1) The other woman (or man) might be the job - Most sales jobs require long hours, odd hours, or a combination of both. Unexpected client meetings, availability on weekends, and late nights completing paperwork are all something a salesperson's spouse must be ready to accept.
2) It can be an emotional roller coaster (the job, not the marriage) - Sales isn't for the faint of heart. Constant rejection from clients, pressure from management, and fluctuating performance levels make sales life filled with invigorating highs, and crushing lows. Even the best sales reps can't always tune out their work-related emotions when they get home, so make sure you understand that what they're going through is perfectly normal for the job.
3) At least there's job security - People think of sales as a high-turnover profession, and therefore associate it with instability. The reality is more nuanced; sales reps who are performing well are very rarely let go. Those who aren't performing well are let go but will most likely find another job easily due to the high demand for sales reps.
4) The pay: it's complicated - A difficult thing for those unfamiliar with sales to get used to is the fluctuations in paychecks. Some sales jobs offer a modest base pay along with a commission structure meant to incentivize the rep to sell. Others offer only a commission. Either way, the highs can be very high and the lows can be very low. It's always a good thing to celebrate the good months but make sure you're prepared for the occasional dry spell as well.
5) Yes, people judge - One unpleasant aspect of working in sales is people's reaction when they find out that you (or your spouse) works in sales. This negative reaction is usually based on preconceived notions about what salespeople are like, assuming that they are dishonest, uneducated, or unskilled. While it might be frustrating to deal with, the best way to overcome these stereotypes is by proving people wrong. Let them get to know you and your future spouse and see that in reality, most salespeople are honest, hardworking professionals, just like themselves.
6) Don't be a sore loser - It's difficult for sales reps who are not competitive to survive. Many salespeople are former athletes because the competitive nature of the profession can fulfill a need to be measured and rewarded based on their wins. If you're considering marrying someone in sales, just remember that they're probably going to take 'Game Night' much more seriously than you are.
7) There's no better pep talk - One skill every salesperson acquires is the ability to make their customer feel comfortable, encouraged, and be willing to buy into their company's message. So if you ever need to be cheered up, encouraged, and supported, no one will be able to do that quite as well as a salesperson, who will know exactly how to sell you on feeling better.
Ken Kupchik runs the popular Sales Humor Facebook page and creates content for AppMesh, the makers of SalesMesh. He has over a decade of sales experience, ranging from telecom to financial sales. His favorite sales movie is Glengarry Glen Ross.
SalesMesh is the personal CRM/sales app that works the way you sell. Automatically track customer interactions, notes, schedule follow-ups, collaborate with your network, sync to and from Salesforce all from your iPhone and iPad -- even when you're offline. Learn more here.