17 Sales Representative Skills to Stay Top of Your Job
This article provides exhaustive information on the skills and qualities you need to excel on your job as a sales representative.
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The job of a sales representative is important for the future of a retail company.
Each of us has one retail company or the other we tend to patronize regularly and the people we meet are their representatives.
Who is a Sales Representative?
A sales representative is an employee of a company who sells retail products, goods, and services to the end user, the customers.
They render services to customers on behalf of their companies.
Now, let’s see the requisite skills needed by a sales representative to succeed in his/her job:
17 Sales Representative Skills and Qualities to Stay Top on the Job
- Research Skills
Research should be your thing as a sales representative. There is a whole lot to research and learn about. This cannot be overemphasized.
The competition in the industry demands that you have to be current and stay abreast with the latest information about customers.
You have to study the market and know exactly what moves the customers you might be in need of.
Your company will greatly appreciate it if this skill is something you decided to imbibe.
There is no gain saying that the more you research about the market and the customers, the more valuable knowledge you gain in your job.
You also have to research on some of the latest skills and technologies you can employ in your job in order to remain effective and relevant in it.
Your job is a sensitive one and can either be a source of growth to your company or the downfall of it.
2. Problem Solving Skills
Apart from the occasional reporting of incidences to the management of the company, you should be able to solve certain problems on your own.
This is a way of telling your boss or employer that you are capable of taking care of your job with little or no help.
This also shows that you can deliver even without being supervised by anyone.
You have to understand that problems will definitely surface almost on daily basis.
Knowing about this will help you prepare ahead of time to solve whatever problem that comes your way as long as it is within your capacity to handle it.
Problem solving skills is also one thing you need to have if you desire to be a leader in your workplace.
Leaders are known to be able to solve problems with little or no help.
So, develop this skill within you, take up challenges, and push yourself to solving them within the limited time you have.
3. Active Listening
As a sales representative, you are meant to attend to the needs of customers in regards to your job.
Your job puts you in a position that you are faced with regular calls from customers either for enquiries or complaints.
You have to give the customer a listening ear.
Also, in your working place, you have to listen to good ideas from either your superiors in the office or fellow colleagues.
This can help you make amends for some mistakes and also help you prevent them from happening again.
To be an active listener, you have to be open-minded. This entails you having the mentality that you don’t know it all and that there’s always room for improvement.
This is how to gain experience in your job. Remember that you have to keep improving in order to stay relevant in your job.
4. Sales Presentation
Working as a sales rep will definitely require some presentation skills and also demand the good use of some IT gadgets like the computer and projector.
You need to give customers a demo of the products you are selling and with that without much talk they will get the information they need about the products.
You have to be spot on in your presentation. This means that your presentation should be strictly on what customers are to benefit by using your company’s products.
This should outline how the products can be used and what to do if there’s a hitch in their use.
In the use of demo, exaggerations should be minimized so that customers do not get a different experience compared to the expectation they have.
This can be a big turnoff for customers. So, let the demo portray the reality and not exaggerations.
Your ambition as a sales representative is what keeps you motivated in your job.
Though your salary may be attractive, however, be confident of the fact that your ambition will keep you longer in your hunt for success than your salary.
What is your ambition regarding your job? Is it strong enough to make you withstand adverse conditions and press on for a better tomorrow?
If your answer is no, then it means your ambition is weak. Your ambition should be able to make you set target for yourself.
Your ambition won’t let you rest until you get what you want. That is what your personal ambition does.
It gives you that drive and that passion you need.
It keeps you uncomfortable and spurs you to making good daily improvements in your job.
Do you feel that customers are somehow impatient and intolerant? You might be wrong anyway in your assessment if you don’t know what empathy is all about.
Empathy is a way of trying to know how people feel about a given circumstance or issue.
Customers are more inclined to people or companies that are very sensitive to their opinion and complaints.
As a person who is always in touch with customers, you have to learn to make them feel that you understand how they feel even as they may complain with tones that you may not like.
Customers are very sensitive to your reaction whenever they are in talks with you over a given issue or complaints.
You have to learn to manage your discussion with them and proffer solutions to their problems. They will definitely appreciate it.
In gathering new skills, you have to make yourself coachable or teachable.
Your job demands that you keep learning every day. You have to learn new ideas and new methodologies about your job.
You have to upgrade your skills and your several capabilities.
One way to do this is to avail yourself the opportunity to be coached by superior heads.
When you undergo trainings and workshop exercises, you gain more knowledge which will be useful to you in the long run.
This is a good way to stay relevant in your job.
Next up is your ability to look up for role models in the industry who have made a good name and reputation in the industry and know what exactly made them spectacular in the industry.
It is a form of coaching in which you are not in physical contact with the person in question.
When you are a sales representative, you need to have that aura of sociability around you.
People should be able to approach you and feel at home talking with you.
You have to give customers the impression that you really desire their friendship.
To be sociable, it is not just by making it known to the customers that you are approachable; rather your body language should be able to convince the customers that you are approachable.
If your body language is spot on, then the customers can relate well with you.
Also, to be sociable, you need to understand that different people see different things differently.
This is important in your relationship with customers. Know what different customers fancy and know how to relate with them.
9. Goal Oriented
What is your personal goal as a sales representative? You should state your goals and work towards achieving them.
Your goals are very important factors to be considered in your job. This will help you coordinate yourself and also plan your activities.
Develop realistic goals that won’t be near impossible to achieve. This can only put unnecessary and undue pressure on you.
You have to constantly rehearse your goals to yourself and try to search out ways to make your dream come through.
Good goals are not easy to achieve, but are a true test of your resolve to succeed.
If you give up on your goals, it shows that you are not really passionate about your goals enough to stick with it.
When you have goals to achieve, you plan for it both on the short term and long term and make crucial decisions on how to achieve them.
10. Passionate About Selling
Not being passionate about selling is a big mismatch for your job as a sales representative.
Your desire everyday should be to make sure that your company’s products reach the final consumers. This should be what bothers you every day.
Your passion for selling will be boosted if you learnt marketing skills.
As a sales rep, you need to know much about selling and marketing to add to your wealth of skills.
It is indeed a good skill to have as a sales representative.
Also, your passion about selling should make you make some useful research on what customers really need and what the company can do to match the customers’ expectations.
Your experiences with customers should also help you in this aspect.
11. Relationship Building
In your workplace, you have to establish a working relationship with all your colleagues.
You have to make sure that you relate well with them and also help them in your own way to make sure they feel at home in the company.
This is what is known as teamwork.
As long as you find people in your workplace, try as much as you can to maintain a working relationship with them.
When you do so, you are also helping yourself gain useful experience and knowledge in human management and teamwork.
Most importantly is your relationship with the customers.
Customer management is not possible without building a working relationship with them.
When you build a good working relationship with your customers, you build an irresistible influence over them that in the long run they will definitely find no reason not to stick with your company.
12. Time Management
We cannot overstress the importance of time management in business. Time is natural commodity but proper use of time is one way you can succeed in your job as a sales representative.
The issue of time management demands that you know what to do and when to do what you have to do.
One enemy of time management is procrastination. Procrastination wastes your time, wastes the time of the company, and also the time of customers.
If you can deal with procrastination, you will definitely make maximum use of your team.
One way to manage time is proper planning and coordination. Knowing your daily routine, you have to plan your activities in and out of the company in such a way that you can achieve so much within a short period of time.
Learn to outline your activities and allot time to them. When you do this, you are managing your time.
13. Strategic Prospecting Skills
Strategic prospecting entails making strategic plans on how to get new customers to patronize the company.
One way of knowing a good sales representative is to know what strategy he/she has on ground to capture the most customers out there.
To get customers to patronize your company despite the heavy competition from competitors demands that you take cognizance of what customers want and how to get it to them.
It requires critical thinking and good research skills from you the sales representative.
From your day to day experience with customers, you should be able to tell your company what to do to gain the patronage of customers out there.
It requires a lot of strategies to be put in place depending on what the company can offer both in the short and long run.
14. Critical Thinking
Critical thinking is definitely going to help in your problem solving skills as a sales representative.
Critical thinking is one skill you will need to succeed in your job.
If you must be able to solve complex problems, then you should be able to think critically and deeply too.
You need to develop your critical thinking skills. You have to develop that ability to look beyond the surface of daily challenges in your job.
When you look beyond the surface, you will get to the root of the matter and from there proffer solutions based on your observations.
One of those challenges facing your company is drop in sales which is one area your department is highly needed.
You need to make personal researches to know the root cause of low patronage.
This will lead you to making some findings on your own and present your observations to your company, which will definitely be useful to the growth of the company.
You are known as the sales representative of your company and by reason of that role, you are a channel through which customers relate to the company and also a channel your company relays information to customers.
So, the onus is on you to develop yourself to be an effective communicator, both to your boss and the customers.
To your boss or employer, you have to find a good way to relay the thoughts and feedback of the customers to the employer.
This feedback is very necessary for your employer to plan his/her next line of action.
If you communicate effectively, he/she will understand the situation on ground and act on it appropriately.
To your customers, you need to effectively communicate with them to relay the thoughts of the company to them.
You have to present it in such a way that the customers can fantasize and become eager to experience something good from your company.
You have to be good in communication to excel in your sales career.
16. Call Management Skills
As a sales representative, your only means of communication is not restricted to just physical interaction with customers.
In this digital world, it is becoming more fashionable to communicate even without physical appearance of both the customer and the sales representative.
One of the ways this communication is established is through phone calls.
Phone calls are now a more potent way to pass information across without wasting valuable time trying to meet physically with whoever you want to interact with.
When dealing with phone calls coming from customers, you have to be skilled in listening, and ready enough to provide answers to enquiries or complaints made by the customer.
In other words, you as the sales representative should always be calm in your approach to complaints from customers when they call and try to manage the situation in such a way that the customer is satisfied at least to a reasonable extent.
17. Writing Skills
It is important for you as a sales representative to have excellent writing skills.
This is important as it will save the stress of trying to recall all that happened during the day.
It is a good way to preserve reasonable and useful information regarding your job.
When you have excellent writing skills, it will help you also to be able to plan your presentation well.
A well-arranged work will only make your job easier in the aspect of presentation.
You have to sharpen your writing skills in order to be able to preserve useful information.
One thing you have to write down is basically your activities of the day and customer reactions, if possible the data of the individual customers who made their observations, and probably their complaints.
You have to take note of these things to make sure that even the minutest details are not left out in rendering your accounts for the day’s job.
Sales Representative Skills for Resume
If you are writing a resume for the sales representative position, you will need to include the skills section to show the recruiter the qualities you are bringing to the job.
You can apply the skills and qualities provided on this page to make a compelling skills or competence section for your sales rep resume.
To be successful in your job and career as a sales representative, you need to have certain skills and qualities.
This page provides major skills and qualities you can develop to help you get better in your sales rep position.