SALES REPRESENTATIVES try to interest wholesale and retail buyers and purchasing agents in their merchandise. They represent manufacturers by selling their products. They advise clients on methods to reduce costs, use their products, and increase sales. They travel to and visit prospective buyers and current clients. They discuss the client's needs and suggest how their merchandise can meet those needs. They show samples, pictures, and catalogs that describe the items. They inform customers on price, availability, and sales promotions. They may help install equipment, train employees, and resolve any problems with or complaints about the product.
Salary, Size & Growth
- $53,500 average per year ($25.75 per hour)
- A very large occupation (1,748,300 workers in 2010)
- Expected to grow moderately (0.7% per year)
The background usually needed for SALES REPRESENTATIVES varies by product line and market. Most firms require a strong educational background and increasingly prefer or require a bachelor's degree. Many employers prefer to hire those with proven sales ability, personality, and familiarity with products. Firms selling complex, technical products may require a technical degree in addition to sales experience.