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Is selling X is easier than selling Y?

Would you say it's easier to make a living selling one product or service (insurance, automobiles, real estate, financial services, etc.) over another? Which would be the easiest? Which would be the hardest? - by Marcus
It's easier to sell products in demand to people who want them than trying to sell products not in demand to people who don't want them. whstl; - by Iceman
That is a question I'm sure a lot of sales people ask themself and others especially when times get hard.

Going along with Iceman I'd say it depends on the selling climate at the time and your own sales abilities. Not long ago it seemed like making in money in real estate was not too difficult unless you didn't know what you were doing. msnwnk; - by AZBroker
Would you say it's easier to make a living selling one product or service (insurance, automobiles, real estate, financial services, etc.) over another? Which would be the easiest? Which would be the hardest?
That depends on what you mean by "make a living." In general, the easier it is to sell something, the less you are paid.

1. We have a client that sells Professional Liability (E&O) Insurance to nurses. Their sales force just takes incoming calls from nurses that want to buy. Most people who take the job do not work very hard and they make a living.

2. We have another client who sells capital equipment to large companies and municipalities. Their sales people are either very skilled and do not work very hard or they are not very skilled and work very hard. They make a very good living.

The average income of the salespeople in company No. 2 above is about 350% higher than those with company No. 1.

Iceman had it right! The laws of supply and demand have not been repealed yet.
Of course, there are some exceptions - primarily in industries that are highly cyclical. - by JacquesWerth
In the long run, no because market forces tend to even things out. In the short run, the answer is yes. (the key question is how much time must elapse for the advantage to run out?) - by Wonderboy
In the long run, no because market forces tend to even things out. In the short run, the answer is yes. (the key question is how much time must elapse for the advantage to run out?)
I have never seen any consistency in market advantages except in industries that are operating quasi-legal monopolies or oligopolies, i.e. software, oil, and gas. Even cyclical industries have inconsistent cycles.

When I was in the electronics industry, the total sales volume of the industry went through five-year cycles. Sales could fluctuate by up to 30% during each cycle. And, as many as 30% of the companies in the electronics industry failed during the depths of the cycle.

However, the management of some companies figured out how to benefit from the down cycles as well as the up cycles. Those companies averaged up to 45 percent compound annual growth rates.

That cycle has gradually changed during the last 20 years, both as a whole and in its segments. - by JacquesWerth
I think that it has a lot more to do with the quality of the product or service you sell than the actual 'thing'.

I also somewhat disagree with the supply/demand theory. Obviously there has to be demand for what you are selling, but when it becomes a commodity (usually sold on price), the amount a company is willing to pay you to sell it will eventually equalize. Gasoline is an extreme example. Everyone needs it, so the machine takes your credit card and you pump. No commission on that one.

If you find yourself in a situation where something is easy to sell and get paid very well for it, you will eventually have to find the next "easy" thing to sell. The pay will eventually catch up with the difficulty of the sale. Realtors in Las Vegas had a 3 year gold-mine, now the market is backwards and they have to find another boom.

I think it also has a lot to do with the company (read: product) you sell. While I enjoy a great reputation and industry credibility, others who sell a very similar product have a much harder time with it.

Finally I think it depends on the methods that you incorporate into your sales process. A realtor or recruiter who have embraced technology have a much easier time capturing business than thier not-so-savvy counterparts.

Justyn - by Justyn
We have trained upwards of 450 Real Estate agents.

In down cycles, when there is little demand, we teach them how to prosper by finding and representing buyers.

In up cycles, when there is plenty of demand, we teach them how to prosper by finding and representing sellers.

Each side of the market requires the same selling skills, but different target marketing skills.

Selling is not simple, but it's neither rocket science nor mysterious. - by JacquesWerth
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