Most sales jobs pay compensation at least partially through commission. Some sales positions pay a base salary plus commissions, usually on a sliding scale, with greater compensation for higher sales. But many sales jobs are 100 percent commission-based. These jobs are for real salespeople, as you don't make any money if you don't sell. The good news is that 100 percent commission-based jobs tend to sell products with a high markup and thus have a high commission typically. Commissions of 50 to 75 percent are not unusual in many retail industries.
Research industries and products with high sales commissions. Do not limit yourself to products or services that you have experience selling. A good salesperson can sell a good product anywhere, so focus your research on finding companies that offer products that you really believe in, that you're sure you can sell and that offer at least a 50 percent commission on sales. Industries that typically offer a 50 percent or greater commission include jewelry, furniture, software and specialty clothing.
Apply for a salesman position at the top three companies on your list. Unless salespeople are in great demand in your area, consider applying to one company at a time. This is because sales and human resources managers talk to each other, and you may need to convince a single company that you really want to become a member of its team.
Work closely with experienced salespeople in your new job. Sales jobs typically have a three- to six-month learning curve to get up to speed in the company and industry, and to develop your personal network.