The Sales Associate is the first point of contact in selling a product or service and provides key information on the value that you’d be providing to a potential customer. Sales associates (or sometimes called sales representatives) can carry varying degrees of responsibility depending on who their employer is, ranging from simply starting a dialogue with a potential client all the way through closing a sale.
Sales associates are used in virtually every field, and have a great growth track. They generally break down into two categories: Business to business and business to consumer. Business to business means that you’re providing your service or product to another company, like analytics for marketing demographics. Business to consumer means that you’re selling to the general public, like electronics, automobiles, or memberships. Some sales positions serve both consumers and other businesses, like internet/telephone services, magazine subscriptions, and season ticket packages. Their main responsibilities include cold calling, connecting with customers in store, and accepting payment either in person or over the phone.
The pay structure varies, as some sales representative positions have a base salary with commission incentive, some are based entirely on commission, and others are a combination of both.
Sales associates often report to a sales manager, and work closely with marketers, copywriters, public relations specialists, product managers, project managers, and accounts payable and/or finance representatives. In the retail or fashion world, a sales associate will often report to a key holder or store manager.
A sales representative must be very personable, energetic, reliable, and results-oriented. They often are trained off of a script, so they more conversational they are, the more effective their approach.
If you’re considering applying for a Sales Representative position, your resume should show the results you’ve achieved rather than focus on your responsibilities. It should demonstrate how your work translated into something tangible so that a potential employer can see your value. Your cover letter highlight your relationship building skills, your work ethic, and desire to make an impact in your next career opportunity.
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