Growth Trends for Related Jobs
There are sales consultant jobs in nearly every niche of business, as the very word business suggests that there is a product or service to sell. Sales consultants are responsible for generating sales, which is usually done through direct contact with customers or clients. Depending on the business, the contact may be done through cold calling or generated leads.
Good people skills are arguably the most important quality that you can have as a sales consultant, as these professionals interact directly with customers and clients on a daily basis, and are often the only faces and personalities customers have to associate with a product or service. Sales consultants are responsible for building lasting relationships with customers to ensure their loyalty to the company, and must handle any questions or negotiations that may arise. They may also be responsible for handling customer complaints.
Product and Market Knowledge
A good sales consultant is always learning; product development rarely ceases, so it is important to know all the latest development and upcoming offerings that the company may have. Knowing as much as possible about the products they sell can help them explain the benefits and inspire confidence in consumers. They must also be knowledgeable about their target customers, as wasting time trying to sell to people who are not likely to want or need the product or service takes time away from successful sales. Another thing these consultants might need to know about is their competition; staying abreast of market trends and competitors' products can help them devise a more successful sales strategy.
Sales consultants are often given specific sales targets by their employers, and as such they must be very driven to reach those goals. They must devise a script or sales strategy, decide how best to contact customers, and then implement that plan. For some companies, this may include scheduling appointments to demonstrate a product. Some sales consultants must also place orders for customers, maintain sales logs and other paperwork, and handle inventory duties. Employers expect sales consultants to do all of this while successfully selling, so motivation and the ability to multitask is important.
Many sales consultant jobs require nothing more than a high school diploma, but some require a bachelor's degree in business-related field, such as marketing, finance or communications. However, moving up to management from this position likely requires a higher degree. Many companies also require additional training courses to ensure that consultants are properly educated about their product or service. This training may be paid or unpaid depending on the organization, and the training may be ongoing throughout a consultant's time with the company. Experience in a related field can be just as important as education, because there are sales consultants in nearly every field.
Harlow Keith has been involved in the human resources sector since 1998. He founded a human resources training company and has written several published articles. Harlow became interested in his field at the tender age of 15 while editing his father's resume.