How To Get a Sales Job With No Experience (Plus Types)

Updated July 24, 2023

There are many jobs that don't require experience for people new to the workforce. These jobs usually offer on-the-job training and require nothing other than a willingness to learn. Learning about and finding a no-experience sales job can help you determine if it's the right fit for you and help you build new skills in the industry.

In this article, we discuss no-experience sales jobs, provide steps you can take to find a position and offer information about the types of sales jobs available.

What is a no-experience sales job?

A no-experience sales job is a position in sales for which you have no prior experience or training. These positions may require a high school diploma or even an associate degree or bachelor's degree, but they often accept applications from people who have never worked in sales before. Working in a sales position can help you learn important skills and build your confidence. If you're changing careers, it can be a good way to learn something new while earning an income.

Related: 24 Companies That Hire for Remote Sales Positions

How can you get a sales job with no experience?

If you want to get started in sales but have no experience, here are some things you can do to help you get your first sales position:

1. Research jobs

If you're new to sales, you're more likely to learn relevant skills by working within an industry that interests you. Research sales positions and prioritize applying to businesses that offer products or services that appeal to you. Your interest may not only make you a better salesperson, but it can also make it easier for you to engage with your work and become proficient. Your research can also target businesses that hire salespeople with little or no experience. This can help you identify opportunities for on-the-job training and increase your chances of earning a position. 

As you research, learn as much as you can about each company and use the information when you write your cover letter or talk with an interviewer. You can also research networking and hiring events. These often hire candidates even while at such events. Also, ask your family and friends for referrals. Having a reputable reference can help ease an employer's hesitancy in hiring someone with no experience.  

Related: 8 Entry-Level Jobs To Pursue That Require No Experience

2. Educate yourself

You can take advantage of several resources available to you that can help you learn about being a quality salesperson. You can find books on sales techniques written by successful business executives and entrepreneurs or search online for websites, videos and articles. Reach out to people who currently work in the jobs for which you aspire to work. Ask to shadow them for a day or two and gain experience and insight into the day-to-day work expectations. You can also look into externship opportunities. These often lead to an opportunity for full-time work once the internship concludes.

After you gain some initial knowledge, most local community colleges offer classes on sales, marketing and sales techniques. They may even have courses that provide recognized certifications, such as those offered by the National Retail Federation's RISE Up credentialing program. Sales classes and certifications can not only provide you with useful training but they may also help you impress a prospective employer. Attending sales seminars and workshops can give you a hands-on learning experience very useful for the interviewing process. You can use these courses in place of work experience when applying for entry-level sales jobs.

Please note that the company mentioned in this article is not affiliated with Indeed.

3. Start at the entry-level

When starting in a new career and industry, you may take an entry-level position. If this is your first job, then you may already expect to start in a low-level position. If you're changing careers, it's important you look for entry-level positions where you can learn the required skills and gain experience. These positions may also be more readily available to you and can increase your chances of securing the job.

Internships are another great entry-level position that allows both the employer and employee time to see if it's a good fit for them. Often, employers offer full-time jobs to interns upon completion of the internship.

Related: 14 Sales Jobs That Pay Well (Plus Companies To Consider)

4. Be honest about your experience

When you're looking for sales jobs and interviewing for positions, be honest with yourself and your prospective employer about your lack of experience. When applying for entry-level positions, the employer understands you require the training and experience they can offer you. Being transparent about your knowledge and experience can help you earn the trust and confidence of the interviewer and employer and may increase your chances of earning a position.

Related: How To Interview for a Job When You Have No Experience

5. Recognize your personality traits

Some personality traits often correspond with the skills and duties of sales positions. For example, having an outgoing personality may offer an advantage when applying for a sales position. You may also have other personality traits, such as a warm, approachable demeanor or a friendly, engaging smile, that can help you as a salesperson. For some roles, simply being professional in appearance and attitude can earn you an interview or position.

Related: 5 Personality Traits of Salespeople (Plus 6 Customer Types)

6. Be creative

While you may not have professional sales experience, you may have life experiences that show the skills required for a sales position. For example, you may have worked a side job in school to help pay for books or to save for a car. This shows ambition and a willingness to work to achieve a goal.

If you're changing careers, consider skills you learned and experiences you gained from your previous career that transfer to a career in sales. These include delivering speeches, negotiating with clients or working on a project team where you had to sell your ideas to your colleagues. Also consider universal soft skills like communication, persuasion, time management and organization.

7. Be prepared

Before going to each job interview, take time to review your research so you can talk about the business and your interest in a sales position with them. Research not only the company you're applying for but also the position. Be knowledgeable of the skills required and how you can address your lack of experience. Since you have no sales experience to offer, prepare a pitch that presents any transferable skills you have and how they can apply to sales. Practice this pitch, being sure to smile and make eye contact. Also, be sure to dress professionally for the interview. 

After the interview, follow up with the company and maintain a positive report with the hiring managers. This can be as simple as sending a thank-you email or letter to your interviewers for taking time out of their day or by calling a few days after the interview to check for any updates.

Related: How To Get a Sales Job (Even If You Don't Have Experience)

What sales jobs can you get with no experience?

There are various types of sales jobs you can get without any prior sales experience, such as:

1. Retail sales

In retail sales jobs, you sell goods or services to the public. This may involve working in a store, an office or using an online site as your storefront. You can normally start most retail sales careers with little or no experience working for a large chain or a small independent business. Working in retail sales provides you with valuable experience in customer service, marketing, promoting and selling. 

Retail sales jobs can also be part-time or seasonal. These types of employers often hire those with little or no experience. They may ask you to work certain days or shifts that are not during peak hours until you can more job experience. 

Related: Retail Sales Resume: How-to Guide With Tips and Example

2. Inside sales

Jobs in inside sales typically involve working from an office or call center as part of a sales team. Your job consists largely of selling products to customers over the telephone or online. Many inside sales companies provide on-the-job training, making it a good opportunity for those with no experience. 

Many companies provide sales seminars and workshops along with specific scripts salespeople can use when making calls. These scripts help those with no experience ease into the position and make it easier to be successful sooner. Also, an inside sales position gives you the chance to develop your sales skills by selling products to many different people.

Related: 15 Inside Sales Representative Skills and How To Improve Them

3. Commission-based sales

A commission-based salesperson earns a salary based on a percentage of the total dollar amount of the products they sell. For example, if you earn 3% of the total sale amount, you receive $30 for selling $1,000 worth of products or $300 for selling $10,000 worth of products. Depending on the price of the product and your sales numbers, you can make a good salary.

A commission-based sales role can offer many advantages, including:

  • Flexibility: Commission-based salespeople can often work from home and many roles offer flexible hours.

  • Skill development: Develop your people and sales skills by engaging with potential customers.

  • Work ethic development: Since your wage is based on your sales, it may motivate you to work hard and develop a strong work ethic.

  • Earning potential: As your sales skills improve, you can earn a comfortable salary from your work, even if you're relatively new to the profession.

Related: What Is a Sales Commission? (With Types of Commissions)

4. Insurance sales

An insurance salesperson sells various kinds of insurance, such as life, health or automotive, to their clients. You can work for an insurance agency or an insurance broker where you sell the policies of a number of different agencies and help clients find the one that meets their insurance needs. As an insurance salesperson, your work includes researching and calling potential clients, explaining policies to clients and performing necessary administrative tasks.

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