WHAT DO SALES REPRESENTATIVES DO?
Sales representatives sell retail products, goods and services to customers. Sales representatives work with customers to find what they want, create solutions and ensure a smooth sales process. Sales representatives will work to find new sales leads, through business directories, client referrals, etc. Sometimes, sales representatives will focus on inside sales, which typically involves "cold calling" for new clients while in an office setting, or outside sales, which involves visiting clients in the field with new or existing clients. Often, there sales representatives will have a combination inside/outside sales job.
HOW MUCH DO SALES REPRESENTATIVES MAKE?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, retail sales workers made a median of $10.09 an hour, or $20,990 yearly in 2010.
WHAT ARE THE EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS?
You can become a sales representative without a high school diploma, although high school graduates are often preferred. Sales representatives must know their products inside and out, so most of your training will be done on the job.
JOB SKILLS AND REQUIREMENTS
- Customer Service Skills: The customer is always right. You will need to be able speak in a friendly way to customers and potential customers, listening to their needs and helping communicate options for them.
- Communication Skills: You will need to speak to customers about a product's different features, and answer any questions they might have.
- Flexibility: You might have to work long hours, nights or weekends.
- Persistence: Not every customer is going to be a sale. Being able to bounce back if you lose a sale will be key for this job.
CAREER PATHS FOR ASSOCIATES
THE FUTURE OF SALES REPRESENTATIVES
The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that retail sales workers are expected to grow at about 17% over the next 10 years, which is considered average growth.