What does it take to start a successful business in sales? This might surprise you, but the answer is to leverage your differences as strengths.

Although some folks might tell you otherwise, there is no one single type of person who is destined to be great at selling. You can find a sales job that’s right for you despite your age, occupational history, life experiences and personality precisely by taking advantage of the attributes that make you a unique individual.

It’s important for you to realize that there are many kinds of sales jobs, and that you need to match your strengths to the types of sales work you pursue. Here are three ways to leverage your differences as strengths in starting a sales career.

1. Exploit Your Age

Maybe you’re a new college grad without much job experience looking for your first full-time job out of school. Well, at your young age, you probably have plenty of energy and enthusiasm that you can put behind the job. In any case, if you can show you’re a go-getter, and you’re willing to work your way up, you really don’t need experience to embark on a sales career. It’s a field that’s quite open to you, according to Monster.com.

Ideally, you can leverage your college degree, starting out by selling business software, for example, if you’ve studied computer science in school.

On the other hand, it could be that you’ve recently retired from a long-time career in a field not directly related to sales, whether that’s government administration or work as a security guard, for instance. In this case, use your lifetime of experience working with people to cater to whatever sales industry opportunity that suits you.

2. Make Your Occupational, Background and Life Experiences Count

Are you currently employed full-time? You can put your skills and the lessons you’ve already learned in your professional life to lucrative use in sales.

One obvious example of easily transferable skills is a person with nursing experience applying for employment in pharmaceutical sales.

Actually, though, the bottom line is that sales is all about persuasion. So if you’ve served as a teacher, homemaker, writer, tour guide, bus driver, or in any other job where you’ve worked with other people, you probably already have the communications, leadership, and decision-making skills at hand to be a successful salesperson.

In particular, any job where you’ve done a lot of phone work — such as being a part-time receptionist while your kids were growing up — can act as great preparation for inside sales.

3. Turn Your Personality into a Big ‘Plus’

Some folks enjoy being their own boss, with minimal constraints from other people. If that seems like you, you’ll get the kind of independence as an outside salesperson that’s hard to obtain if you’re working in an office all the time.

Other folks enjoy collaborating with other people in doing their jobs. If this is a good description of you, then look for the type of sales position that will allow you to team up with other people.

This job might, in fact, be in direct sales. For example, Amway offers people the opportunity to become Individual Business Owners (IBOs). What does Amway sell? When partnered with the company, you’d have 450 premium products at your fingertips — ranging from nutrition, health and beauty products to cleaning agents and air and water treatment systems. You’d also be integrated into a community of people and resources that includes personal mentors, brand centers, call centers, and free online learning tools. In this way, you’d be supported to find success, however it’s defined by you.


Opportunities in sales are abundant across a wide variety of jobs, regardless of your age, background, life experiences, and personality. To achieve success in a sales career, leverage your differences as strengths.