As a graduate with a First-Class Honours degree in Science, sales & marketing would be the last thing on my ideal job list — if it appeared at all. Why on earth would a scientist get involved in sales & marketing? They should be in a laboratory, researching, experimenting and publishing papers, lab coats and all, right?
This assumption is part of the problem. People used to think science graduates were just nerds. Others assumed they were mad scientists who have long curly white hair with an overgrown mustache. Their craze for experiments kept them stuck in the lab and completely cut off from the society.
“No, science graduates are not like that!”
How I wish I could say that out loud. But guess what, I’m an introvert with social anxiety. Mad scientist? Far from, though I do know a few of them in my faculty.
So, are all science graduates nerds? You knew the answer. After all, not all Asians are good at maths and not all women are bad drivers.
But to me, it doesn’t matter. My intention is not to deny that science graduates are nerds. I’m proud to be a nerd. All I wanted to show was how these nerds are the ideal people to make sales too.
How I started in Sales and Marketing
So here comes the question — why would somebody put me, a nerd, in the field of sales & marketing? It’s completely against the “selecting the right person for the right job” principle.
The truth is — nobody did. I’m the one who threw myself in. I started my own online business and work on digital sales & marketing every day.
I used to work in a factory’s lab as a quality controller after I graduated but I found it boring and unfulfilling. I quit my job in 2 months and decided to start my own online business.
As a newbie, I have to manage every part of my business from A-Z including sales & marketing. I was a bit reluctant with this aspect at first, as I know I sucked at dealing with people face to face. But hey! This is an online business, I don’t have to do that. All I have to do is research, experiment, and publish.
Wait, isn’t that exactly what a scientist does for a living？
Sales & Marketing Today
In this digital era, more and more of “sales & marketing” is moving back from outdoors to indoors, traditional to digital. It means the boundary between sales and marketing is diminishing, if not completely vanished.
Hard selling is getting tougher and tougher. Advertisement through traditional media such as newspaper, TV, radio broadcasting doesn’t produce significant results like it used to.
The reason behind these changes is the shift in consumer behavior. Endless information is just a fingertip away from the buyer. Most people want to be informed consumers including businesses. They want to know what’s truly best for them and make the right buying decision.
In fact, research has shown that 70% of the buyer’s journey is complete before a buyer even reaches out to sales.
It means that 70% of the buying decision has already been made before a salesperson is involved.
What are these decisions based on? The answer: Research.
The best place to research? The Internet.
And who are the best people to do this research?
The Advantage of Science Graduates
Digital marketing isn’t just about posting your products online and advertising them. It requires researching, managing social media and constantly publishing quality materials to gain buyer’s trust and winning sales.
This is where science graduates come into play. Science babies are curious explorers with strong research skills. They are resourceful. They know where to access information.
If they know where to get the information of (3R,3aS,6R,6aS,9S,10aS,10bR)-Octahydro-3,6,9-trimethyl-10aH-9,10b-epoxypyrano[4,3,2-jk]benzoxepin-2(3H)-one, I’m sure they know how to research for your industry.
Before publishing a scientific paper, a science student will more than likely read a hundred complex articles (including the non-useful ones) before finalizing their one piece. This makes them great information digestors. Imagine how many articles you have to read and summarize before producing one that’s useful for your audience — that might be a big deal for others but not a science graduate.
Besides that, managing social media requires the constant learning of new technologies along with long-hour indoor work. Science students are always standing on the front line of technology and their aim is to improvise and adapt.
Last but not least, science graduates are best at experimenting, learning and improving. Advertising online is all about experiment no matter how many tutorials you have consumed, or techniques you try to study. Every product is special and you’ll always have to go through experiments before finding out your best sellers and target audience.
The nerd sigma was one of the reasons why employers shied away from science graduates when recruiting for sales & marketing personnel yesterday. But it’s the exact same reason that makes them the best fit candidates for sales & marketing today.