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Sales Personnel Job Description

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“Sales personnel” refers to those who works as part of the sales team either in a retail store, call center or individually from home. Sales personnel are employed to sell to other businesses or to individual consumers. Working in sales can be demanding or stressful, as much of the role involves working toward sales targets.


Generally, sales personnel employed in a retail store require a high school diploma, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Employers place greater emphasis on personal attributes than academic qualifications. Those looking to gain entrance to a company trainee management position, however, generally are required to have a college degree. Most employers offer on-the-job training, which involves learning company procedures, how to use computer systems and sales techniques.


All sales personnel should have good communication and listening skills. Sales personnel should be able to explain product or service benefits in a clear and structured way. It is important that sales personnel have the ability to build relations with customers, have a professional appearance, good negotiation skills and the ability to work toward sales goals and targets.


Responsibilities vary for sales personnel. Those who work in a call center environment must listen to customer needs and then make an appropriate suggestion with the aim to make a sale. Some sales personnel have room to negotiate on terms and price, so they must come to an arrangement with a customer effectively. Retail sales workers personally explain product features, answer questions and operate the cash register.


According to Indeed, the average annual salary of sales personnel in June 2010 was $50,000. However, salary varies greatly depending on experience, location, industry and level of responsibility. The BLS reports, for example, that retail sales workers often earn the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. Often, sales personnel earn commission on sales made, although this varies among companies.


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment is expected to grow by about 8 percent until 2018. Because of the 24-hour nature of call centers and the late evening and weekend opening hours of stores, many opportunities exist for part-time and shift workers. However, during periods of economic downturn, sales jobs can be hit hard as consumers spend less and the demand for sales personnel decreases.


Based in Manchester, U.K., Natalie Baker has been a freelance beauty and fashion writer since 2009. Her work appears in the beauty pages of "The Detour Magazine" and online at Just Makeup Artists. Baker is experienced in both television and print journalism, and holds a Bachelor of Arts broadcast journalism from Salford University.

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