Retail Salesperson

Retail Salesperson

What is a Retail Salesperson? 

A retail salesperson is the person responsible for assisting customers as they consider their purchases. Depending on the location, this might mean demonstrating the features of a new piece of technology, taking a prospective car buyer for a test drive, or assisting a shopper as she tries on different gowns. Retail salespeople can work in many different industries, making this a very versatile career path. 

The best salespeople are typically those who have an in-depth understanding of the products and services that they’re selling. If you have a passion for cars and know even the most minute differences between various models and years, you’ll be well suited to a position assisting customers on a car lot. Your eye for fashion and ability to help people find a flattering fit will make you a sought-after salesperson in an upscale clothing boutique. This is an area where you should build on your strengths and interests to find the best professional fit. 

One thing all salespeople should have in common is a friendly attitude and passion for people. This job requires a great deal of personal interaction with your customers. You should know how to offer a warm welcome and provide knowledgeable assistance without being pushy or overbearing. If you have the right skill set, you’ll find that you’re quickly closing a lot of deals in this profession. 

Job Responsibilities

  • Greeting new customers 
  • Assisting customers in finding items 
  • Explaining the differences between similar products 
  • Advising shoppers on the best products for their needs 
  • Demonstrating features and functions 
  • Offer warranties, protection plans, and other add-ons 
  • Recommending sales, promotions, and payment plans 
  • Completing necessary paperwork for major sales 

What is the Job Outlook for a Retail Salesperson?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 563,000 openings for retail sales workers are projected each year, on average, over the decade. All of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to other occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.

Where Do Retail Salespeople Work?

The biggest employment sector for retail salespeople is the apparel industry. Clothing and clothing accessory stores employ 21 percent of those in this occupation. Ten percent work in retail locations selling garden equipment and building materials. Department stores and general merchandise stores each account for another 9 percent of retail sales positions. 

As a retail salesperson, you’ll likely spend much of your time on the sales floor, assisting customers who are browsing the goods. This is a position that requires long periods of standing and walking. Some lifting might be required, particularly if you’re in a home improvement store or other location that sells large items. When the sales floor is quiet, you may be responsible for minor stocking and cleaning duties as well. 

What Training is Required to Become a Retail Salesperson?

There are no set requirements for a job as a retail salesperson. Your skill set can speak volumes when you’re applying for this type of job, particularly if you have a history of successful sales ventures in the past. Since job growth is limited in this area, it’s wise to consider furthering your education. Having a diploma in a related area can help you increase your employability and craft a resume that stands out in this crowded area. 

The Business Assistant Diploma from Bryant & Stratton College will give you a well-rounded background that will prepare you for a position in retail sales as well as many other areas. This course of study covers topics such as computing skills, sales and service principles, accounting, and marketing. 

What Can I Do with a Business Assistant Diploma?

A business assistant diploma will prepare you for many occupations in both retail and business. Some job titles that you may want to look for include: 

  • Sales representative 
  • Account representative 
  • Brand ambassador 
  • Facility manager 
  • General manager 
  • Sales coordinator 
  • Sales account executive 
  • Operations manager 
  • Store manager 
  • Customer care representative 
  • Equipment sales representative 

Keep your job search as broad as possible, particularly if you’re seeking entry-level employment. There are many different approaches that you can take to sales and business operations, and a business assistant diploma can prepare you for them all. 

For more insights into your career options in this and similar areas, check out the business degrees section of our blog. Here, you’ll get valuable information to help you plan your professional future. 

While these projections can help career-minded people evaluate potential employment fields, it is important to note that job market data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Handbook is only intended to provide insight on occupational opportunities. It should not be construed as a guarantee of salary or job title. Neither BLS nor Bryant & Stratton College can guarantee employment in any field.

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