How To Write a Cover Letter for a Sales Position in 7 Steps
By Indeed Editorial Team
Published September 7, 2021
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
A cover letter is often the first encounter a hiring manager has with you, so it's important to make a good first impression. For sales jobs, this often means showing you possess the various soft skills needed to make and close deals. If you're interested in sales, highlighting these skills and presenting them logically can show that you're a strong candidate. In this article, we explain how to write a cover letter for a sales position, explore essential skills in this field, and review an example of a cover letter for a role in sales.
How to write a cover letter for a sales position
If you want to learn how to write a cover letter for a sales position, follow these steps:
1. Study the job description
Customize every cover letter to the specific job you're applying for. You can do this by reviewing each job description for keywords and phrases to include in your writing. This can show the hiring manager you meet the basic criteria for the job. The job description may also include other useful information, such as the name of the hiring manager, helping you to address your cover letter directly to that person.
2. Research the employer
Researching an employer can help you further customize your cover letter by revealing characteristics about the organization. For example, on an employer's website, you might find a mission statement that describes the organization's target audience and goals. You can mention these details in your cover letter and explain how they align with your own goals. Showing that you share the same ideals as the employer can persuade them to think you're a good fit for the organization.
3. Create an outline
Outlining your cover letter before you write it can help you organize your thoughts and create a more cohesive document. Cover letters are commonly three to four paragraphs in length, with each paragraph typically focusing on a single main idea. Here's an example of a basic outline for the body of your cover letter:
Paragraph 1: Declare the position you're applying for and your interest in it. Also, note specific attributes about yourself that you're going to focus on, which you can explain further in the subsequent paragraphs.
Paragraphs 2 and 3: In each of the middle paragraphs, explain one of your skills or personal qualities. Provide specific examples that show you're capable of achieving concrete results with these attributes.
Paragraph 4: In the concluding paragraph, reiterate your interest in the position and thank the hiring manager for considering you. Imply next steps by pointing out your contact information and your anticipation of their response.
4. Include your name and contact information
While you've probably included your name and contact information on your resume, it's a good idea to reiterate those details on your cover letter. This is standard practise and can help remind the hiring manager whose document they're reading. You can create a custom header for your cover letter that shows your name in prominent type at the top, followed by your mailing address, phone number, and email address on a shared line below. Alternatively, you can write each of these details in standard fashion on its own line.
5. Use a professional greeting
The greeting is how you address the recipient of the cover letter. If you know the name of the hiring manager, address your letter to them. You can use the standard greeting "Dear" before their name, and a comma after their name. If the hiring manager's name was unavailable, you can write "Dear Hiring Manager" or "To Whom It May Concern."
6. Include a complimentary close and signature
After you've written the body of your cover letter, include a complimentary close, also known as a sign-off. This is a short line above your signature. Common complimentary closes for cover letters include:
Insert a comma directly following the close. Then, on a separate line, include your signature. Since your cover letter is likely to be an electronic document, you can simply type out your name on the signature line. Alternatively, with certain software, you can include a digital signature that resembles handwriting.
7. Proofread and revise
Finally, reread your cover letter for any errors in spelling, mechanics, phrasing, or grammar. Make sure that the ideas and language flow logically and are easy to read. Consider ways you can improve the document in these regards. Ask friends or family members to read your cover letter and offer any suggestions for improvement. Other people are better able to notice flaws in your writing, so enlisting their help can ensure your cover letter is accurate and error-free.
What is a sales position?
A sales position is a job that involves selling goods or services. Sales professionals often present details of their offerings to potential clients, called leads. They usually work to achieve at least a minimum number of sales for a period. In a client-facing role, sales professionals typically try to establish contract deals on behalf of their organization.
There are various kinds of sales positions, including:
Sales representative: This professional is responsible for engaging with clients and selling products or services to them. Their duties include repeating sales to existing clients and delivering presentations to new clients.
Regional sales manager: Regional sales managers are responsible for sales in a specific region. As a higher-level professional, they often also prepare sales reports, help hire and train new members, and analyze market activity to optimize sales opportunities.
Account executive: These individuals devise strategic plans to meet sales goals and work to secure contracts with new clients. Their responsibilities include reaching out to potential sales leads and presenting solutions to them.
Account manager: An account manager is often the point of contact for a client. They work on developing professional relationships with clients to retain ongoing clientele.
Essential skills for a sales position
The following are some essential skills you can mention in your cover letter:
Communication is the ability to convey and receive information effectively. It's a foundational skill in sales, as the profession involves hearing the needs of potential clients and speaking to them about the value their company's offerings can provide. With strong communication skills, you can demonstrate that your organization has the solution that others seek.
Negotiation is the ability to convince two or more parties to reach an agreement on a matter. In sales, the parties involved are your organization and the client. Particularly in established sales relationships, the client may ask for special rates or deals as an incentive for a long-term commitment. In such cases, the ability to negotiate can help you retain a valuable client while meeting the requirements of your employer.
Business acumen is an aptitude for understanding business situations and navigating them to achieve a desirable outcome. If you have excellent business acumen, you're likely able to comprehend the reasoning behind the motivations of your employer and your clients. With this understanding, you can better present each side's needs and offer solutions that are beneficial to everyone.
Confidence and optimism
Confidence is certainty in your skills and capabilities, while optimism is the belief that positive outcomes are possible. These attitudes are essential in sales because leads are more likely to accept the pitch of someone who appears confident and optimistic in their ability to meet a need. Your leads may associate your positive attitude with belief in the product or service you're selling, and that can serve as an effective endorsement.
Example of a cover letter for a sales position
You can refer to this example of a sales position cover letter to help you write your own:
222 Hartford Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1A OB1
July 25, 2021
Dear Hiring Manager,
I am thrilled about the opportunity to apply for the position of account manager at Tomoe Inc. In my previous sales roles, I considered it a source of pride to be someone that both my clients and my employers could depend on because of my perseverance and optimism. Now I hope to bring those qualities to your organization.
As I have mentioned, I am a persevering individual. In a previous account management role at Maple Tech Solutions, I was able to leverage this skill to great effect. I made it my goal to retain every one of my clients, and each of them remained with the company until the day I left. In the same period, I also brought on several large clients, contributing to a 20% increase in profits.
It is reasonable to expect setbacks in any sales position, and I had my own share of unsuccessful lead conversions. Because of my naturally optimistic attitude, though, I never saw these as failures. Rather, I treated them as challenges that drove me to perform better next time. The next opportunity I am seeking is a position in your esteemed company, and my aim is to exceed your expectations.
Thank you very much for taking the time to consider me for the account manager position at Tomoe Inc. You may reach me at the email address and phone number listed above. I look forward to hearing from you to discuss my future with your company.
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