Growth Trends for Related Jobs
While all sales consultants help make sales, there are generally two types: those who work with companies to reach customers and those who help the customers make purchases. A good sales consultant should have expertise in some aspect of sales and should have a high degree of professionalism. Those who work with businesses could be experts in anything from cold calling to specific sales software. To work with customers, you should have a good understanding of customer needs and the products offered.
Temporary Sales Consultants
Some sales consultants work on a temporary basis to help a business increase its sales. They work with the sales team, customer service and management over a period of weeks or months, often helping in one specific aspect of sales. For example, rather than hiring a permanent sales manager, a small business may hire a sales consultant to train the sales team. If a company wants to reach out to new customers, they may want a sales consultant with expertise specifically in cold calling. This person would develop scripts for the sales team to use when approaching prospective customers, or prospects, which lead from an introductory greeting to closing a sale. If a company has purchased a new sales software, they may hire a sales consultant to train staff to use it effectively for their business model. In each of these cases, the sales consultant's job description should emphasize the skills and knowledge required by the organization.
Retail Sales Consultants
Retail sales consultants work directly with customers – either in a store, online or on the phone – to help them make the right purchasing decisions. The job description usually includes greeting customers, providing them with information about the products, answering questions and making the sale. For example, a sales consultant at a retail shoe store would assist a customer in finding the right shoes for different functions in the size and color the customer wants. The sales consultant would then need to know how to operate the cash register after closing the sale. A sales consultant at a car dealership would need to know the differences between the vehicle models, including gas mileage and features, and would need to understand how vehicle financing works. What separates a retails sales consultant from a sales clerk is the ability to interact well with customers and a superior knowledge of the products.
A published author and professional speaker, David Weedmark has advised businesses and governments on technology, media and marketing for more than 20 years. He has taught computer science at Algonquin College, has started three successful businesses, and has written hundreds of articles for newspapers and magazines throughout Canada and the United States.