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Highest Earning Potential Sales Job

I am young, and still learning. What do you think is the highest paying potential sales job?

I don't really know if I want to go to college.

If I do go to college and get a 4 year business degree, then I will try to get into Pharmaceutical or Medical Supply sales.

If not I don't know what I want. Real estate seems like something I would enjoy, however the average income is 30,000. Now I am not looking at being an average salesman, but I want to know what are the highest paying potential sales positions and if it requires a college degree.

Thanks - by pacificfame
Sales does not necessarily require a degree. However, and to my understanding, some do; including the medical/pharmaceutical sales you mentioned.

It's tough to label the "highest paying sales gigs". I know people in the car biz (F&I) who make over 250K per year and people in real estate who break 7 figures.

Obviously there's a huge difference between profits and wages/commission.

To answer your question in a round about way... The most money is made when you are a business owner. Everything below equals being an employee.

The general philosophy behind sales is that it's the highest payed easy work and the lowest payed hard work. - by bluenote
There really isn't any "highest paying" sales job. There are industries that average more than others, but in many, there isn't a limit.

For my book, Creating a Million Dollar a Year Sales Income: Sales Success through Client Referrals, which is about the techniques and strategies the true million dollars a year income sales mega-stars use to create their huge volume of high quality referrals, I interviewed dozens of men and women thourghout the US and Canada who make a million dollars a year or more--some, much more.

These people came from all kinds of different industries--some business to consumer, others business to business. They came from high tech, finanical services, real estate, mortgage, and a few others that you'd expect.

But some didn't come from the anticipated industries. One gentleman sells mens suits and accessories for a major store (and, no, he's not in New York or LA). He makes well over a million dollars a year. Another sells furniture. Another vehicles.

Now, these men and women don't do business the way most salespeople do business--that's an obvious given. But every one of them started out just as every other salesperson--without a single sale.

And they differ in many respects: some are highly experienced, old pros, some are relatively new; some are young, some older; some pretty, some, well, not so pretty; some smart, some not so much so; some are the best in their field, some are just competent; some had great connections coming in, some had no connections at all; some are in major metropolitian areas, some not; some came from wealthy families, some were very poor growing up; some highly educated, some--one in particular, never graduated from high school.

But they all had things in common: they all spent (and still spend) a great deal of time and money on their personal and staff training (yes, at that level, they all have at least one staff member); almost all of them generate the majority of their business from referrals; they all have worked hard to find methods to maximize their time and effort; they all have a great deal of discipline and spend their time doing the three things that generate income--talking to prospects, making sales, servicing clients (they don't waste time on "busy work"); almost 2/3's have a personal sales coach; over 60% are not the owners of the company they work for, but all of them view themselves as the owners of their sales buisness; almost all market themselves, not the company they work for (even those that own the company).

So, there isn't a top income industry. But there are certainly things the top earners have in common. - by pmccord
I would expect that the high paying jobs in sales move through the years as industries and consumer buying habits change. At one time a job as a travel agent may have been one of the highest paying sales jobs around. Not anymore, but that is the point. - by krista
Using my 20/20 hindsight I think I'd suggest a couple of things.

1) Get a college degree, perhaps in Finance. Maybe in art or music.

2) Go to work with a major financial services company, like Edward Jones early in your career.

Chuck - by Sales Pro 1000
A skilled sales person can earn a lot of money in many different fields. Skilled salespeople are always in demand.

However, most people that take sales jobs fail, and most others struggle to earn a decent living. Those are the people who think that being a hard-worker who is likeable, persuasive, and has a burning desire to succeed is all you need to become a good salesperson.

We have trained over 450 Realtors. Most of them earn between $75k and $200k. That is about twice the mean average of the other 1.2 million licensed real estate agents in North America.

About 10 percent of our graduates earn over $500k; and about 3 percent earn $1 million and up.

One of the things that sets these Realtors apart from most other Realtors, is that they invest a considerable amount of their time and money in sales training.

Some other highly paid fields for skilled salespeople include:
Financial Services
High Tech Software
High Tech Hardware
Management Consulting
Capital Equipment - by JacquesWerth
Hello pacific Frame - I personally believe that the industry you choose holds only half the bearing of what you are able or capable to earn.

IMO in sale you get out what you put in. I don't have work hours at my workplace all my employees come and go as they please. If they don't show up to work for a week - they may be at home working or having some time off.

In saying that I can see a clear define difference between someone who puts ina little more or shows up on Saturday/sunday to tidy up a few things, I have one particular worker who (which I am not saying do) is here before I am in the office - sets up appointments for every afternoon and goes out, then more then likely I am recieveing emails of the day at about 8:00pm at night when she is workgin from home.

She is making more then twice the second best sales person here.

So what I am trying to say is Good luck with whatever you try to do in sales but put in what you want to get out of it.

All the best with your choice.
William - by dodobird
Hello Pacificfame...

Let me ask you a question? Do you want to have to WORK for the rest of your life, or would you rather simply LIFE A LIFE YOU CREATED and be financially secure and happy to do your work each and every day?

You are asking what fields pay the most money in sales. Well, you could sell LearJets, they cost millions and your commission would be huge. It may take 3, 4, 5, 6, years to sell one, but it would be worth it, right?

My point is, instead of worrying about what product/service will make you the most money, try looking at this in a different way.

Most people do not like the work they do for a living. Why not identify and define what you are most passionate about in your personal life and decide to make that your life's work? Believe me, no matter what it is, it will involve selling.

Ask yourself what hobbies, interests, and good causes you love doing. What makes you happy when you are doing it? Why not find sales work for a company related to your passions to start? You will have a j.o.b. (just over broke), but you will be earning money doing something you love to do.

More importantly, you will have an opportunity to learn all you can about this passion and how this business related to your passion works. Study like a madman and become an expert in this passion. Once you become an expert in something you are passionate about, many new doors will open up to you and you will have avenues to monetize your expertise.

When you work at doing something you love, it is not work. It's doing what you love to do. And when you become an expert, the money follows...naturally.

I don't care if it involves LearJets, pets, motorcycles, cooking, sports, writing, designing clothes, building houses, or whatever, when you become an expert other people will gladly pay you for your expertise and experience to make their lives better or easier. That's what businesses do. If there were no experts providing thier knowledge and passion to other people there would be no business world.

So, why not point your efforts to creating a LIFE doing what you love to earn your LIVING? Don't make the mistake of getting a j.o.b. selling the 'hottest' or 'best paying' product/service you can find. Think of what passion of yours you would like to be doing in 5 or 10 years, and for the rest of your life, and gear your efforts toward that.

Go after it Pacificfame...Coach Doug - by Dougd55
How far do you take this "love of what you're doing?" I'm not saying one shouldn't enjoy what they're doing, but some common sense needs to be injected also. I've heard this "do what you love" from many, yet I haven't heard a qualifier about common sense from hardly anyone.

I love playing golf. It's one of my joys in life. I'm terrible at it. The idea that if you love something, if you have a real passion you'll become great at it is, well, BS. If I were as good at golf as my love for the game would dictate, I'd be Tiger Woods. The problem is have no talent for the game. So, what are my choices within the area of golf? Wholesale equipment? Possibly--but companies want people who can demonstrate their product--not by playing, but by playing well. Leaves me out. Work at Nevada Bob's? Possibly. Except I'd like to make more than $10 or $15 per hour. Become a sports reporter or commentator? Possibly, but I don't have the required background in journalism or broadcast TV. My options are getting pretty slim.

Another example is my brother who is a photographer. He loves photography. He was a photographer for the military for a number of years. Upon leaving the military he discovered that to get a job doing what he loved, he would have to start at the bottom, despite his years of doing it professionally in the military. He chose not to work for a news agency making barely enough to survive but instead took a job with GM in their credit department. Twenty years later, he retired at the ripe old age of 53 now with two pensions--one from the military and one from GM. Did he "love" his job at GM. No, but he liked it. But he loves the results. He is now doing what he loves--photography, and doesn't have to worry whether he ever makes a paycheck thanks to his previous two jobs. He goes where he wants, when he wants and does what he wants.

There is certainly something to be said about doing something you love to do. But the general advice of "do what you love" I think a little too simplistic. - by pmccord
Hello Paul,
Do you love what you do? - by SexSells
Yes, I do.

But I throughly enjoyed wholesaling securities, managing mortgage companies and selling mill work to builders. I didn't "love" those positions--but I enjoyed them and was very good at what I did.

My point isn't that you can't love what you do, it's that that answer is simplistic and often taken to the absurd.

The idea that if you love it you'll be good at it is silly, as in my golf example. Also, the idea that if you're passionate about it you'll make money at it is equally silly. Ask millions of passionate business owners who went into business in their passion and failed.

Sales training has to go beyond simple answers and address real issues--and making a living is a real issue, not one to send someone off to do what they love. Without a through investigation to determine if a living can be made doing what you love, if you actually have talent and ability, if there is really a market, if there is actually something that you can do to make the living you want, you're asking for trouble.

Trite answers can lead people into very serious areas. We have to be careful about the answers we give. We're dealing with people's lives, not just feel good answers. - by pmccord
Hi Paul:

I agree 100% with your post about what the elite salespeople do to be in the top 5% and earn outstanding incomes. They do what most people simply wont' do.

But I disagree with your assessment that 'following your passions' to earn a living doesn't work. And I don't think it's 'dangerous.'

Like you, I love golf but my 10 handicap is never going to earn me any money on a professional tour. But why couldn't I work for a golf club maker/distributor and sell golf clubs to pro shops? Why couldn't I become an expert about every detail about my products and their benefits, do the things the superstars do, and make a substantial living working in an field I am passionate about? I don't have to be highly skilled as a golfer to show my products, all golf courses have their own pro's. And I wouldn't be working a j.o.b. I didn't like, I would be doing what I love.

If I love sports cars and want to market them I don't think I have to be a fantastic race car driver to be successful working around my passion. I have to know my product, be able to convey the benefits on a personal basis to my customers, and do the things the superstars of sales do.

Sure, you have to have common sense about following your passions to earn your living. But let me use your brother who loves photography as an example of what I believe young people should be doing.

What if your brother, while working a steady, secure job with GM, had started a part-time business as a photographer when he was young. What if he was so talented people had sent their family and friends to him on a regular basis and his part-time business grew and grew? There may have come a time when he was earning as much money from doing what he loved part-time as he was making from working the secure job at GM.

Perhaps he could have left the comfy corporate job and worked at his passion at a much younger age. Perhaps he could have been following his dreams at a younger age, rather than wasting all those years and waiting to retire before he devoted his time to his photography. He will never know.

I firmly believe our school systems do our young people an injustice by not developing their motivation to follow their passions to earn their livings. They teach us to finish high school, go to college, get a 'secure, steady' j.o.b., get married and have kids, work 30 years to be eligible to receive a pension in our 50's or 60's, and spend our remaining years doing the things we always wanted to do before we die.

That's what I did because that's what I was taught to do. At nearly 60, I follow my passions now and earn my income from several different streams, but I wasted so many years working for the 'man.' I put my dreams and desires on hold when I could have been pursuing them 35 years ago instead of now. Maybe I could have been doing what I do now at a younger age, I'll never know.

Why not work at what you love and do the things we all dream of doing before we get too old? Most of us have more than one passion. And common sense will tell us if we can earn a living in a particular passion over time. If we can't, we can follow another passion. I don't think young people should ever put their dreams on hold to work a j.o.b. for the 'man.'

Sure, we have to work at things we may not 'love' to earn a living and pay our bills, but why not pursue our passions on a part-time basis and work to grow this into a full-time income?

Paul, I have been on your website and have seen the good work you do. You are a 'people-helper." I respect what you do, and I suspect you are following your passion. I know we may agree to disagree on this subject, but we both have the same mission...add value to other's lives.

...Coach Doug - by Dougd55
Now, based on the way you just put it, I have no problems with it. But you just added a lot of qualifiers to your original statement--part-time, see if it can turned into a paying job, get a paying job while you see, etc. That's actually a far different statement--it's qualified with a number of actions to be taken rather than just do what you love.

I've seen too many follow their passion and end up in great financial crisis because they followed their passion without taking serious inventory of what that means in the real world.

This may seem like nitpicking, but there are many who haven't nitpicked and it has cost them dearly. I think it is incumbent on anyone giving training or coaching to include not only the bright, but the potential dark side and especially the information on what has to be done before launching off into following one's dreams. I'd rather be accused of nitpicking about following one's dreams than see that dream turned into a nightmare. - by pmccord
Yes Paul, I do delve into both sides of 'reality' with my coaching students. As a matter of fact, I sometimes think I give a little too much of the 'reality' side of life with my students, but like you said...it's necessary.

And I have a tendency to maybe go a little too 'deep' and concentrate on the philosophy side of sales without adding the 'nuts and bolts' at the same time, but I have been told this makes me a good coach. I believe they need the philosophy as well as the nuts and bolts and I do make sure they get both...a lot of both. Many trainers serve up the nuts & bolts, but they don't teach the 'why.' When they understand the 'why' they can grow into champions.

I read so much 'nuts and bolts' on this forum that my mind screams to help with the philosophy part and I don't delve into the 'qualifications' because I don't want to make my observations too long here. Those are the 'natural' questions that follow the philosophy.

Life is so much more fast-paced, complex, and challenging then when I was young. I'm amazed at all the challenges young people face today. It's incredible. And my mission is to help them be prepared for these challenges. I coach all my students with the same care and empathy I would coach my own children or my brothers and sisters. I believe that's the intensity level necessary.

Thanks for the insights Paul, they are greatly appreciated. I'm always totally open to help. That's why I still have my own personal coaches. I'll try and add more 'qualifiers' in my future posts my friend... - by Dougd55
I appreciate that you emphasize the need to be fully aware of the consequences and the foundation that must be established before juming in.

But--

With most of the topics discussed in this forum failure isn't the end of the world. If a PR, prospecting, or sales techniques doesn't work or someone doesn't have enough information to make it work, it hurts because it wastes time, but it doesn't put them out of business.

But with someone following their dream to open a business about what they are passionate about without throughly investigating or without building into it can have catastrophic consequences. I'm sure you get the same desperate phone calls and e-mails as I do from business owners who followed their dream and are on the verge of financial collapse and are desperate to find someone that can help them find money or a way to salvage their business overnight. Of course, there isn't anything I or anyone else can do to save them.

It was their mistake moving without doing sufficient homework, but at the same time some of the things they've heard and some of the advice to follow their dreams because if they're passionate the money will follow, etc. encourages them to jump without thinking. That's what I react against.

It is one of, if not the biggest, decisions of their life; not to be entered into lightly. Then people give them the advice to follow their dreams and they take it at face value.

I've heard "if I'd only known" so many times from these folks that I think many times that advice is doing a serious disservice if not fully qualified about what has to be done before following a dream.

A dream is nothing but a wish. To make it a reality is far more difficult than most assume--and then to be encouraged with the simple advice to just follow your dream or that if you have enough passion the dollars will take care of themselves just compounds it. - by pmccord
I agree 100% with your post about what the elite salespeople do to be in the top 5% and earn outstanding incomes. They do what most people simply wont' do.
...Coach Doug
I disagree.
We have studied the sales practices of thousands of salespeople, including hundreds of the Top 1%.

It's not true that the vast majority won't do what the top salespeople do. They simply do not know what the top salespeople do, why they do it, or how they to do.

Almost all salespeople have learned a flawed sales paradigm* and only the top salespeople have figured that out. They have intuitively moved into a new sales paradigm, which most of them can not explain.

*Paradigm: The entire body of generally accepted knowledge in a given field. - by JacquesWerth
Doug and Paul,
Thanks for having an intelligent and respectful conversation on this topic (and others). It's nice to read and learn from people who share different points of view. - by sallysellsseashells
Thank you for kind words Sallysellsseashells. I love your name...very clever and unique...coach doug - by Dougd55
I agree Sally,
In a respectful manner it is good to see the different view points.

Great post Coach Doug and Paul. thmbp2;

Keep them coming - by Snowboy
If I did not love my work so much, I would have retired 16 years ago. - by JacquesWerth
I agree with Jacques. I don't see myself ever 'retiring' no matter how old I get. I'm not 'working,' I'm living my life on my own terms doing what I love to do...helping people and animals and pursuing my passions.

Never stop pursuing your passions... - by Dougd55
I agree with Jacques. I don't see myself ever 'retiring' no matter how old I get. I'm not 'working,' I'm living my life on my own terms doing what I love to do...helping people and animals and pursuing my passions.

Never stop pursuing your passions...
Very inciteful Coach Doug,
I don't think I will ever stop working either and I have a long time till I am old enough for that happen. - by Snowboy
I think if money is your only driving force, you may end up somewhat disappointed. If you find a balance between a job you like and one that provides great income, you're likely to enjoy it and stick with it.

There was a story in the WSJ last week about some guy earning 70 million a year at Goldman Sachs, and he left because he thought he should be making more! Hard to believe, isn't it?

Susan - by susana
I don't know what sales profession has the highest earning potential, but I know with Real Estate it's a matter of getting out of it what you put in.

In my market, if an agent consistently does 3 list and sell transactions a month, that will be close to 100k per year. There are quite a few agents throughout Australia earning 6 figure incomes... most of this business is through referrals and repeat clients. - by Mr Lee
I don't know what sales profession has the highest earning potential, but I know with Real Estate it's a matter of getting out of it what you put in.

In my market, if an agent consistently does 3 list and sell transactions a month, that will be close to 100k per year. There are quite a few agents throughout Australia earning 6 figure incomes... most of this business is through referrals and repeat clients.
What does the phrase "it's a matter of getting out of it what you put in" mean?

I don't know anything about the real estate business in Australia. However, we have trained hundreds of top producing Realtors in America.

Realtors who list and sell 3 transactions per month typically earn at least $100,000. Those that we have trained often do over 6 transactions per month and, if they focus on high priced homes, they can earn up to five times that. A few of our graduates are earning over $1 million.

We teach them how to prospect and sell, so that they can build their list of referring clients a lot faster. - by JacquesWerth
Network marketing with a good company.

The best of the best to you.

MitchM - by MitchM
What does the phrase "it's a matter of getting out of it what you put in" mean?
By that I mean the more energy and effort that is put into finding prospects and listing property, the higher the earning potential will be through more list and sell transactions.

I know of some agents who don't put much effort into prospecting and as a result, they only earn enough income to keep them in the job. - by Mr Lee
I sell Toyotas, and love it. More importantly, I also eployed a card system for follow up that has an opportunity to earn on a network marketing scale... The way I figured it... hey, if I can get paid to take better care of my clients while I am in the business, and give myself a retirement plan... Why Not?

I make great money doing what I do; but more importantly I love it. I am in the business of taking care of people, and I pride myself on being the best at it. Toyota makes the best products in my field... not an opinion, a fact. The pillars of their success are continuous improvement, and respect for people. They encourage teamwork and input, turning each employee into a "quality control manager". Now I know what they meant when they said "I love what you do for me... Toyota".

The SendOutCards system I use well let me just say; after employing it for myself. I see why it was hailed as one of the best products of the year. It, undoubtedly will have as much impact in sales careers as the internet. The Amtrak train is passing by: What will you do? Get On It and Ride? Watch it Go By? Or lay under it and get crushed?

What I do may not be for everybody; but with a little dose of "I CAN" they certainly could; and be very successful at it.

Tobias.

See the GLOBE at the lower right of this box? Click it if you don't believe me. - by FollowUpMaster
FollowUpMaster,

Not sure what you're saying about your "sendoutcards" project. Your enthusiasm is contagious. Perhaps you can tell us a bit more.

Chuck - by Sales Pro 1000
FollowUpMaster,

Not sure what you're saying about your "sendoutcards" project. Your enthusiasm is contagious. Perhaps you can tell us a bit more.

Chuck
Chuck,

I am happy to... I have a few ways to share information:

I can send somebody a card, with a DVD in it. You will see first hand, in time how I take care of my contacts. It is the best lesson I could ever share with a colleague.

Also, my website by clicking on the Globe that looks like a small earth to the lower left of each of my posts.

Soon, I am going to inact some free gift accounts to let some people send some cards on my bill for free... Kind of like a demo ride.

Feel welcome to contact me directly, if I can help.

Tobias - by FollowUpMaster
Hey, I love film... I wonder how one would get into sales for the motion picture industry? - by klozer
There is only one possible answer to this question.

We can talk over the possibilities of various different industries and commission earnings. Such as sellign planes or huge dam installations or massive construction but (and I am sorry if this has been mentioned) the best possible way to make the most by a country mile is to earn off of others. And the best possible way to make overrides is to be at the top of the pyramid - meaning the owner.

MLM distributors can make millions, true. But people who sell others on their business dreams, to be involved in their business creations - rather than within an existing model - stand to make the most. If MLM, also known as Network Marketing, is your field then that would mean owning the company, not being a distributor.

Since I have started Network Marketing companies (plural) that I owned all and part of and have been the President of another, I can tell you that one of the issues with this style of direct sales, from the start up perspective is; if you are successful they can be crush you under the weight of their own growth, this happened to me.

Traditional businesses have a tendency to grow more linearly, not exponentially, so being buried under your own growth is not an issue. And they have just as much upside.

Look at Harvey McKay, Donal Trump, Robert Kiyosaki and others, all authors and business owners who preach learning sales and being an entrepreneur both. This is the way to the most cash. However, for some, because of where they are in life, and where they came from, this is not a realistic option. And, if that is you, likely the highest paid sales job isn't either, as the cost (hours required) is too high.

For me, there is no other option. I love what I do, I get to mentor sales people, who sell and make me money while they make their own dreams come true, and my product is teaching sales too. Greatest sales industry to be in bar none. - by Gold Calling
What do you think is the highest paying potential sales job?
I think sales jobs that compensate a salesperson for developing new business would have the most potential. - by Houston
What sales job doesnt require that you develop new business, I wonder? - by klozer
What sales job doesnt require that you develop new business, I wonder?
Among others; order takers (retail clerks, industrial distributor clerks, customer service) and sales support (technical specialists, office support). - by Houston
What sales job doesn't require that you develop new business, I wonder?

The kind that do not pay well .......... !!!!!!!
- by Gold Calling
Among others; order takers (retail clerks, industrial distributor clerks, customer service) and sales support (technical specialists, office support).
Ah... you mean more salaried than commissioned. - by klozer
I know a company that divided up their territories into New Business and Existing Business. New business get low base, high commissiona and Existing base get high base ($150,000), low commission. New biz reps make about 400 and existing make about 250.

Susan - by susana
Ah... you mean more salaried than commissioned.
klozer;


Anyone can be an order taker, it takes a rare individual to be a great B2B sales person. And great people want to be paid based on their efforts, so, yes, they want and receive commissions.

The issue is - few people are willing to go out and generate new business, it is perceived as harder because of rejection rates. And because of this perception we can earn more than the President ... incredible is it not? - by Gold Calling
Anyone can be an order taker, it takes a rare individual to be a great B2B sales person. And great people want to be paid based on their efforts, so, yes, they want and receive commissions.

The issue is - few people are willing to go out and generate new business, it is perceived as harder because of rejection rates. And because of this perception we can earn more than the President ... incredible is it not?
True, True, true and True. thmbp2; - by Houston
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