Only five percent of American working population earns six figure salaries or more. Entertainment and sports are the areas where celebrities make astronomical sums of money. But these are highly uncertain career options and the percentage of super successful people in these lines is very low.
The norm in our country is to earn a college degree and chase six figure salaries. Aviation, finance, law, medicine, and sales are the areas that can earn you six figure salaries. In fact, sales is one field where you can take the salary you want. The salary you earn will be directly proportional to your work ethic and culture. It depends on you how much you will make as a sales person. Taking it easy and working lackadaisically will yield a low income.
In sales it is very much possible to work hard and earn six figure incomes or more. Consider the stats: the average annual income of sales representatives were $64,440, for wholesale and manufacturing, technical and scientific products, in May 2006. These figures include commissions. There are other factors like employee stock options, health and life insurance, pension plans, vacation and sick leave, personal use of a company car, frequent flyer mileage, free vacation trips, and gift packages which can add up to much more. With a little effort and gathering a few years experience it is not difficult to touch the six figure mark.
Get a College Degree in SalesIn normal times getting a sales job with high pay is more possible if you have a college degree in sales and marketing. Students from top business schools easily make it to the six figure bracket. MBA alumni of Stanford Business School earn a median salary of $225, 000 after five years of their graduating (source: Forbes). MBAs from some top business schools do start with six figure salaries. MBAs from Harvard Business School, University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School, and University of Michigan Ross School of Business, some of the top universities in the USA, earn six figure incomes of in the starting year. Here is a comprehensive list of top 45 MBA programs with their median earning potentials in America. (Source: Business Week)
Not everybody can manage a degree from these top universities. MBA degrees from even ordinary colleges help in getting better sales jobs and the chance to earn more. There is good competition in getting a job of sales representative and a college degree gives an edge. A college degree helps better than a high school diploma in getting a sales job. In 2006 nearly 44% of the sales force in the US had graduate or bachelor's degree in comparison to 27% high school diploma holders or less qualified people.
For technical and scientific product selling college degrees are a must. Of course, even school drop outs can make their mark in sales. But they are the exceptions. Sales experience and online business degree also can serve the purpose of earning more in sales and rising up the corporate ladder. (Source: BLS).
Find Your NicheAs a sales person you may be comfortable selling a particular type of product. Your aptitude, personality type, family background, and upbringing will make you more suitable for selling a particular product. Some are good in the automotive sector, some in the finance, and some in the housing sector. Each sector has sub sectors. Even in auto sector there are people that may be good at selling second hand cars, while you may excel at selling new cars. A sales person that loves driving couples and families around to take a tour of homes put up for sale is more likely to succeed in that field. Visualize what type of product you will be enthusiastic about selling and what type of customers would you be interested in dealing with.
You must choose a field that you love!
Know Your SectorUnderstand your sector thoroughly to sell well. Simply loving a sector will not do to become a top salesman. If you are not money savvy and do not understand how the financial market works how can you excel in selling financial products? Also, be well informed about the latest happenings and developments in you area of operation.
Sell with EnthusiasmBe passionate about selling your product. Don't be just another salesman. Be a driven salesman with a remarkable product. Sell energetically. Master your sales process and go about selling your product with enthusiasm. Keep the customer's need in the forefront, the sales numbers will be taken care of automatically.
Hone Your Sales SkillsSales skills ultimately boil down to some basic skills, but you need to keep perfecting them constantly to get the maximum results. For instance, good listening is a basic skill requirement of succeeding in sales. To be a super salesman you must try to get into the mind of the customers and read what they would require. Listening intently to what they are saying; the words and the body language they are using can provide windows to their intentions and interest in buying the product.
No other career offers an opportunity to earn a six figure annual income. How soon would you reach there - it all depends on your attitude and enthusiasm.