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Sales Associations Can Boost Your Career

Recently, there has been quite a bit of discussion about organizations in the payments industry-some have changed management and geographical locations; participation in regional acquirers' associations and their conferences is up; new organizations have formed to meet the specific needs of MLSs. These groups and the resources they provide are not the only ones available for sales people to take advantage of. Have you considered giving your career a boost by joining a national sales association?

There are numerous organizations in existence throughout the United States dedicated to sales people and small business owners across all industries. These groups, like other professional associations, give members a forum for sharing ideas and discussing concerns with their peers. Most hold conferences and meetings to increase networking opportunities. Some groups offer membership benefits including insurance coverage, education for career advancement and legislative clout.

Many of these associations provide resources that non-members can also access. For example, visiting their Web sites can provide you with valuable information. (The Web site,, lists dozens of organizations and offers sales stories, strategies and career tips.)

Following are a few examples of groups formed for sales professionals:

Pi Sigma Epsilon

3747 S. Howell Ave.

Milwaukee, WI 53207


Founded in 1952, Pi Sigma Epsilon started as a national professional and coeducational fraternity in selling, sales management and marketing at the University of Georgia. It is now a national fraternity with more than 60,000 members. The group provides education in sales and marketing, networking and hands-on experience opportunities. Membership is available to sales professionals.

National Field Selling Association (NFSA)

1900 Arch Street

Philadelphia, Pa. 19103


The National Field Selling Association was founded in 1987 to promote direct selling in the United States. The association offers education and training seminars, networking, legislative updates and industry involvement to its members. Membership is open to anyone involved in direct sales.

National Association of Sales Professionals (NASP)

11000 North 130th Place

Scottsdale, Ariz. 85259


The National Association of Sales Professionals was founded in 1991 and has 3,000 members. It offers a certification program for sales professionals, online sales tools and continuing education. Membership is available to all sales professionals.

Professional Salespersons of America (PSA)


The Professional Salespersons of America was founded in 1978 and has 4,500 members. It maintains a speakers' bureau and is developing the criteria for a sales degree students can earn from two- and four-year colleges.

Sales and Marketing Executives International (SMEI)

P. O. Box 1390

Sumas, Wash. 98295-1390


The Sales and Marketing Executives International was founded in 1935. This organization was the vision of such notables as Thomas Watson, Sr., the founder of IBM, and Raymond Bill, the founder of "Sales and Marketing Management Magazine." With over 10,000 members and 50 affiliate chapters worldwide, SMEI is able to offer its membership the strength of an international organization at local levels. Benefits of membership include education, a speakers' bureau, an online marketing library, certification programs and a free subscription to "Sales & Marketing Strategies and News."

National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE)

P.O. Box 612067

DFW Airport

Dallas, Texas 75261-2067


The National Association for the Self-Employed was founded in 1981. While not exclusive to salespeople, this association gives small businesses the support, benefits and buying power typically available only to larger companies. Members can enroll in health care plans, receive discounts on prescriptions for medications and glasses and office supplies; obtain financial advice and enroll in retirement plans. It also offers scholarships and business education and represents members' interests in Washington, D.C. Membership is open to small businesses of up to ten employees.

National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB)

53 Century Blvd., Suite 250

Nashville, Tenn. 37221


The National Federation of Independent Business was founded in 1943 and says it now has more than 600,000 members. This organization's goal is to influence legislation affecting small and independent businesses at the state and federal levels. In addition to playing an active role in the politics affecting small business, members receive discounts on shipping, insurance, payroll services, software and health insurance. The Web site has tools available to assist in all aspects of running a business including human resources, facility management, marketing and sales. Membership is open to independent businesses of all sizes.

Notice to readers: These are archived articles. Contact names or information may be out of date. We regret any inconvenience.
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