How to Become a Retail Salesperson

Retail sales staff members have a fairly clear path towards promotion.

If you’re a goal-oriented people person, a career as a retail salesperson might be for you. Retail sales positions are offered throughout the nation in a variety of fun and exciting industries. Most people will be able to acquire a retail sales position, but developing your career in retail sales may take some dedication and effort.

What Is a Retail Salesperson?

Retail sales professionals assist retail customers in finding the best solutions for their needs. A retail sales professional will usually need to have a

How to Become a Retail Salesperson

Retail sales staff members have a fairly clear path towards promotion.

comprehensive knowledge about the product and service offerings of their store and be able to solve customer’s issues with products. Retail sales professionals need to be people-oriented and driven, and they need to be able to engage customers and be perceived as trustworthy.

A retail sales professional usually doesn’t require more than a high school diploma or a GED, but advancement through the career usually needs some form of managerial training. Those that acquire positions as retail professionals will usually experience moderate on-the-job training. There are significant amounts of mobility within the field. According to O*Net Online, there are more than 4.5 million individuals within this field.

What Does a Retail Salesperson Do?

Retail sales professionals will usually approach customers when they walk into the door and ask them if they know what they’re looking for. Customers usually need to discuss their needs with retail professionals to identify the products they need. The retail professional will need to know enough about the product offerings of their store to find solutions for the customer, or be able to look up answers if they don’t have them available.

Sales professionals are also required to deal with customer complaints and unhappy customers. A professional needs to be able to resolve these issues to their customer’s satisfaction. Sales professionals also need to be able to work with a diverse set of individuals and will often need to work different shifts as is required.

How Do You Become a Retail Salesperson?

$20,990
Less than high school
None
Short-term
4,465,500
17%
739,400
Find Related CareersSOURCE: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Most individuals can become a retail sales professional by applying for positions within their range of interests. Most retail positions seek individuals that have an interest in the products they sell. Technology stores may seek IT students or IT professionals as retail sales professionals. Retail sales positions can be extremely competitive, so individuals may need to put in many applications before they can acquire a position.

The retail sales industry also operates heavily by networking, and those with friends in the industry may find it easier to secure a position. Retail sales professionals need to be very punctual and diligent about their duties if they wish to maintain their positions. While retail sales professionals don’t need to have a formal education, the Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that having a high school diploma or GED is helpful for larger sales.

How Do You Advance as a Retail Salesperson?

If you’re interested in pursuing a path towards promotion, you’re in luck. Retail sales staff members have a fairly clear path towards promotion. Retail staff members that prove to be very dedicated and have consistently high levels of sales can become team leaders, also known as shift managers, within their department. Shift managers can become assistant department managers and assistant department managers can become department managers. Department managers can become assistant managers or managers for the entire store.

Advancement as a retail sales professional usually demands that you show leadership skills and a dedication to the company. Sales professionals will need to know about the products and services their store offers and will often be asked to up sell certain products.

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