T Nation

Sales Jobs $$$???


Do any of you work in sales positions? I am curious as to how much you can make. A lot of people tell me that sales is the most money you can make short of being a doctor or lawyer. I just got a new job as a financial advisor and the earnings potential are pretty good.

Do any of you guys have sales jobs and if so, do you do "pretty well" for yourselves? And anybody know any financial advisors who make a good amount of money? Thanks everyone!


I have worked commissions jobs in the past, and they can make pretty good $$$$$. But you have to work at it, be persistent, and don't get depressed or mad when you are not making as much money as you'd like. Your salary will be like a roller coaster.....up and down. Some months good, others not so good, but that's the nature of the field.

The key phrases to watch out for are 'potential' and 'up to'. I'm sure your company said you have the 'potential' to make six figures, and can earn 'up to' $150,000 per year.

What they don't tell you is that you pretty much have to be a shark, and you have to work your tail off for the first couple of years, 60-70 hours a week, develop your selling skills, build your clientele, close the deals, early mornings, late nights, etc. Then you can enjoy a better life.

I have met a financial advisor who makes $750,000/yr. But I have met a guy who was a financial advisor, but quit because he wasn't making enough money to live day to day.

In the end, it's all on you. How hard are you willing to work? How much more do you want it than the next guy? It will take you a few years to live comfortably, but a lot longer to live lavishly.

I wish you best of luck in your career as a financial advisor. Keep working hard and keep me updated!!!


I am a financial adviser and I have a theory that they guys that make the most money are generally the ones that dont think of it as a sales job. At least in Australia, I dont know what sort of compliance framework you have in your country

The guys that make the most money are the ones that view their position as a professional advice role, have the qualifications and experience behind them and care more about their clients than their own bank accounts.

The guys that view it as a sales position are the ones that either cant maintain a long term client, burn out or get sued and lose their license to provide advice.

Good luck with your career but the more you think of financial advising as a sales role the less successful you will be.

(Having said all of that, If you are in a country with more relaxed laws controlling the provision of financial advice you may be alright).


I have often thought of getting into engineered equipment and system sales.

You need to have a good understanding of what you are selling and the earning potential is huge.

It all depends on what you are selling and to whom.

If you are selling junk product to people with no money you will struggle.

If you are selling a high quality product to customers that need it and have money you can make a fortune, but of course these positions don't grow on trees.


Here is the real trick. Find something you're good at, then you'll make money. Find something you're good at and you enjoy, then you'll be rich.



I could have been a rich porn star.


All of the posts above are good. Sales is very competitive and you will likely take crap from your own coworkers, the customer, and your overseers.


Yeah I've never gotten paid to masturbate either.


I have!

After my second daughter was born I was invited to donate sperm and blood so they could check my test levels and sperm count as part of a study.

They paid me $ 50 but never told me my test levels.


I was blessed with finding a commission only sales job when I was only 20. It was selling insurance, and it was a great thing for me.

Short of being very smart or talented (which I am neither of) just about any sales job can make you more money than any other job out there.

Find something that you like that you can sell. I love cars and thought that selling them would be great, but I had just quit my insurance job that required nights and weekends. Selling cars was the same deal, and I realized that's what I was sick of.

A close friend had been on me to get on where he was at doing finance over the phone. I finally caved, have been there about 14 months now and have things moving in the right direction. However, I went roughly 6 or 7 of those 14 months with no paycheck. The last 6 months have finally hit for me.

If you are very self motivated, money motivated, and don't mind the work, it can be a great thing for you. If you just slog through your workdays now, don't waste your time.



I've been in technology(servers and software) sales for the past 5.5 years and have been on a 100% commission comp plan for the past 4 years.

Starting off is difficult but if you're consistently prospecting and work hard, the money will definitely follow. If you sit around waiting for your phone to ring, you'll never make money.

I would ask how much the 10% of the companies producers make in compensation. Offer to take one of these top guys to lunch and find out what makes them successful and want pitfalls to avoid in the industry.

I was speaking to somebody in the industry recently about the top sales rep at Oracle. At the beginning of September, the rep had already banked $17M in commissions so far this year. Oracle has a huge sales staff so you can just imagine this guy is a shark.

Also, pick up Liar's Poker. It will definitely hype you up if you're in the sales profession.


Actually, selling insurance can be one of the most lucrative fields anyone can get into. Some companies give you commissions for five years in a row for the same sale. So by the fifth year if you aren't making six figures you are rare.


In my experience, not many people were making over $100k, and that was nationwide. I was with one of the better companies, but anything is possible. From what I saw, $75k to $100k was about max, and that was working your ass off. Maybe I have screwed up values, but I didn't want to be stuck at that level for the rest of my life, which is why I left.



to the OP, just dont forget that under most circumstances your 'sold' a sales job by the top ranking salesmen in the company. The guy who interviewed you and hired you is probly the VP of sales or something similar. So, like any salesmen, you have to take what they say with a grain of salt. They hype you up, and most places will take anyone to start. You never know whos gonna knock it out of the park in sales. I've worked in and around the field and have seen dudes making money hand over fist and others sucking wind, both in the same company under the same market conditions. Good luck.


Thanks everyone. Nice to hear from knowledgable people. To those of you who say "work your ass off", what do you consider working hard. Obviously waiting for them to call and sit on you ass isn't. Any successful marketing/leads advice that you have experienced?


Prospecting is huge in commission sales. After you meet someone, contact them a few days later and remind them of your conversation. (Hi Bill, this is Jim with ABC Financial Consulting, we had spoken on the phone a few days ago regarding (topic), and was following up to see if you had read the information or given it any further talk.

Also, ask them to give your business card to 10 of their friends/colleagues/ relatives/family/etc. Even if 1 of those people calls you, you have built a whole new web, and tell that person to tell 10 other people about you. Think of the web you build if only 1 out of every 10 people contact you. 2 would be better. Doesn't seem like much, but 2 is twice as much as 1, so your network will be twice as big.

As for 'working your ass off', it depends. It could be 70+ hours/week, it would be working 7 days per week, it could be doing outside volunteer work to grow your business. There is no one set term of 'working your ass off.'

Hope this helps, and once again, good luck. May I ask what company you are working for? If you don't want to post it on the site, that's fine, I respect your privacy.


If you are looking to improve your selling skills, I suggest renting the movie 'Boiler Room', with Vin Diesel, Giovanni Ribisi, and Ben Affleck. It came out around 2000. It is about guys who work for a financial firm, and the selling skills and techniques they use to sell their services. I highly recommend it.


Boiler Room is entertaining but I think it got most of it's ideas from Liar's Poker(the book) and Wall Street w/ Michael Douglas and Charlie Sheen.

Another good sales type of movie is Glenn Gary Glen Ross. It has quite an ensemble cast.

I think everybody has made some good suggestions. If I were to make one recommendation based on my 5+ years of sales experience, it would be the importance of relationships. It's cliche but people don't buy from companies, they buy from people. Most products and services are available from multiple sources. You can really set yourself apart from the competition with your interpersonal skills and how you develop a relationship with the client. The second differentiator is selling value.

There are quite a few books available on sales techniques. Pick any of them since they all have the same underlying themes. I've read a number of sales books over the years and my company sent me to the Dale Carnegie Sales Advantage course. All was very helpful.


I do not agree with the concept of finding something you are good at and you will make money. I have been at the top of every job I ever worked, and found the companies take advantage of my skill, and only reward my effort when they are afraid I will leave.

Anyhow, I work in litigation support. most of the salesman that work here had clients given to them when they started and had zero knowledge of the industry. What they did have was a relative or friend that got them in the door.

It is not unusual for them to make $50,000 a month. Some of them make $100,000 a month.

It does seem sales is the way to go, but you need to get in the right industry/company. Example, I dont think used car salesman make very good money.


If you think people selling used cars are not making money, your dead wrong and prob are not very good at sales.