Military Veterans Excel in Sales Jobs


Research shows that veterans can excel in sales

Men and women who have military experience can serve as a tremendous source of talent for the sales professions, according to a research project recently completed. Veterans outpaced their non-veteran counterparts in measurements of characteristics related to qualifying sales leads, closing sales, selling against strong competition, and several other functions that spell sales success.

The main goal of the research was to find and measure differences in sales-related ability, motivation, and personality traits between individuals with military experience and people lacking that background. The study also measured differences between military officers and enlisted personnel; and differences between individuals with up to 5 years of military experience and people who served for 20 or more years.


Another finding is that ex-officers tend to initiate more personal relationships in the work environment. Former enlisted personnel tend to be more formal, and they prefer somewhat distant working relationships. Thus, officers tend to be a better fit for positions requiring much customer contact.

HR Chally, a sales-research and career-development firm in Dayton, Ohio, conducted the study in cooperation with RecruitMilitary, LLC, a Cincinnati-based company that helps veterans find civilian jobs. This groundbreaking research was the subject of a recent article in The Cincinnati Enquirer. Link:

Corey E. Miller, PhD, a Chally Industrial Organizational Psychologist and an assistant professor of psychology at Wright State University in Dayton, led the study. For data on non-military candidates, Miller used Chally’s archive of data on more than 150,000 applicants for sales and other organizational positions. Chally has been building and refining this database for over 30 years. For the military data, the Chally team surveyed people who were registered in RecruitMilitary’s database of job candidates and had expressed interest in a sales career. RecruitMilitary invited those candidates via e-mail to take a free, online assessment of their sales capabilities and indicated that Chally would send the candidates free summaries of their results. Chally used the first 250 completed assessments for the study.

All former military personnel are willing to help their colleagues at work, but individuals with more military experience prefer to share their expertise with co-workers who have already mastered the fundamentals and seek advanced learning. Personnel with less military experience are comfortable coaching novices by addressing basic issues.

Company Backgrounds:
RecruitMilitary, LLC, founded in 1998, helps find civilian jobs for men and women who are transitioning out of the armed forces and for military veterans with varying amounts of business experience. The company provides contingency recruiting services, filling corporate job openings; hosts electronic job postings on its Website,; and offers subscriptions entitling employers to search its database of registered job candidates. All of the company’s services are free to job candidates.

HR Chally Group specializes in business development, focusing on sales practices as well as employee and organizational assessment and development. The firm collects data from job candidates, employees, and customers of client organizations, then interprets the data to predict both individual performance and the market dynamics that the organizations need to address. The company was founded in 1978.


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