We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What does a Salesman do?

M.C. Huguelet
Updated Mar 02, 2024
Our promise to you
Practical Adult Insights is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At Practical Adult Insights, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A salesman trades services or products to buyers in exchange for compensation. He functions as the human face of a company, providing information and sometimes using persuasive techniques to influence the customer’s decision to buy. Beyond these basic points, the nature of a salesman’s work varies widely depending on the type of product or service he is selling and his sales method. Some salesmen are based at a product outlet and serve customers who come to the outlet actively seeking that product. Others generate sales by visiting or contacting prospective customers to introduce their products or bidding against other salesmen to win service contracts.

The automobile dealer is an example of a salesman who is based at a product outlet — in this case, a car dealership. He serves prospective customers who visit the dealership with some pre-established desire to investigate the product or even to buy. Typical duties can include taking potential buyers for test drives, answering questions about the cars themselves as well as financing options, and negotiating purchase prices. He typically makes a commission from each sale he closes, but may not earn a regular salary.

In some cases, the salesman bids against his competitors to secure a service contract. This method is common to construction sales. For instance, a plumbing firm may wish to outfit the bathrooms at a shopping mall that is going to be built. To win this contract, the firm’s sales representative will examine the scope of the job, determine the projected costs of supplies and labor, and submit a competitive bid to the mall’s general contractor, who will accept or reject it. Usually this type of sales position requires a working understanding of the firm’s services.

Other salesmen generate business by approaching prospective customers to introduce their product. This sales method may involve some travel. Pharmaceutical representatives, for instance, visit health care providers to discuss their firm’s products and often to offer product samples. Here, the salesman is not responsible for vending his product directly, but rather for positively influencing health care providers’ perceptions of his product to stimulate its prescription, thus profiting his firm.

Certain salesmen are based in telemarketing centers, where they attempt to sell products by calling potential buyers on the telephone. In some cases, these salesmen work from leads, or lists of possible customers whose potential interest in their product has already been established through research or prior correspondence. Others may practice cold calling, or contacting individuals with no pre-established interest in their goods. Cold calling is often viewed negatively by the general public, who can find unsolicited sales calls annoying and intrusive.

Those who wish to work in sales will likely find an undergraduate degree in business studies useful. Interning in a firm’s sales department can also give potential salespeople an in-depth understanding of the job. Many successful salesmen find that experience is the most beneficial training, however. Thus a potential salesman might consider honing his technique at a low-level job before graduating to a position with greater responsibility and rewards.

Practical Adult Insights is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
M.C. Huguelet
By M.C. Huguelet , Former Writer
Cate Huguelet, a Chicago-based freelance writer with a passion for storytelling, crafts engaging content for a wide range of publications, including Practical Adult Insights. With degrees in Writing and English, she brings a unique perspective and a commitment to clean, precise copy that resonates with readers. Her ability to understand and connect with audiences makes her a valuable asset to any content creation team.

Discussion Comments

By EliseP — On May 11, 2011

Typically we see salesmen going door to door selling vacuums, beauty care products, cookies and any other item that is hot on the market. Many of us hang up on salesmen when they call our home numbers asking us if we want to buy products.

M.C. Huguelet

M.C. Huguelet

Former Writer

Cate Huguelet, a Chicago-based freelance writer with a passion for storytelling, crafts engaging content for a wide...
Learn more
Practical Adult Insights, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

Practical Adult Insights, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.