Sales representatives are responsible for selling products on behalf of manufacturers of wholesalers either as an employee of that company, or as an employee of a sales agency whose clients are manufacturers and wholesalers.
Sales Representatives sell the goods and services of the organization they represent to individuals as well as retail, commercial, industrial, and professional clients.
Although educational requirements to become a sales representative vary from employer to employer, and job to job, there are not typically any formal educational requirements to get a job in this field. There are notable exceptions however, as organizations that sell technical and scientific products and services typically prefer candidates who have a bachelor’s degree in a field related to the product or service they are selling.
In order to become a successful sales representative, and not just one that is mediocre, you need to posses a certain set of skills and personal attributes, including:
• Must exude confidence, as clients perceive this as a confidence in the product or service they are being sold
• Able to handle rejection, as there will be periods of time where they have a hard time selling
• Have thorough knowledge of the market they serve, as well as the products or service they are selling
• Be highly organized, as they may have to look after many client accounts during their workweek
• Listen to the needs of clients and customers, and be able to communicate how their product or service will fulfill them
• Comfortable dealing with individuals from all different walks of life
Sales representatives that are successful in their work activities, and display excellent skills, knowledge and competencies in their field have a variety of advancement opportunities available to them. These advancement opportunities may take the form of transfers to larger sales territories, or territories with greater sales opportunities, greater annual expenditures, or a greater salary or commission share.
Sales representatives that are employed by manufacturers or wholesalers may be promoted to sales supervisor, district manager, or vice-president of sales. They may also move into marketing, or become agents for independent manufacturers who sell the products of more than one manufacturer.
If you want to become a sales representative, you first need to determine if this career path is a good fit for you. If the following description sounds like you, then you’re probably well suited for a career as a sales representative:
Those who become sales representatives are outgoing, self-confident and self-motivated. They typically enjoy getting out of the office and interacting with people.
Sales representatives are typically quite keen on being rewarded fairly for their time, efforts and results. Since sales representatives often work on commission, they must be able to persevere and stay positive during periods of low sales, and they must be willing to face rejection.