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What Does a Salesperson Do?

By Amber Eberle
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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A salesperson sells products and services to customers. These customers can be individual consumers or they may be businesses. There are many types of sales positions, including retail, phone, and door-to-door sales. Salespeople must have good people skills, and are required to be knowledgeable about the product that they are selling. They typically work hard to perfect a sales pitch that will convince customers to purchase the goods they represent.

People working in sales can have varying job descriptions. One of the more common types of salesperson is one that sells directly to customers. Such mainly retail positions can be found in clothing stores, automobile dealerships, furniture stores, or electronics retailers. This job typically entails greeting customers as they enter the store, and assisting them in finding the product that best suits their needs. To be successful, this type of salesperson must be able to answer questions about the products that he sells, and it is important for him to be able to connect with customers and make them feel comfortable.

A phone salesperson has a different type of job than a person working in a store. This position requires calling customers and encouraging them to purchase an item over the phone. He may be required to cold-call potential customers to let them know about the products or services that his company has to offer, or he may call potential leads that have already shown interest in buying. Some people believe that this type of sales position is more difficult than a sales position in a store, because it is harder to connect with a customer over the phone.

A door-to-door salesperson travels to meet with potential customers, to try to sell the product he is promoting. This type of sales position may require visiting potential clients at their homes, but can also entail visiting businesses. A door-to-door salesperson may sell products or services. This is also a challenging type of sales position due to the fact that many customers do not appreciate being interrupted, and may not give the salesperson the opportunity to present their sales pitch. Selling to businesses can be less challenging if the representative is offering something that he knows that the business can use.

Most salespeople are required to meet a sales quota each month. This minimum requirement is typically determined by the employer, and meeting such goals can determine a salesperson's schedule and work assignments. In most cases, salespeople are paid a small base salary and the majority of their earnings come from commissions.

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Discussion Comments

By serenesurface — On Feb 04, 2013

I didn't know that salespeople get commissions. That must be an encouraging factor to make sales.

By fBoyle — On Feb 03, 2013
@burcinc-- Of course, being a salesperson is not easy. But a good salesperson can sell their product everywhere. It's about earning trust and promoting the product correctly. You have to be convincing and this is a skill that requires practice.

I'm naturally good at convincing people but I did take salesperson courses as well. It's necessary to take some courses to be successful in this field.

By burcinc — On Feb 03, 2013
It's so hard to be a door-to-door or phone salesperson. People either hang up on you or listen to the entire presentation and then say that they're not interested.

I feel that customers don't trust door-to-door salesman very much. It's not like going to a physical store and speaking to a salesperson there. I've worked in store as well as door-to-door and in store was definitely much easier.

At least the people who go to the store have some interest in the product and the chances of making a sale there is higher.

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