Karla Magill didn’t know what she wanted to do when she left school so instead of studying for a degree she wasn’t sure about, she took a customer service role at an office supplies company. After moving into telesales she says she caught the ‘sales bug’ and continued to climb the sales ladder.

It didn’t take Karla long to realise that working with people, setting goals, and confronting challenges was for her, setting her chosen career path in stone.

She went to 16 different schools as a young person and says that although she didn’t take any specific subjects with a view to a career, English and media studies would definitely have helped.

After working her way up, Karla is now an account manager at one of New Zealand’s largest media companies and has been in the industry for 15 years. Essentially, it is a “hunting” role, she says.

She is constantly looking to find new business and grow client bases.

Karla insists there are no negatives to her job! With each role, she says you have to start from scratch to rebuild your client bases, which is far more of a challenge than a negative, and she loves a challenge.

When she started out, Karla was really shy and she says it definitely helps if potential salespeople have an outgoing personality. However, as people progress they generally become more inquisitive and, as Karla says, “knowledge is power”. Personal growth is essential in sales, as “you’re the only one that’s going to make a difference in your life”.

The best part of the job is definitely working with people, she says, along with the style of work, seeing the sale through from start to finish and working really closely with the client to make sure they’re happy.

To be successful in sales, Karla believes people should be passionate about what they do, motivated, love to win and be keen to succeed. They should also believe in who they are and what they want to be – “the sky’s the limit in this job and it becomes very rewarding – don’t be disheartened if someone says no – see it as a challenge, keep going, and never give up!”

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