Sales Representative

Travel out in the world selling your company's products on commission.

Quick Stats


Outlook
Good

Salary Range
$26,000 – $106,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Sales Representatives do?

Sales Representatives, or Sales Reps, are paid by companies to go out into the world — “representing” them — with the purpose of selling their products and services. If you’ve ever seen Arthur Miller’s famous play, “Death of a Salesman,” you know that sales is a quintessentially American career. It’s the apple pie of occupations.

Never mind that Willy Loman’s story ended tragically. If you’re a Sales Representative, your story will end happily, as sales is a rewarding and lucrative career for anyone who’s intrinsically energetic, persuasive, and passionate.

A businessperson, you accomplish your work by traveling — locally, nationally, and internationally — in order to visit with new prospects and existing customers. Sometimes, you speak with people over the phone. Frequently, however, you meet with them face-to-face — for a private meeting at their office, for instance, over lunch at a local restaurant, or in your company’s booth during a trade show.

No matter where you meet, your job as a Sales Representative is threefold: finding customers, selling to them, and retaining them. To find them, you spend time networking with prospects at events and cold-calling people that you think might be interested in your product. To sell to them, meanwhile, you answer questions about the product, negotiate pricing, and deliver a persuasive sales pitch that demonstrates your product’s value. Finally, to retain them, you act as a Customer Service Representative who’s on call to address ongoing questions, comments, and concerns.

Basically, you’re the gas in your company’s engine. You keep the motor running by continually filling it with fuel in the form of new and happy customers.


Should I be a Sales Representative?

You should have an associate's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Team Player: You're able to listen, communicate, and work with tons of different people.

  • Also known as: Business Representative, Commercial Representative, Door-to-Door Salesman, Investigative Shopper See More

    How to become a Sales Representative

    We recommend at least an Associate's degree. Check out these schools offering Sales Representative-related education!
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