Income Sources You?ll Be Richer For Not Having Tried – Part 2

The Big Three Sales Careers: Real Estate, Insurance and Car Sales

By Kevin M

bmw_guy by bonkedproducer.

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?

Part 1 – Get Rich Quick infomercials
Part 3 – Gambling, Investment Schemes and Other Empty Wells

( Photo courtesy of bonkedproducer )

12 Responses to Income Sources You?ll Be Richer For Not Having Tried – Part 2

  1. I personally have not tried any of the jobs mentioned. However a friend of mine went and got a real estate license after her divorce, and it has not worked out at all. But, I live in Michigan, which may be about the worst place to try and sell houses right now.

    I don’t know where I would go if I needed to get some quick money. I do have another friend that lost their job and are now working 2 jobs, one at a bookstore and another in a nursery and they are loving it. So, you just never know what opportunity may come of adversity.

  2. The friend working the two jobs MIGHT be liking the situation because she’s making money at both! In 100% commission jobs, that isn’t usually the case, at least not up front. The 2nd friend did the right thing by going for steady paychecks after losing her job.

  3. Kevin,

    I have a good friend of mine who rode the real estate gravy train until it collapsed two years ago. He was smart and, unlike most people, he didn’t blow all the money he made during the ten year run-up on fancy cars and expensive McMansions. Although I do not know his exact financial situation, he has essentially had no work over the past two years and he has not skipped a beat. He has hinted that if he plays his cards right, he’ll never have to work again though – and I believe him.

    My dad has tried his hand at real estate and selling cars since he retired. He found success at both, but he eventually decided to drop out of both jobs. The former because he found another hobby to take his time. He quit selling cars though because he couldn’t stand ripping people off – he said it was so easy to make money off some people it was criminal. You know the old story, a guy comes in to the showroom and says he’d like to buy a car but he can’t afford it. Then the salesman says “Of course you can, all I need to know is how much can you afford to pay each month and it’s yours.” Of course, after financing, the guy ends up getting a deal where he ends up paying $75,000 for a $30,000 car.

    All the best,

    Len Penzo dot Com

  4. Len, I think what your dad and your friend have is the “killer instinct” that all good sales people need. That may be the biggest single obstacle for most people, since most people probably don’t have it. But your dad also demonstrated a conscience in not being able to rip people off. With a pure killer instinct, that limitation doesn’t exist.

  5. I read somewhere that new car sales is one of those few careers where you can make big money and have very little formal education…. if you have a knack for sales, people, and stress. No college degree required.

    it’s not for me.

  6. Right now I work for a Fortune 500 Insurance company and yes it pays the bills but I’m not happy even I work from home (teleworker)… In the 90’s I used to be self employed for 10 years in Puerto Rico and yes it is more stressfull, more hours but at the end of the day it was for me…

    I’ve been considering get between RE and Insurance (tried for a while i car sales but if you do not watch your back even you could loose your commission) and I’m wheighting both….. But leaning more to Insurance… Why??? How big products companies make their fortunes???? VOLUME… It is easier to sell, for example car insurance because it is easier to buy a car that to sell a house… And if you look deep the insurance industry even a house needs insurance…

    Those were my two cents for today!!!!

  7. Hi Julio – I tried my hand at life insurance sales, and later health insurance, and neither worked for me. But I still think insurance is an excellent field if you can make it work. People always need it, and in the case of auto insurance, it’s a legal requirement. Once you get your own marketing system up and running it could be a real money machine.

    Don’t give up trying, it looks like you’re heading in the right direction. It’s like you’re self-employed, but working with big companies.



  9. I sell Real Estate and Cars! I also own a Home Inspection company! It’s all about time management and building relationships. I’m just finishing my book, “Squeezing The Most Out Of Life.” Here’s something to chew on. Real Estate is the only industry that you can go to school for 63 hours and make 7 figures a year!

    Seriously though, it’s all about attitude and drive. Anything is possible. You just have to believe in yourself.

  10. Hi Bill – Agreed, that you have to believe in yourself. And congratulations on a career hat trick! But I would caution – from personal experience – that for any career related to real estate that the business is highly cyclical, perhaps more than any other. So save your money when times are good, so you’ll be ready for when they aren’t. The saying in real estate is “first one down, last one back up” in a recession, and it’s proven true multiple times.

  11. I’ve sold Real Estate for 10 years, and when I realized that I spent every moment of my day networking, closing and showing, I needed a change. Now, I have sold cars/trucks for 9 years and have made more with this adventure–and my time is my time. If I want to talk to customers when I’m not working, that is my choice, not theirs. And, I have developed very strong relationships with both clients, and many of my Real Estate clients buy all their cars from me, even if they don’t like my brand! The only down-side I’ve had is when it snows! The sales people are responsible for cleaning off the vehicles. I did keep my Broker license for referral fees.

  12. Hi Heather – I’ve sold real estate, but never cars. My guess would have been the opposite, that you’d have more control over your time with real estate. But I can see where you’d make more money with car sales. People need to buy cars regardless of the state of the economy (house sales collapse in bad economies or with high interest rates) and you have the advantage of “walk-in” customers with car sales, so you don’t have to spend as much time canvassing and marketing for customers. But I’ve seen and heard plenty of car sales horror stories. A former neighbor who went into car sales worked 10-12 hours a day, 6-7 days a week. And there were still days and weeks when he made little or no money. More power to you if you can be successful at car sales. The “shelf life” of typical car sales people is notoriously short.

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