While some employment sectors have suffered from the “global financial crisis” (or the GFC as some Aussies enjoy calling it, making it sound kinda friendly…), sales isn’t one of them. With summer on its way and all the hospitality, events, conferences and other business shindigs that the season brings, good sales personnel are in high demand right now.
Rob Verdon, a Brit who came to Australia as a backpacker and decided to stay and work for Marcus Evans, says recruitment for sales jobs is buoyant with companies recruiting now for a busy summer. What kind of people are they looking for? “Ambitious people, with energy and a drive to deliver results,” says Rob. Experience in sales – or recruitment – is looked upon favourably, but it isn’t essential. “It’s more about the attitude of the individual that we look for.” And the pay? “There is the opportunity to make seriously big money,” he says, “provided you put in the effort and keep your key performance indicators high, especially with uncapped commissions.” For Rob, there are two convincing arguments why sales jobs are a great fit for foreign travellers. “There is both opportunity to earn money to supplement the rest of your travels here, or to stay out in Australia long term.” We’re certainly sold.
An Interview With A… Sales Executive Where have you travelled in Australia so far? From Alice Springs to the Whitsundays, all down the east coast and also Melbourne and Adelaide. The west coast will be the next destination, hopefully over Christmas this year. I have also done regular stints to Asia with work, most recently Singapore, Bali and Tokyo.
What made you decide to come and work in Australia? I had visited Australia on a hockey tour a couple of years before and always wanted to come back to live in Sydney. I bought a round-the-world ticket and after travelling through the US and Fiji ended up in the Harbour City.
How did you land your new job? I saw an advertisement, applied and was successful. Having worked for three months I was offered a sponsored 457 visa to remain in Australia which was always a goal of mine, and two years down the track I am now a Permanent Resident (although I still support England in every sport!).
And what exactly is it that you do now? I am senior sales manager for our Asian Summits Division. I run a team of 10 executives who sell sponsorship packages to our business summits. I also travel to summits to look after our clients, which has allowed me to experience a variety of countries and business cultures.
What are the good points about your new job? Travel, great colleagues to work with and the opportunity to make great money.
Any bad points? With sales, there is always rejection. But you learn to deal with it and not take it personally. A thick skin and good sense of humour help.
Any memorable moments at work? Our product is sold on emotion, and the sales floor has an amazing buzz to it, especially when someone is closing a big US dollar deal. Your first deal with the company is a very special moment, with praise from the entire office. We also recently had former Australian cricket captain Steve Waugh speak at one of our summits. He called me a poser after I quietly reminded him that England were ahead in the Ashes!
Why would you recommend your job to others? If you want a career opportunity when each day on the job is different, exciting and in a young dynamic atmosphere, than I would certainly recommend the event sales industry.