Be a Contract Sales Professional

Be a Contract Sales Professional

The prospect of ditching your 9-to-5 sales job to become a contract sales professional (CSP) is both exciting and downright scary. You may be confident about your sales ability but feel tentative about trading in the security of your W-2 status for the uncertainty that comes with a 1099.

But don't let fear deter you from a path that could be perfect for you. Instead, consider the following guidelines to help you decide if contracting is right for you, and use our tips to learn how to go about obtaining work as an independent contractor.

Employee vs. CSP

Whether you're an employee or independent contractor depends on the "amount of control exercised by the employer over the work being done," according to the Small Business Administration (SBA).

Essentially, an independent worker takes on an entrepreneurial spirit. You may think that, as a contractor, you should adopt a loner mentality, but your goal is actually to attach yourself to your clients by building partnerships in the marketplace that address your clients' needs. As an employee, by contrast, you aim to establish yourself within a company.

To be a successful CSP, you want to turn your clients into long-term partners, despite what your initial contracts say. Most companies utilize short-term contracts to test the waters. Enter every contract with the goal of renewing it by adapting to the needs of your client, and you will be on your way to becoming a flourishing independent.

Pave Your Way

If you've decided to venture into contract sales, follow these guidelines before you take the leap:

  • Do Your Homework: Research the companies that you plan to contract for. Contact some of their clients and discover the strengths and weaknesses of the services they have been receiving. Take notes and adapt your mission statement to accommodate the most vital concerns you come across.
  • Ease Your Way In: Develop a relationship with other CSPs who are on their way up. If possible, before quitting your full-time position, master your trade, learn all that you can about your market and ease into your new role. Before obtaining his real estate license, Brenard K. Wilson, president of Brenard K. Wilson Investments Inc. in Nashville, had a goal and a plan to achieve it. “I knew I wanted to work for myself one day,” says Wilson, an eight-year veteran of the Philadelphia Eagles. In his off-seasons, Wilson took classes to obtain his broker license.
  • Be Responsible: Build yourself a life preserver, and protect your savings and investments before taking the leap as an independent.
  • Buckle Down: There is a raft of information to assist you in developing your business plan and applying for the appropriate licenses (if required) at the SBA's Starting & Managing a Business site.
  • Be Ready to Start from Scratch: Do not expect your current clients to follow you, as they may be loyal to your employer. “Develop a market plan,” Wilson suggests. “The same work ethic and foundation I had as a football player I use in my business today.” Be prepared to market yourself on the Internet and in print. Join an organization to enhance your skills, make no-fee presentations where your targeted audiences reside, obtain a listing of companies that seek your service, and make some phone calls -- with passion -- sharing the mission of your service.

Above all, remember that the very first sell that you make will be to yourself. If you do not believe in yourself, your product will not stand a chance. After all, as a CSP, your product is you.

Learn more about sales careers.

Latest Jobs

CAP 360
Posted: 05/28/2015
Morgantown, WV
CAP 360
Posted: 05/28/2015
Johnstown, PA
CAP 360
Posted: 05/28/2015
Wheeling, WV
CAP 360
Posted: 05/28/2015
Toledo, OH
CAP 360
Posted: 05/28/2015
Findlay, OH

Want more personalized results?  Update Your Profile


Monster Communities

Teaching Community
Where teachers meet and learn.
Create and connect.
Networking for the career-minded woman.
Nursing Link
Where nurses call the shots.
More Monster Communities

Monster Partners

Scholarships, financial aid and more ways to pay for school.
Find top campus and online degree programs.
Military portal for the US Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.
Financial Aid
Scholarships & financial aid.
Staffing for Government Jobs
Staffing and hiring solutions for federal government agency jobs.
More Monster Partners

Job Hunt Strategy

Six Ways to Make a Recruiter Hate You
If you want to blow your chances with recruiters -- and, by extension, with the companies they work for -- here are six perfect ways to do so.

Resumes & Cover Letters

Rev Up Your Resume to Relocate
Hoping to relocate? Get the ball rolling on landing the right job in the right location with these expert resume and cover letter tips.


100 Potential Interview Questions
Interview questions can run the gamut. You probably won't face all 100 of these, but you should still be prepared to answer at least some of them.

Salary & Benefits

10 Questions to Ask When Negotiating Salary
Most of us aren't natural negotiators, but asking these 10 questions during salary negotiations can help you get everything you deserve.

Employee Sourcing

Alt text
November Monster Employment Index Grows 13% Year-Over-Year, Tenth Consecutive Month of Positive Annual Growth.

For Seekers

Campus and Online Degrees
Advance your career and earn more with an online degree.
Free Salary Wizard
What are you worth? Find out and negotiate a better salary.
Research Careers
Get information on jobs and career paths to help guide your choices
Questions & Answers
Find answers to all your career related questions -- powered by Yahoo! Answers
Resume Distribution Service
Our distribution service puts your resume right in the hands of recruiters.
Resume Writing Services
Our experts will craft a keyword-rich resume that stands out in the crowd.
More Career Resources

For Employers

Career Ad Network
Target your job posting to more candidates on thousands of websites.
Hire Right Background Checks
Explore our background check packages to improve the quality of your hires.
Hiring Home Page
Find the best candidates for your business with Monster hiring solutions.
Job Postings
Find the right solution for your hiring needs. Starting at $99.
Power Resume Search
Monster's new search technology precisely matches people with your jobs.
Resource Center
Find staffing insights, labor trends, HR best practices and more.
Target Post
Connect with skilled, hourly and administrative candidates for only $99.

Social Media

Jobs on Twitter
Find jobs in your area and industry.
Monster Careers
Tune into our career advice and discussions tackling a wide range of topics and industries.
Monster Corporate & PR
Stay up-to-date on the latest news. Get the 'Who', 'What', 'When', and 'Why' on all things Monster related.
Monster Customer Service
Got a Monster question? We've got the answer. Whether you're a job seeker or employer, we can help you find the answers you need.
Monster for Employers
Find advice on hiring.
Follow Us
Check out our many pages and stay connected with the latest industry news, events, career advice and job openings.

Other Links

Monster Company Profiles
Explore companies and get information to guide your career decisions.
Compare Salaries
See how your pay stacks up to others in your field.
iPhone Application
Download the Monster app for iPhone and iPod touch.
Monster Job Seeker Blog
Monster Job Seeker Blog.
Monster Thinking Blog
Monster's Recruitment Trends Blog.
Jobs & Career Resources
Search Jobs:
For Employers: Post Jobs | Search Resumes | Advertise
About Monster | Work for Monster | Advertise with Us | AdChoices | Partner with Us | Investor Relations | Social Media
Terms of Use | Privacy Center | Accessibility Center | Help | Security | Contact Us | Sitemap | Mobile
©2015 Monster - All Rights Reserved U.S. Patents No. 5,832,497; 7,599,930 B1; 7,827,125 and 7,836,060 MWW - Looking for Monster Cable? - V: 2015.8.0.34-320