Sales, Marketing and Communications
Sales representatives sell all types of merchandise, and consumer goods and services to commercial outlets, industry and businesses.
Junior secondary school certificate or equivalent
What does a Sales Representative do?
Sales representatives sell all types of merchandise, and consumer goods and services to commercial outlets, industry and businesses. Sales representative may also be called sales executives. They are also commonly known as sales reps.
As a sales representative, or sales executive you would:
- meet new and current clients and gauge what their needs are
- present new products
- negotiate prices, deals and payments
- provide after-sales service
- manage client sales
- record and detail orders
- monitor competitors' products and services
- attend conferences and seminars
- meet sales targets.
Key skills and interests
To become a sales representative, you would need:
- persuasiveness and good negotiation skills
- good communication skills
- to enjoy having contact with people
- enthusiasm, initiative and confidence
- ambition to reach sales targets
- good teamwork skills
- good time management skills.
Working hours and conditions
You would usually work a standard number of hours per week. Your company may allow you to choose your hours as long as you meet your sales targets. Depending on the needs of your clients you may need to work evenings or weekends to accommodate them.
You would spend a lot of your time travelling around your sales area. This may mean local, national or even international travel. When you are not on the road, you may be based in a sales office or you could work from home.
How to become an Sales Representative?
Entry Level Education
You can work as a sales representative without formal qualifications. You would get some training on the job. It might be helpful to be able to demonstrate some experience, such as you might gain through retail sales work.
You can also become a sales representative through a sales traineeship. Employers generally require you to gain your senior secondary school certificate or equivalent.
Your employer may require you to have a current drivers' licence.
Employment of sales representatives is projected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations.
Growth for sales representatives will essentially follow growth of the economy, and of the industry in which you are working.