As a newly minted college graduate, a career in copier sales is probably not what you dreamed of when you were pulling all-nighters to pass all of those dreaded final exams. After seven years of experience as an Account Executive and Sales Manager at two different copier sales organizations, I’ve often marveled at what a smart choice working in this field turned out to be for me and many of my colleagues. Before you whiz right on by the umpteen job openings on the online job boards, consider why you might want to pursue a career as a copier sales rep:
1.Many new graduates and career changers select a career in copier sales solely for the world class training that is available. Usually, a new rep is sent for two weeks of classroom training followed up by in the field training with your sales manager and fellow sales reps. This is invaluable training that is FREE.
2. The knowledge gained as a successful performer in copier sales can open the door to more lucrative opportunities in pharmaceutical, software, medical device and financial services sales, just to name a few.
3. A representative at 100% of annual sales quota averages $60,000-$80,000 annually in base salary, commissions and bonuses. It is not unusual for a top performer to exceed $100,000+ per year in earnings.
4. Depending on your individual sales manager, you might enjoy a high degree of autonomy and job flexibility.
5. If you consider yourself entrepreneurial this is the job for you! Your territory is like owning your own business and your goal is to maximize revenue within your assigned boundaries. The skills you learn on this job are excellent preparation for owning your own business one day.
6. If you want a raise, you give yourself one by selling more copiers. There is nothing like a pay for performance work environment! After this, you will never be able to tolerate a paycheck where someone else puts limits on your earning potential.
7. Most companies provide perks, promotions and sales incentive trips for their top performers. Personally, the all expenses paid trips for two were the best part of the job for me. You and a guest enjoy all of the amenities of a Five Star Resort to places like the Bahamas, England, Cancun, Scotland or Hawaii. It’s a great way to travel the world for free!
8. Every business needs a copier device. However, depending on your assignment, you won’t spend your entire day talking to dentists only. You might meet with the Office Manager at a defense company in the morning, an IT Manager at an apparel manufacturer at lunchtime and the CFO of an entertainment company in the afternoon. You gain exposure to many different industries as well as functional areas of a company. Not only does this make the job more satisfying, it is also an excellent avenue for networking with many different professionals. Who knows what kind of opportunities your networking activities could lead to in the future?
9. Like many who’ve gone before you, you might actually enjoy the copier industry and want to pursue a long-term career in the industry. As you demonstrate exceptional sales results, most likely you will be promoted and rewarded with increasing responsibilities. The career path has a fork in the road where you must decide whether you want to pursue Account Management or Sales Management.
A candidate that enjoys the sales process and is a bit of a lone ranger usually prefers to work his way up to bigger and better accounts as a Major Account Rep or a National Account Rep. Sometimes a Rep will be assigned a Vertical Market such as Law Firms where he is the specialist in selling to only the Legal Vertical Market. The other direction to go in is Sales Management.
You would be promoted to manage a team of six to eight reps and after exceptionally consistent performance, you might run your own market as a Branch Director and manage 100-200 sales and service personnel. Most ambitious Branch Directors have their eye on ending up in the corner office as a Vice-President, eventually. The reality of the situation is that if you want to move up the corporate ladder, at some point you have to prove that you can get things done effectively through other people. This is best achieved through a Sales Manager role.