Career Development

What Does a Salesman Do?

Find out what a salesman does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a salesman.

Salespeople are the driving force behind many of the transactions that take place in our economy. They help to move products from manufacturers and wholesalers into the hands of consumers, who use them to satisfy their needs and desires.

Salespeople may be employed by a variety of different types of companies—from small mom-and-pop shops to large corporations with hundreds or even thousands of branches across the country. Regardless of where they work, however, their job is generally the same: to convince customers to buy their company’s products or services.

Salesman Job Duties

A salesman typically has a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Presenting products to potential customers, explaining features and benefits, answering questions about products, and assisting with orders
  • Presenting price quotes to customers based on information from the company’s catalog or sales manual
  • Following up with customers after a sale to ensure satisfaction with the product or service and to solicit customer feedback
  • Providing customers with information about the company’s products and services
  • Preparing contracts and other legal documents related to sales transactions such as leases or loans
  • Interviewing potential customers to determine their needs and interests in order to tailor presentations accordingly
  • Keeping records of all customer interactions in order to follow up on leads and generate new business opportunities
  • Establishing relationships with prospective clients in order to develop long-term business relationships
  • Promoting company products through advertisements, brochures, flyers, or other mediums to increase awareness of new products or services

Salesman Salary & Outlook

Salesmen are typically paid a salary, commissions, and bonuses. Salaries can vary depending on the salesperson’s level of experience, the company size, and the industry.

  • Median Annual Salary: $62,500 ($30.05/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $122,000 ($58.65/hour)

The employment of sales representatives is expected to grow slower than average over the next decade.

Employment growth will be limited by the increasing automation of some tasks, such as online advertising and digital marketing, which will reduce the need for some sales representatives. However, many companies will continue to rely on their sales forces to introduce new products and services and to maintain customer relationships.

Salesman Job Requirements

A salesman typically needs to have the following:

Education: Salesmen are typically required to have at least a high school diploma or equivalent. Some employers may prefer a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as business or marketing.

Training & Experience: Salesmen typically receive on-the-job training. This training may include learning the company’s products and services, the company’s sales process, the company’s computer systems and the company’s policies and procedures. Salesmen may also receive training in customer service, communication and persuasion.

Certifications & Licenses: Salespeople can improve their career prospects by enrolling in a sales certification program. These programs can help salespeople understand the basics of sales and refine their sales techniques so they can close more deals.

Salesman Skills

Salesmen need the following skills in order to be successful:

Communication: Communication is the ability to convey information to others in a clear and understandable way. Salespeople use communication skills to explain product features, answer customer questions and negotiate deals. Strong communication skills can help you build trust with customers and close more sales.

Listening: Listening to your customers is an important skill for salespeople. You can ask questions to show you’re interested in what they have to say. You can also repeat back to them what they said to show you understood them. This can help you build trust with your customers and help you understand their needs.

Persuasion: Persuasion is the ability to convince someone to take an action. Salespeople use persuasion to convince customers to buy their products. You can use persuasion to convince customers to try a new product, change their payment method or buy an upgraded product.

Problem-solving: Problem-solving skills allow you to identify challenges and find solutions. As a salesperson, you may encounter challenges that require you to think of creative ways to overcome them. For example, if a customer is hesitant to buy a product, you may need to think of ways to convince them to make a purchase.

Product knowledge: Salespeople should have a thorough understanding of the products they’re selling. This can help them answer questions from customers and provide them with information about the product’s features. It can also help them make a compelling case for why the customer should buy the product.

Salesman Work Environment

Salesmen work in a variety of environments, depending on the product they are selling. They may work in a store, in an office, or on the road. If they work in a store, they may be required to stand for long periods of time and to lift and carry heavy boxes of merchandise. If they work in an office, they may have a more sedentary job, but they may be required to make sales calls, which can be stressful. If they work on the road, they may be away from home for long periods of time and may have to deal with the stress of being away from family and friends. Salesmen may work long hours, including evenings and weekends, to make sales. They may also travel to different cities or states to attend sales meetings or conventions.

Salesman Trends

Here are three trends influencing how salesmen work. Salesmen will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Rise of the Digital Sales Rep

The rise of the digital sales rep is a trend that is quickly changing the way businesses sell their products and services. With more and more customers shopping online, sales reps need to be able to effectively market their products through social media channels and search engines.

Salesmen who are able to utilize digital marketing tools will be in high demand, as they will be able to reach a wider audience and generate more leads for their company. In order to be successful, salesmen will need to be familiar with all the latest trends in digital marketing, including mobile apps, video advertising, and social media marketing.

More Focus on Customer Experience

The customer experience is becoming increasingly important for businesses, as they realize that it is what sets them apart from their competitors. This means that salespeople need to focus on providing excellent customer service and creating a positive experience for customers.

To be successful in this environment, salespeople need to be able to understand what customers want and how to meet their needs. They also need to be able to communicate effectively with customers and be able to handle difficult situations.

Greater Use of Technology in Sales

As technology becomes more prevalent in society, so too does its use in sales. This trend can be seen in the increasing use of smartphones and tablets to make sales calls, as well as the use of social media to promote products and services.

Sales professionals who are able to utilize technology in their work will be more successful than those who cannot. This requires a strong understanding of how to use technology to connect with potential customers and build trust.

How to Become a Salesman

Sales is a great career choice for people who are outgoing, have a strong work ethic, and enjoy meeting new people. There are many different paths you can take in sales, so it’s important to figure out what type of sales role is best suited to your personality and skills.

If you’re just starting out in sales, it’s important to build relationships with potential customers and learn about their businesses. You should also be prepared to make cold calls and send emails to potential clients. As you gain experience, you may want to specialize in a particular area of sales or move into a management role.

Advancement Prospects

Salesmen can advance their careers by taking on more responsibility within their current company, or by moving to a new company where they can take on a more senior role. As they gain experience and build a successful track record, salesmen can move into management positions such as sales manager, sales director, or vice president of sales.

The most successful salesmen are usually the ones who are the most entrepreneurial and who are always looking for new opportunities. They are always on the lookout for new products or services to sell, and new ways to increase their sales. They are also always looking for new customers, and are always looking to build relationships with new people.

Salesman Job Description Example

As a salesman at [CompanyX], you will be responsible for generating leads and meeting sales goals. You will work closely with the sales manager to develop strategies and tactics to increase sales. You will also be responsible for maintaining relationships with existing clients and identifying new potential customers. The ideal candidate will have excellent communication and negotiation skills, as well as experience in sales. He or she will be driven, self-motivated, and able to work independently.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Prospect for new customers through networking, cold-calling, and other lead generation activities
  • Understand customer needs and requirements to offer solutions that meet their budget and expectations
  • Prepare and deliver sales presentations and close deals effectively
  • Negotiate terms and conditions with customers and vendors in order to reach mutually beneficial agreements
  • Maintain strong relationships with existing clients by providing them with excellent service to ensure repeat business
  • Keep up to date with industry trends and developments to identify new opportunities
  • Stay abreast of competitor activity and products
  • Research and develop a deep understanding of the products and services we offer
  • Achieve monthly and quarterly sales targets
  • Generate reports on sales activity and forecast future sales
  • Update CRM software with account information, contact details, and sales pipeline stages
  • Attend trade shows and conferences to network with potential and existing customers

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • Proven experience as a salesman
  • Excellent communication, negotiation, and presentation skills
  • Strong time-management and organizational skills
  • Customer service orientation
  • High school diploma or equivalent; college degree preferred
  • Clean driving record and valid driver’s license

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Experience in customer relationship management (CRM) software
  • Familiarity with inventory management software
  • Basic math skills
  • Bilingualism


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