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How to Get a Job as a Sales Representative

Understanding a product and the culture around it can help you get hired and boost sales, according to Ray Wright, executive director of the professional sales representative organization IPRO. A great sales representative must also be able to relate to customers. “Empathy and orientation towards customer service are critical traits,” Wright says. “You need to get a certain amount of joy out of meeting customer needs.” One of the most important characteristics of a good sales representative is the ability to listen. “We all have the wonderful ability to talk, but having the ability to listen [will allow you] to understand the customer needs over the sales needs.” Wright also emphasizes the importance of building non-standard business relationships with customers, since sales representatives often interact with the same clients on a regular basis. “You need to understand relationship selling,” he says. “You need to be a resource by respecting customers and developing friendships.”

Interview Questions Submitted by Real Sales Representatives

"What kind of characteristics should a sales person have?" - Cablevision Sales Representative Candidate (Bronx, NY)

"What are your sales statistics from your last job?" - Paycom B2B Outside Sales Representative Candidate (Los Angeles, CA)

Job Satisfaction

Upward Mobility fair Average
Stress Level poor Above Average
Flexibility poor Low

What is the Job Like?

A sales representative’s standard workweek is generally between 40 and 50 hours long. Some representatives will be expected to travel extensively – up to several weeks at a time – to cover a larger territory. Because sales calls generally take place during standard business hours, much of the paperwork and planning must be completed during evenings or weekends. Sales representatives also encounter stress, as income and job security often depend directly on their ability to meet and exceed the company’s set sales quotas. However, many representatives find this position stimulating because they interact with a variety of people on a regular basis.

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Last updated by Emily Brandon.


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