We are surrounded by personal selling encounters: cell phone, insurance, services in a bank, restaurant, and the list goes on. Pick a service that you would like to learn more about. Now find a person that holds the job of personally selling that service/product. Reach out to them; you can call, walk into a business, or make an appointment, any way that you choose. Introduce yourself, and tell them you are a student and would like to ask some questions.
- Start with simple information. What does the job entail?
- How did they get the job? How long have they been doing personal selling?
- Do they enjoy what they do? What are the best parts and the worst parts of the job?
- Do they think that there are skills that are needed to do the job well? If they do, what are they?
- Can they discuss the compensation structure (they might hesitate, but explain you do not need specifics, just general information)?
- Do they have the opportunity to move up into management if they would like?
Add any additional questions, or ask for clarification of something that you do not understand. End with thanking them for their time.
This exercise should provide you with firsthand information about this job; you can always choose another person that is in a totally different service/product category to compare the details of the job.