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A computer sales representative works for a manufacturer, wholesaler or retailer and presents computers, software and accessories to potential buyers. The role varies somewhat by company, but the sales rep has to understand the equipment and products, listen to customer concerns, sell persuasively and close. Pay varies by industry and company. A marketing or business degree is helpful, but many employers look for sales abilities, communication skills and product knowledge.
A computer manufacturer makes computer hardware, software or accessories. A sales rep would typically contact distributors and retailers and try to get them to carry the products. A wholesale rep contacts retailers and tries to get them to carry inventory for sale to customers. Many computer sales reps work in electronics and computer retail stores, selling products and services to consumers and businesses that use computers for personal or company purposes.
Product knowledge is a common requirement of computer sales reps in any sector. You typically need a strong level of comfort with computers, their attributes and common uses. You may also need to know specific software programs, such as Microsoft Office Suite or industry-related programs, such as customer relationship software or accounting programs. Many companies require that sales reps achieve internal certifications to sell various lines and products.
Trade sellers, those that work for manufacturers and wholesalers, typically contact buyers at prospect companies and set appointments. You'd go to the prospect's office and demonstrate computers and products. Along with the demonstration, the rep also talks about the benefits and value to the buyer or its customers. In a retail environment, sales reps typically work with customers that come into the store with the intent of buying a computer. Retails often carry multiple computers and product lines. After listening to a customer's needs, you make recommendations and sell benefits of a particular brand.
Sales reps often taken on an active service role as well. If you sell computers to a business buyer, you might have to provide some technical support or help resolve problems as employees begin using computers. If a trade buyer doesn't receive an order on time, you might have to follow up on shipping. In a retail setting, customers might return if they have trouble using the computer or products and ask for your assistance.
Neil Kokemuller has been an active business, finance and education writer and content media website developer since 2007. He has been a college marketing professor since 2004. Kokemuller has additional professional experience in marketing, retail and small business. He holds a Master of Business Administration from Iowa State University.