Taking into account the present scenario, the image of a sales representative is that of a person hell bent on selling you item at all costs. Just because a handful of them irritate you by knocking on your door every now and then or by calling you up relentlessly, making endless efforts to persuade you to listen to them and buy their products or services, you can’t tag the whole lot as pushy professionals. In fact, this is what distinguishes a bad sales representative from a good one. A good and successful sales representative knows that respecting a customer and meeting his needs is his first and foremost duty. Thus, a person who is able to convince his customers ensuring that they do not slap the door/phone is called a good sales representative. But becoming a successful salesman is not an easy job. Though it sounds exciting and rewarding to some extent, it can be stressful if you are unable to accomplish the organization goals and meet with the targets. But with the right kind of qualifications, courses, and training, you can excel your selling career.
Becoming A Successful Sales Representative
You should have a high school diploma and a bachelor’s degree in any field, though the one in Marketing would be preferred. For some jobs, you need to have a bachelor’s degree, particularly if you are dealing with scientific and technical products. While for other jobs, you can manage to get qualified for the post of a sales representative with a high school diploma, or equivalent.
Enroll for a Bachelors in Marketing or a Bachelor of Business Administration. Candidates with previous work experience are generally preferred. Most employers look for candidates with experience in related fields while others hire sales representatives who have a valid college degree. Having good communication skills and knowledge of economics, marketing, and foreign language is an added advantage. Many institutes provide certificates recognizing the skills of a sales representative, such as Certified Professional Manufacturers’ Representative (CPMR) certification and Certified Sales Professional (CSP) certification.
A sales representative should have a pleasant and persuasive personality and should possess capabilities of selling. He should be like a chameleon, who is able to morph his sales approach according to the customer he is dealing with. He must have the capabilities to observe the customers’ body language, method of negotiation, personality, and speech. It is not possible to approach each customer in the same manner as every profession and person has his own quirks and preferences. As such, a sales representative should know how to deal and handle the kind of customer he is faced with, in order to persuade the latter to buy his products and services. He should have a good command over Microsoft Powerpoint and Excel. Additionally, he should possess excellent oral and written communication skills. With low writing skills, he is bound to lose deals and with poor spoken grammar, he can lose credibility. Plus, he needs to constantly educate himself on accounting, marketing, management, and economics.
Roles & Responsibilities
As a sales representative, your primary duty will be creating proposals, presentations, running product demonstrations to generate consumer demands and produce new business. Besides, you will be responsible for upgrading the existing customers. Further, you should have knowledge about the industry in which you are working and you should update yourself with new technologies/services being introduced so that you can target your customers with the best deals and products. Plus, you should be able to manage both your time and your sales territory effectively. You have to demonstrate or explain the product or service to the customer and answer all his queries. In case of a complicated or technical product of which you do not possess much information, make sure you take along a technical expert with you. After you have successfully made the sale, train the customer on the uses of the product, set up installation, and provide assistance in displaying consumer goods. Follow up with your customers to ensure customer satisfaction. Apart from developing new customers, you have to research new products and monitor the existing products also. To add on, a sales representative has to analyze sales statistics, prepare reports, and handle administrative duties, such as filing expense accounts, scheduling appointments, and making travel plans.
Employments begin from small assignments graduating into larger accounts or territories. With experience, good sales records, and leadership skills, a sales representative is promoted to higher level positions, such as sales supervisor, district manager, or vice president of sales. While some sales representatives stick to hard-core selling, others move on to purchasing, advertising, or marketing research. With a college degree, appropriate technical expertise, and personal traits, the job prospects of a sales representative continue to grow. Over the next 10 years, job opportunities for sales representatives, wholesale, and manufacturing are likely to increase drastically. Growth in an individual sales representative’s job depends upon the variety and number of goods sold throughout the economy. Since a sales representative plays a major role in intermediating between organizations, he is necessary to promote the expansion of a company.
With the changing economic conditions and business’ preferences, employment opportunities and earnings of a sales representative can fluctuate. Nevertheless, a sales representative has several opportunities to explore in the sales and marketing industry with experience and knowledge. With successful selling, he can very well open up his own company. All the best if you’ve chosen this persuasive, lucrative, and rewarding job as your career!