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Why Athletes Make Good Sales Hires

The Betts Team
June 27, 2016

Most new graduates don’t come into the job market with a lot of experience. Hiring managers need to learn to read between the lines and determine the driving characteristics of the job seeker instead. A great way to do this is to look at what clubs, organizations, or sports a candidate may have participated in. In particular, athletes are predisposed to being great sales people for the four main reasons we’ve outlined below.


Athletes know that good work takes time. They’re conditioned to put in effort every day to work towards results farther down the line. At work, these employees don’t have a strict 9 to 5 mentality; they think in terms of goals. Having someone who knows that skill doesn’t just come naturally, but must be earned will mean that your employee will only continue to grow. They understand the career path ahead of them and want to move forward in their professional knowledge.


Everyone in sports knows that to succeed, you need to be committed. Anyone can play a sport, but it takes dedication to become the best. You work long hours, you keep track of your metrics to see your improvement, and you don’t quit. These are necessary steps to take for an athlete to compete at a high level, and also translate to developing a strong, self-motivating work ethic. The same is true for sales. To become a great sales person means you have to hone your skills through practice. Motivation is key to push you through the setbacks inherent in any career.


Working together applies to every sport. Regardless of whether you play a team sport or compete individually, you work with a coach and support system for every sport. Having a team mentality makes an employee more likely to use all the resources available to their advantage. They also know how to be a leader and motivate others. Lastly, understanding that success in a company comes from a group effort will mean your athlete employee will work to ensure others on the team are performing just as well. Having a teammate in your office instead of a coworker is a mindset that many great companies already champion.


Celebration is integral to both sports and sales. Highlighting small victories improves morale, makes the struggle more enjoyable, and shows you what is working. Employees that believe in celebrating their successes are those that will want to continue to achieve. Companies should embrace highlighting the victories of their employees. If you have a winning team, you hit the ground harder to defend your title.