Entrepreneurship has become more prevalent than ever. If you’ve ever been a freelancer, tutor, start-up founder, or a bonafide business owner, you are (or were) considered an entrepreneur. So is this an advantage or a disadvantage when applying for a sales job? We think it’s an advantage. Here’s why:
The “owner” label is appealing to recruiters.
Owners tend to be the best sales people at their companies. They sell under pressure, handle a variety of duties, are organized, are driven, work hard, and have the courage to take educated risks. They also thoroughly understand the products, services, or solutions that their companies offer. All of these attributes are valuable in a sales hire or sales leader hire.
The possibility that an entrepreneur will want to own a business again is a small price to pay.
It’s true that the downside of hiring a (former) entrepreneur is the chance that they may want to work for themselves again. But often times a former owner, after a few years, realizes that the stress of controlling a business is not worth the payoff. Or, it’s just time for a change. Therefore, an individual contributor role with no direct reports, or a management role with few reports, is a good fit for them, as is being part of a team or a leader of a team without the stress of total responsibility.
So, if you view an entrepreneur as a great sales hire who will think like an owner, they have a competitive advantage over other candidates. After all, any great sales person views themselves as a small business owner within a larger business, someone who is responsible for their own success. So don’t hide the fact you were a business owner on your resume. Celebrate it.