Sales Representatives


Overview

Sales Representatives

Introduction

Sales representatives, also called sales reps, sell the products and services of manufacturers and wholesalers. They look for potential customers or clients such as retail stores, other manufacturers or wholesalers, government agencies, hospitals, and other institutions; explain or demonstrate their products to these clients; and attempt to make a sale. The job may include follow-up calls and visits to ensure the customer is satisfied.

Sales representatives work under a variety of titles. Those employed by manufactur...

Quick Facts


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Median Salary

$59,930

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Employment Prospects

Good

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Minimum Education Level

High School Diploma


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Experience

Previous sales experience useful


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Skills

Interpersonal


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Personality Traits

Conventional

Earnings

Many beginning sales representatives are paid a salary while receiving their training. After assuming direct responsibility for a sales territory, they may receive only a commission (a fixed percentage of each dollar sold). Also common is a modified commission plan (a lower rate of commission on sales plus a low base salary). Some companies provide bonuses to successful representatives.

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Work Environment

Salespeople generally work long and irregular hours. Those with large territories may spend all day calling and meeting customers in one city and much of the night traveling to the place where they will make the next day's calls and visits. Sales workers with a small territory may do little overnight travel but, like most sales workers, may spend many evenings preparing reports, writing up orde...

Outlook

Employment for manufacturers' and wholesale sales representatives is expected to grow at a slower than average rate through 2029, according to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). Because of continued economic growth and an increasing number of new products on the market, more sales representatives will be needed to explain, demonstrate, and sell these products to customers.

"In addition ...

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