Sales Representatives (or Sales Reps) promote a company's products and services to potential customers, usually within a defined geographical area.
Sales Representatives generally specialise in one particular sector such as healthcare or education and it is their role to make potential clients in their area aware of their company's products or services and ultimately to get them to buy them to use within their businesses. Once a client has been successfully converted, the Sales Representative's job is to manage that account and maximise the revenue stream from the client.
Once a potential client has been identified, the Sales Representative must approach the client to arrange a meeting during which they need to establish the client's need for which particular product is suitable to them. Once this is established, the Sales Representative must persuade the client to buy this product or at least to trial the product alongside those offered by their existing suppliers. It's essential that candidates have an in depth knowledge of their industry, including products offered by competing businesses so that they will be able to handle objections from clients.
It's common that many employers are not looking for specific qualifications from candidates, they are often more interested in any sales-related experience they may have. In more technical roles, it can be beneficial to have a degree in a related discipline.
Recent salaries advertised at the time of writing (January 2010) include:
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