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Employer Alerts and Career Advice / As Senior Adults 50+, Have You Considered Sales As An Entry Back Into The Workplace? You should!

As Senior Adults 50+, Have You Considered Sales As An Entry Back Into The Workplace? You should!

December 30, 2021

Man working in office

by Jim Cornbleet

As Senior Adults you already possess the main three life experiences you need to succeed in Sales.

Ask any salesperson on the road to mastery, “What does it take to get there?”   Many responses come to mind.  In my 30+years of selling experiences, the following three major focus areas are key to keeping sales simple (KSS):

  1. Ask questions
  2. Listen
  3. Network

A few simple questions:

  • Say more about that, please?
  • What in particular makes you feel that way?
  • Would that work?
  • What would happen if you did X?

Be clear and unequivocal. Tell the truth with empathy. By asking direct questions and showing shared enthusiasm, the customer (prospect) understands you are exploring the situation together.

Listening is crucial to being an effective salesperson. When you truly pay attention to clients, they will know that you understand them. Effective listening builds trust—and thus earns you the right to move the process forward. In the book, The Trusted Advisor, by Daniel H. Maister, Charles H. Green & Robert M. Galford (highly recommended for the salesperson on the road to mastery), listening and its positive effect is summed up best:

“The successful professional will listen for what is said and what is unspoken.  In addition, it is necessary to confirm and validate what we have heard.  We must not only listen; we must do something to give the client the experience of having been listened to.  This is vital to earning the right to move forward.”

Ask direct questions and listen. You will find the solutions quicker, build greater trust and shorten the process. Moreover, you will improve your close ratio.


Increasing the sales pipeline or funnel is integral to the success of the “master salesperson.” Effective networking, asking for referrals and client testimonials are all invaluable. Networking is essential in today’s marketplace. It is often said: “It is not what you know but who you know.”

As a young adult entering the business world, I refused to adhere to this principle. I knew I could do it on my own. “Who needs the help of others?” I asked myself. As I “got wiser”, and saw the value of how others can significantly help in my efforts, I have totally embraced networking (so much so, that I named my company, Network for You).  Networking brings leads and provides a launching pad to potential business.

Asking for referrals at the conclusion of each sale builds another avenue for filling the “pipeline.”  Not only should you ask for references from a satisfied client—you should ask for them from any individual who understands your target market.  The key is to ask.

And ask for client testimonials as well. They are a springboard for opening the door to potential prospects.  Always ask why the prospect-turned-customer bought from you.  Ask them to write it on their company letterhead—then use the testimonial as an opening to garner new prospects. It may get you in the door.

I believe sales is the “easiest, hardest profession around.”  If you dot all the i’s and cross all the t’s, selling can be simple.  On the road to mastery, follow the three aforementioned areas, continue to learn and hone your craft. It will pay you bigger dividends (and commissions!) than you think!

Take your life experiences and see if they match the traits needed to succeed in sales. There are many benefits to be gained from even a part-time career in sales for you.

Jim Cornbleet
Jim Cornbleet is prior president of Network for You, a revolutionary concept in professional services that gives business owners access to top-notch quality service providers. Cornbleet authored ‘Who Says A Fish Can’t Sell? True Tales From Top Salespeople’ in 2019. Currently Jim is a mentor at SCORE and also mentors start-ups for Capital Innovators, a leading accelerator in the US. Connect with Jim on LinkedIn.



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