, or they’re flat out going under.
* A lot of folks in sales are looking mighty hungry, and more than a little desperate and panicky anymore.
I personally know guys who were pulling down $25K a month in sales commissions a few years back … who are now having a hard time making their car payments and are starting to worry about losing their homes.
And here’s why:
* They’re in the wrong market.
* And they’re operating from the wrong model.
And even if they were in the right market, even if things were going “good,” they’re miserable, overworked, overstressed, trapped in sales careers they should have been rethinking long ago.
They’ve been chasing the buck.
And for this, they have been sacrificing what is far more important:
* The six worst sales jobs …
So let’s run through what I consider the six worst sales jobs out there.
You might be looking at one of these as an option …
Or you might already be in one of them.
(I was at one time or another in all of them. With varying degrees of success and failure. And damn miserable most of the time. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I finally figured out the right way to build a sales career. And I’ll come to that. But first let’s look at the wrong sales jobs, the ones you should avoid like the plague.)
If you are one of these kinds of sales jobs, I’m going to encourage you to start re-thinking your life.
* #1 Worst Sales Job: Loan Officer (i.e., Selling Home Loans, Selling Mortgages)
Let me start with a confession.
I gave the mortgage business a shot some years ago — and I sucked at it.
I got caught up in the whole “mortgage consulting” approach, buried myself in learning everything imaginable, studied all of the “gurus,” bought into all of the “systems” and “services,” stayed up late and got up early studying an endless arsenal of “materials” and attended “seminars” constantly … and I still sucked at it.
And a good thing I did.
Not only did the market fall out from under the entire profession in the past few years, wiping out thousands upon thousands of jobs in the industry (and leaving everyone left standing shell-shocked and desperate), but more importantly …
* It was a good thing I got out when I did, because even if I had succeeded there, even if the economy hadn’t tanked, I would have been miserable in the mortgage business. WHY?
Going into an office every day.
Wearing a suit every day.
Dealing face to face with clients every day.
Dealing with appraisers and underwriters and processors and insurance companies and accountants and real estate agents … wrestling with rate sheets and program requirements, locks and deadlines, market fluctuations and government regulations … and the endless sprawl of documentation …
That was the worst part of it. Dealing with all that goddamn PAPERWORK.
The amount of paperwork and the sheer, unadulterated grief, you have to go through to close a home loan — and all of the endless crap that can trip up the process and turn what looked like a slam-dunk closing into a whirling nightmare of missing documents and pissed-off clients and hair-trigger land mines that can blow up at any second …
All to close one deal.
Sigh … No — that’s just not for me.
That’s not the world I want to be living in every day.
* #2 Worst Sales Job: Pharmaceutical Rep or Medical Supply Sales
Here’s another one I looked at once, and another I’m damn glad I avoided.
Last I checked, you have to sell about $1M annually to pull down a $70K salary as a medical supply rep.
Sell a million bucks a year. To make seventy grand.
Now, what they try to sell you on is the idea of “residual” income — build up accounts, they keep buying enough Band-Aids and tongue-depressors from you every month, and after a while you have it made.
What they don’t tell you is how goddamn hard it is learning about the 10,000 different kinds of drugs (or worse, gauze and rubber gloves, chemistry panels and reagents, scalpels and test tubes) … going out there every day, dropping in on an endless string of offices, trying to set up appointments with doctors and practice managers who have been conditioned and trained to treat you like dirt and make your life as unhappy and frustrated as humanly possible … All for the privilege of selling them soap for their bathroom dispensers …
The sheer hours you have to put in, and the grief and rejection you have to fight your way through to actually succeed in this kind of sales job …
Again — I’ll pass.
* #3 Worst Sales Job: Anything Corporate
If it involves an office (or worse, a cubicle) …
If it involves a time clock (or someone questioning why you’re a half hour late, or leaving a half hour early) …
If it involves putting on a monkey suit every day …
If it involves having to spend your time flying (or driving) around the country, meeting with people you don’t like …
If it involves tip-toeing around a boss or an office manager, or any form of kissing someone’s ass while hoping for a “promotion” …
Man, if that’s the kind of “sales” job you’re in, I’ve got news for you.
You are in the rat race.
And here’s the news flash: Your job is NOT secure.
And if you are not already a chronically-overworked, alcoholic, multiple-divorcee, borderline-suicide … you’re probably headed in that direction.
You might want to get off that merry-go-round while you still can.
* #4 Worst Sales Job: Anything Involving Sticking Signs On Your Car (or hanging signs on a Street Corner)
Now we jump to the other end of the spectrum.
I’m going to lump a few things into this one.
If you have magnetic signs on your car or your phone number printed on your back window …
… if you are hanging up your business cards on bulletin boards hoping a prospect might see them …
… if you are trying to pressure friends and family to set up “meetings” for you to share some “opportunity” …
You are in the wrong sales profession.
What falls into this category?
* Trying to run your own small, locally-based business. (Too much grief, too many hours, too little profit.)
* Trying to convince people to join the latest Multi-Level-Marketing scheme. (Oh, man. Don’t get me started.)
* Trying to sell real estate, or dealing in whatever it is the guys selling seminar tickets call “real estate investing”…. (Um … have you seen what’s going on out there?)
In any sales career like this, where you are reduced to employing these kinds of tactics to try to scrounge up prospects — and where everyone else involved seems to be smiling too damn much, and not very convincingly — I hate to say it, but you are likely operating from a position of desperation.
You are operating on hope.
And last I checked, hope is not a negotiable currency the bank recognizes.
* #5 Worst Sales Job: Anything Involving Standing Around Somewhere Waiting For Business.
My first sales job was selling carpet. I was probably worse at that than at trying to sell mortgages.
Here are the hard facts. Standing around waiting for customers to drop in is not a reasonable approach to trying to provide for yourself and your family.
Again, with the economy the way it is, and with more and more people shopping and researching their buying decisions online … The world of retail sales has become a world of Barely Getting By — If You’re Lucky.
And even the guys who are lucky and are getting by … they’re working 60 hours a week, living paycheck to paycheck.
Again — not for me.
* #6 Worst Sales Job: Anything Involving Bugging People When They’re At Home
Tele-marketing and door-to-door sales have to be the worst. They’re only at the bottom of my list here because I have the least experience with these. Never done either, thankfully.
If you’re calling on people at home when they don’t know you (and don’t want to know you), whether you are ringing them on their phones or knocking on their doors — you are in the wrong career, pal.
You’re not in the sales business. a[euro] You’re a public menace.a[euro] So just stop. a[euro] There’s a better way.
* What WOULD Make For a Great Sales Career?
I’ll be going into this in detail in another video, but in short …
1.) A great sales career would NOT involve anything like the crap jobs I’ve been talking about so far.
2.) Instead, a great sales career would allow you to get up when you want, work when you want and however much you want (and certainly no more than 10 or 20 hours a week if you didn’t want to), and without question work from home or really from wherever you want — in fact, work from anywhere in the world you want.
3.) And more important than anything, a great sales career would not only bring in a substantial six-figure income, it would also allow you the luxury of enjoying an extraordinary lifestyle at the same time.
And you can be sure I’ll be talking more about that in the next video and accompanying article I put together.
You can check them out (and get my latest free report) at: