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Sales is the most important job to any business in any economy. Sales is what drives profits and keeps a company in business. In times of economic downturn, sales jobs remain plentiful. Sales is the necessary link between company provider and purchaser. Sales jobs occur on every rung within nearly every business.
The necessity of describing products or services to a prospective customer is the basis of a salesman's job. The salesman must be able to speak with confidence and knowledge about the products or services he is selling. An individual who is shy and uncomfortable speaking openly to the decision-makers of a company might find themselves a poor fit for sales. Extroversion and the ability to approach unfamiliar people are perhaps the most outstanding characteristics of the salesman.
He or she must remain cool and show confidence in the product or service offered, as well as have the underlying product or service knowledge to be able to answer the prospective customerís questions. Pricing and financing knowledge are necessary for sales of some expensive products, although many sales jobs only require the ability to keep track of a sales transaction by the mere writing of a receipt for payment.
Besides the personality to deal with people, the capacity to learn knowledge of a product or offering, and the ability to faithfully transact a purchase exchange to the satisfaction of an employer, sales requires an ability to be tough-skinned. A customerís reactions to the idea of someone attempting to talk them out of their hard-earned money is adequate reason for many a customer to balk at purchasing a product. The ability to close the sale is by far the most important tool in the salesmanís sales kit. The ability to handle objections with thoughtful answers, the capacity to not take offense at rejection, and the self-confidence to recognise the customer is not repulsing the salesman as an individual are perhaps the most difficult tasks to learn.
A salesman can be paid by three different methods: a flat fee for selling a product or service; a flat salary; or a straight commission based on a percentage of goods sold. Many employers may opt for a variety of combinations of these three, at least in the beginning; the most widely-acceptable method of payment a commission-based draw against salary paid, giving opportunity to the salesman to establish an income directly related to his selling efforts.