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Getting your first sales job – The top 5 soft skills you need to excel

Sales form the core of almost every business; either selling a physical product or a service. You don't need any experience to land an entry level apprenticeship in sales but specific skill sets and personality traits could help you thrive.

24 April 2017

The majority of sales jobs you’ll come across Business Apprenticeships
will be selling products or services to other
businesses. This is called business to business (B2B) sales. The other type of sales jobs are business to consumer (B2C) which can often be on a shop floor.

You don’t need any experience to land an entry level apprenticeship role but there are personality traits and soft skills that can help you thrive in a sales role!

Top 5 skills you need to succeed: By Alyse Kalish, Associate Editor at The Muse. Read the full article.

1. Social awareness
This probably won’t surprise you but the best sales people are sociable, likeable, amicable and great communicators.  It’s also about having a genuine interest in others, listening, and relating well to them.  

2. Self-awareness
Mistakes happen all the time but it’s how you handle them that set you apart.  If you can own your part, not shift blame to someone or something else and demonstrate how you learnt from it then you have self-awareness.

3. Strong work ethic
Sales requires hustle and you need to have the grit to keep on grinding.

4. Coach-ability
You don’t need experience for an entry level sales job, you just need to want to learn and be willing to pick up new skills, learn from your mistakes and be open to feedback.

5. Organisation
Great sales people are organised. Learning good organisational skills is the corner stone to a successful career in any field.

Find a business services apprenticeship today!
Our friendly apprenticeship team can help you:

  • Develop a professional CV highlighting your soft skills
  • Help you make great job applications
  • Teach you how to prepare for interview success
  • Help you find and land a great apprenticeship role

‘I decided that I would do an apprenticeship instead of going straight into a job because I thought it was the best way to learn whilst still earning a wage. I feel like it has been the best option, as I have proper on the job training without the expectation that I already know what I’m doing, therefore I get extra support from both my employer and my assessor.’ Angie Evans – Sales Apprentice at Southampton Water Activities Centre,  2016/17

Next steps:

  1. Get in touch for our support to start earning + learning by emailing us at 
  2. Search our jobs board roles in your area
  3. Book a free 30 min career coaching session by emailing us at

Read the full article on The Muse.

Read the Catch-22 Learners Guide to Apprenticeships to find out more.

Learn more about some of the business apprenticeship job roles we offer.

Catch22 is a leading training and apprenticeship provider.  In 2015/2016 we trained 865 people in apprenticeships and supported 1500 unemployed people into work.