You might be applying to a bad sales job if…

Anyone who has been in sales long enough to have more than one job has picked the wrong Company at least once.  I started selling door to door and found myself in a bad job my first two sales positions.  Amazingly, three really was a charm.  My next try at sales ended up starting a 20 year career.  Thankfully I was smart enough (or dumb enough) to keep looking for the right opportunity.

Now that I have the benefit of hindsight, and a number of years in staffing I can see all the signs were there.  Hopefully sharing some of the signs I now know were screaming that accepting those jobs was a mistake, will help you make a better choice.  If you see these don't walk, run away from your interview.

You might be applying to a bad sales job if...

You walk in for your interview, and the receptionist won't even look up at you.  The person greeting clients is absorbed in a website, and when they finally acknowledge you it is without eye contact.  Even worse, they are patronizing a customer on the phone obviously fake caring and finally look up at you like you are in on the joke.

The first sign you made a mistake considering this company is that it is a sales organization that can't greet customers properly.  I have heard people say it is just one lower level person, you should give the company a chance.  There are two reasons that is absolute nonsense.  Employees only disregard customers when the culture teaches them to act that way.  Second, a person in charge is well aware of how the receptionist acts and is okay with it.

I will ignore you so hard, you will doubt your own existence.

It's okay if you disagree with me, I can't force you to be right.

You might be applying to a bad sales job if...

All the messaging from the Company is how wonderful they and their product is, and nothing about happy customers and how they help them.  If you can't find information prominently advertising great customer service scoring, and wonderful ways the customers are using the product then there are probably a lot of unhappy prior customers floating around.

Companies that are completely inward focused are the same ones that say things like, "Buyers are liars.", and complain about it being unfair to be judged on customer survey scores.  If things are really bad you will find the salesperson and sales manager in the office laughing about a customer, many times while the customer can see them.

You might be applying to a bad sales job if...

The job ad, and company career site say only two things, we sell things and want to pay big commissions.  You open the employment ad and it is a few lines of over-sized bold text calling out for "Closers", and advertising huge commission checks.  This is a huge red flag, if the sales staff was making money that easily no one would ever leave the job and there would be a line of people waiting for an opening.  You wouldn't find the job advertised online, with no description of needed experience.

During the interview you will probably hear the Manager say, "we have guys that make $$$$".  The reality is they have one salesperson with a large established client-base that makes a ton, and a sales floor of people that make half of what you are being told.  If we did an "honest ad" it would say, "high turn-over sales department seeks over-aggressive salespeople to fight over leads on crowded sales floor".

Closers Wanted! We are paying big commissions to self-starters!

A bad website is like a grumpy salesperson.

You might be applying to a bad sales job if...

The Company's website looks like someone added a logo and name to a template.  You search through the site and can't find any information about the ownership, and the About Us page says we sell and service things for the community in 5 lines of text.  The Meet the Staff page has a handful of pictures, but the Company has tons of employees.

Welcome to "anti-social media", where the business invests no time or effort in branding who they are, and puts an inventory catalog on the web.  If you surf their FB, LinkedIn, and Twitter accounts you will find similarly "anti-social media" postings about products for sale.  In an age where more customers are buying based on reputation, and brand you found a sales job that is avoiding both.


I love sales, and wouldn't change careers for anything.  There are lots of great companies hiring sales reps.  It is a rewarding career, when you find the right product to sell and people to work for.  Most of what separates the good from the bad is how much the Company values the customers and employees as people.  Just pay attention to the signs when you are applying and interviewing.

Good luck finding your perfect job, and sell a bunch!