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Investing in Your Sales Career - Education

Quick Notes - Investing in a Sales Career:
  • A Sales education is vitally important to your sales success.
  • Education options: University, College, Seminars & Workshops, Self-Taught.

The vast majority of salespeople do not have a formal education in business, commerce, or sales. In fact, most salespeople do not have post-secondary education at all. Is this a problem? Should you spend precious time (and precious money) investing in further education to better understand sales techniques or business in general? This article will explain the pros and cons of various methods of education that can help catapult your career into sustained long-term success.

The Most Effective Sales Education

We will examine university educational programs, community college programs, continuing adult education, seminars and workshops, and finally self-taught education. Which is more effective? Which provides more opportunity for advancement in your chosen career? Read on and find out!

University Education

University can be the most expensive form of education. It requires formal class attendance, extensive assignments and essays, and tremendous research in your chosen field. University is a full time endeavor on its own, and unless you have the time and resources to devote to obtaining a degree, you may not be able to attend. Most degrees require three to four years of full time courses, and this is a tremendous workload for most people. However, a University education is probably the highest regarded form of education out of all the methods described in this article. You will network with educators, people in your field, and you will conduct meaningful research on topics that affect you as a business owner. Once you graduate, your degree will open many employment opportunities that are open only to degree-holding people. Your potential for advancement is greater than that of your peers, because a university education is very desirable by most employers. It is worth mentioning though that a university education focuses more on theory than it does practical solutions to problems. If you’re looking for education solely to help you be a better salesperson, you may not want to consider university. A college education may be a better solution for you.

College Education

Colleges across North America focus on the practical application of skills and knowledge. They train students to be proficient at specific tasks and skills. College is where you’ll gain basic sales skills, and slowly advance into advanced selling techniques, advanced sales strategies, and sales management strategies. You will learn how to close a sale, and learn from the best in terms of adopting successful sales strategies. College is the second most expensive education method on our list, but it will give you the needed skills and competencies to be successful in your career. Unfortunately, advancement opportunities with educational requirements often cite university degrees as the bare minimum, instead of college diplomas. If you’re in a field that values performance over credentials, college is your best option. Much like a university education, college education puts you into a program and you will learn primary and secondary skills to be successful at your given program. You will essentially learn a multitude of skills that will assist in your career growth. If you’re looking to educate yourself in one specific skill set or competency, you may want to look at continuing adult education or seminars and workshops.

Seminars and Workshops

Seminars and workshops cost about the same as a single university course, and they usually entail a weekend in a classroom at your local college. Typically a professional in any given field or topic will come in and present on his knowledge, essentially giving you the tools to be successful at it as well. These workshops are wonderful opportunities for the salesman who wants to learn more in depth advanced techniques that may otherwise not be available through college or university education. These seminars are great ways to network with other professionals in your field. Seminars and workshops are recommended to those who have a fundamental grasp on their profession and are looking to accentuate their knowledge base. If none of the formally structured educational methods sound appealing, you may find enjoyment in self teaching yourself material.

Self Taught Education

By accessing the Internet, you have the ability to find material on free sales tips, free articles on sales techniques, free salesmanship techniques, and free closing sales techniques. These free materials are valuable pieces of information in enhancing your understanding of sales and commerce in general. Subscribing to business magazines and leadership magazines will provide you with an endless supply of material to read and understand. Further, signing books out from your local library or from online libraries will prove beneficial in your search for free educational alternatives. Unfortunately self-taught education is hard to prove and usually has no merit when you go to apply for a new job or for advancement in your current career. It is advisable to compliment any formally structured education with some self-taught education, but it is unadvised to only use self-teaching methods. The only exception would be if you are stable, secure, and satisfied with your current career.
Good luck in any form of education you desire, and remember to devote yourself entirely to life long learning if you’re committed to success!