Most summer direct sales jobs that you’ll encounter – be they selling pest control, TV services, books or alarms – are not easy. They take drive, passion, and commitment to make a success. But if you can see them through, you can often make a lot of money: perhaps as much as $5-10k per month with the right approach. In many cases, a great door-to-door direct sales company can provide this approach.
Door-to-door summer sales jobs are more than just a way to make a bit of money; they teach essential life skills. You’ll learn how to manage rejection, develop a “hustle ethic” and build your confidence. At the end of a stint in a summer sales job, you’ll emerge as a better person and have gained more value to potential future employers. More importantly, you’ll feel better about yourself.
Before getting started, though, you want to make sure you ask a few key questions.
What’s the Compensation…Really?
Many summer sales jobs try to reel sales agents in by promising lavish financial rewards. They will often claim that their sales representatives make many thousands of dollars per year – amounts of money that are probably much greater than what you’re making right now.
When it comes to claims like these, it’s right to be skeptical, but it’s also important to understand that this is how the industry works. Companies want to get people excited about their work because money is a motivator.
Before beginning work with any company, ask for evidence that people in the organization are making the kind of money advertised. Ask to see W-2s and find out how many hours you’re expected to work, and where you’ll be living – it could all factor into your decision. Then have an honest conversation with yourself about whether the pros of taking a summer sales job outweigh the cons. Can you make the sacrifices required?
Do I Believe in Myself?
Taking on a summer sales job is not for the faint of heart. To make it a success, you have to be prepared to put in both the time and effort to make it happen. If you do, then you can make some serious money over the summer months: much more than you can make in most seasonal jobs. Remember, only around 50 percent of people succeed in a summer sales position.
How Will the Job Work?
So, once you’ve signed up to a summer sales role, what happens next? You want to get a sense for a day in the life of a sales rep.
In a typical process, you’ll sign up for 90 days. At first, you’ll take part in a range of sales meetings where you’ll discuss the pitch, the format, and anything else related to the role. Then the company you represent will drop you off in the field to start making sales.
You’ll knock on around 150 to 200 doors per day. Of those doors you knock on, around 50 people will answer and roughly two or three people will decide to go ahead and buy. After a day’s work, the company will pick you up, take you back to your accommodation, and you’ll begin the process all over again the next day.
This is the boot camp approach to summer sales jobs. It’s intense, hard work, but financially rewarding, structured, motivating, and a great way to learn.
The other approach is more hands-off. Here, a company will hire you to make sales, but you’ll be left to your own devices for most of the time. You won’t receive the same training or support you need to succeed, and you’ll have to learn yourself what’s involved in pitching to customers on their doorsteps.
What Kind of Training Can I Expect?
While it’s important to know what the day-to-day will look like, you also want to know what it takes to get there. Does the company you’re considering offer sales field training, in addition to in-house training? What about follow-up training?
Becoming successful in door-to-door sales takes commitment, but also knowledge. You want to be sure that the company you’re working with is providing the information you’ll need to succeed.
What’s the Culture Like?
A strong culture will dramatically increase the probability you’ll succeed. It’ll also make it much more fun to come to work. Make sure to ask about the sales culture when you’re interviewing: what kind of bonuses are there? How do they build team cohesion?
Of course, it’s easy to claim that an organization has a strong culture, so make sure you’re being observant too. Do people seem happy to be there? During the interview process, are people grumbling or complaining? These yellow flags might actually be red once you enter the organization, so be aware.
Final Note: Watch Out For BS
Before signing up to any summer sales job, make sure that the company you’re working for isn’t full of BS. Ask lots of questions from multiple people in the organization and check that you get the same answers from each of them.
Also, read the terms and conditions of employment to make sure that you agree with them. Many companies will withhold between 25 and 40 percent of your compensation until the end of your 90-day term as a “seasonal bonus” which depends on you fulfilling your obligations as set out in the contract. Make sure you get their sales compensation structure in writing.
Finally, don’t be afraid of setting your own goals and sticking with them. Think about why you want a summer sales job and be honest with yourself about whether you’re motivated enough to succeed. If you think you are, we encourage you to reach out (or initiate a chat). We’d love to talk to you!
Will I be able to add this job to my resume? Many businesses hiring seasonal employees don’t like it when people add them as workplaces to their resume or LinkedIn page. And if you’re only starting a career and need to build a profile, any inclusion can be important.