What is a sales agent?
A sales agent is someone who displays and sells a product or products to businesses, organizations, and government agencies, rather than selling directly to consumers. Sales agents are essential for manufacturers and wholesalers, as they are the ones who promote and market the merchandise for them.
There is a wide variety of jobs available for sales agents, as the product could range from soft drinks, candy, or office equipment to pharmaceutical supplies. Each product requires an excellent understanding of the product, and sales agents are expected to attend conferences and trade shows in order to keep up-to-date with products and customer needs.
What does a sales agent do?
A sales agent sells retail products, goods, and services to customers. They work with customers to discover what they want, create solutions, and ensure a smooth sales process. They will also work to find new sales opportunities through “cold calls”, business directories, customer referrals, or by visiting new or existing customers. Sales agents can be under considerable pressure to meet sales quotas, and their income can be directly dependent on their job performance.
Skills required by a sales agent:
Customer service skills: Sales agents must be able to speak in a friendly way to potential customers and clients, listen to what they need, and help communicate options that may be of benefit to them and their situation.
Communication skillsSales agents should describe the different characteristics of a product to customers, answer any questions they may have, and communicate why owning the product would be beneficial to them.
Flexibility: The sales agent may have to work long hours, nights or weekends, therefore being flexible with his schedule is key to being successful in this career.
Persistence: The sales agent doesn’t make every sale, and sometimes a customer can be rude or disrespectful. Being able to recover, have a positive attitude, and move on is important in this type of work.
A sales agent definitely requires extensive product knowledge of what he or she is selling, and is most successful when trained in talking to people and experienced in various sales tactics. In some companies, sales agents are required to learn specific sales tactics, and even train employees in how they want to sell their products.
What is the workplace of a sales agent like?
The job of a sales agent can be highly variable. Many people are expected to travel, at least locally, and sometimes nationally or internationally.