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A million dollars might not go as far as it did two or twenty years ago, but it’s still a lot of money. While salespeople tend to be some of the highest paid employees in most organizations, there aren’t too many who are making a million dollars a year, or even every two years for that matter. But that certainly doesn’t mean that it’s impossible.

The quest to get to a million dollars might sound like a daunting one, and it absolutely isn’t going to be easy. But there are certain things you need to do, and look for, if you want to get there. There are also some things you want to avoid if you want to get there. Here are some ways you can set yourself up to make a million dollars in sales.

You also need the best sales technology, which includes a great sales automation CRM!

Pick the right mountain to climb

Not all products are created equal, especially when it comes to making a small fortune, so you need to pick the right thing to sell that will get you to your ambitious goal. This is arguably the most important thing you can do if you want to make a million dollars in sales.

For instance, there is almost no way that you’re going to make a million dollars selling cell phones retail. Not that there’s anything wrong with selling them, but the numbers simply don’t add up. Real estate, on the other hand, has a very direct, albeit not easy path to a million dollars in commissions.

High ticket or high volume 

Hypothetically, there is a way you could make a million dollars selling cell phones. You could broker a major deal between a cell phone manufacturer and a retailer, or between a provider and a huge corporation. If you want to make a million dollars in sales, you need to be doing deals that are on either exceptionally high ticket items, or on lower priced items but at significant volume, where one sale can bring in at least tens of thousands of dollars or more in commissions. That last part is absolutely critical! You need to be closing deals that are worth thousands of dollars in commissions, and the lower the commissions, the more volume you need to be doing.

This might sound like it’s common sense, but understanding these concepts, especially early in your career can mean the difference in lifetime earnings. There are plenty of equally talented and hard-working people who earn vastly different amounts of money for the same efforts, simply by choosing to sell different products or services. Spending time up front researching which industries pay well can go significantly further than jumping at the first opportunity.

Recurring/residual revenue 

Another way to get to a million dollars in sales is through recurring revenue. Granted, this way will take time, but if you’re committed to a long-term career then you can work your way up to your goal. Recurring or residual revenue is when you make money from a customer over and over again, instead of just once at the time of the sale. If you build up enough of these recurring customers over time, then you can make quite a lot of money.

Some industries that may have recurring and residual income are insurance, recruiting, medical supply sales, and even software. It’s definitely not a get-rich-quick scheme, but it can pay great dividends if you stick with it long enough.

Sales management 

Lastly, you can make a lot of money if you’re a top sales manager in certain organizations. It’s true that sometimes sales mangers make less money than salespeople, but the opposite can also be true. There are plenty of sales managers making small fortunes because they get a percentage of every deal their salespeople close. These positions are, of course, incredibly demanding and not easy to land, but high-achievers who lead sales teams for aggressive, growing businesses can find themselves making a seven figure income.

Whichever road you choose to go down, it is possible to make a lot of money in sales if you pick the right industry, the right company, and then produce like crazy. And if your goal is to make a million dollars, remember that there are other people doing it, which means you probably can too.

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About the Author Ken Kupchik

Ken Kupchik is the creator of Sales Humor and the author of the funniest sales book ever written, The Sales Survival Handbook, which you can order on Amazon.com. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

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