The Big Three Sales Careers: Real Estate, Insurance and Car Sales
By Kevin M
Sooner or later every person who finds him- or her-self in a tough financial situation or career crisis tries their luck at one of the Big Three Sales “Careers”. Let’s face it, we all see ourselves as something of an expert in real estate and cars, and it goes without saying that “everybody needs insurance”, so with our winning personality, good looks, exquisite taste in fashion and superior people skills, how could we possibly fail?
And who doesn’t have a friend who has friend who made it big real estate (or insurance or car) sales? No matter the self-hype and industry dog-and-pony shows going in, most people don’t make it. In fact, many never make any money at all.
These are easy entry fields; the credentials to enter are often no more complicated than acquiring a license by passing a relatively easy exam and paying a small fee. Getting in is pretty easy, that’s the hook; staying there and making a living at it is the central issue.
For many, the last hope of the hopeful
Every year hundreds of thousands of people enter these fields, most exiting within the first year. There are a number of solid reasons for this, but most aren’t apparent when you’re out looking for any opportunity that has the potential to quickly lift you over the top, financially speaking.
Just like the infomercial programs, all Big Three Sales Careers are entrepreneurial, and you make your living by engaging in the daily hunt. If you’ve been in a salaried situation throughout your career, this will be a more difficult transition than you think.
You will need to talk to people every day—a lot of people. Some of them you won’t like but you’ll need to talk to them anyway. You’ll work on deals that you’re sure will bring you a paycheck, maybe even a big one, and then POOF, they’re gone. You’ll work long hours, put money out of your pocket, miles on your car, and end the week or the month with no more than exactly what you started with: nothing.
Are you getting a picture of how it all works? Once you get past the hype and popular perceptions of what’s needed to succeed in the Big Three Sales Careers, you see not only how tough those businesses are, but how stable they’re not. And that’s not a place for you to be when you’re back is already against the wall.
It takes a certain personality and skill set most don’t have
Part of the lure of these careers is that they seem easy from the outside, but if done right they’re anything but. Any 100% commissioned work is the true equivalent of self employment–which is not what most people need when what they’re really looking for is a quick paycheck. They’re really careers that need to be approached by people who have the skill set–like people sense and persuasiveness–and a complete understanding of what it will take to build a business from the ground up. There’s nothing quick about that!
Save your money, your time, your effort and most of all your fragile ego, and go for a job that will pay you an immediate wage. One other important point: if you’re only looking for a part time arrangement, you won’t find it in these fields. The companies may tell you that the job can be done part time—they’ll tell you almost anything you want to hear to get you in the door—but to do the job right, you must do it full time, and as often as not, full time plus.
There are certainly people who have the talent, determination and fortitude to make a success of themselves in these businesses, and they deserve more respect than we usually give them, but they are not the casual and easy careers most believe them to be and they’re absolutely not for people who desperately need their next dollar.
Have you ever tried any of the above in an effort to overcome a career or financial crisis? How did it work for you?