Sales Representative Kanohi Hokohoko

Sales representatives promote, market and sell products or services to business and professional establishments, or wholesale or retail outlets.

Sales representatives may do some or all of the following:

  • visit clients to talk about, demonstrate and take orders for products and services
  • arrange contract and payment details
  • arrange for delivery or installation of products
  • train clients in the use of products
  • answer client enquiries, deal with complaints and arrange for servicing of faulty goods
  • keep sales records and predict future market trends
  • find and contact potential clients, and develop sales ideas to attract more clients
  • organise sales budgets.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for sales representatives includes:

  • sales work or work within the industry you are selling to
  • retail or marketing work
  • work involving dealing with money and customers.

Personal Qualities

Sales representatives need to be:

  • friendly, patient and helpful
  • confident, enthusiastic and persuasive
  • motivated, and able to work on their own
  • able to work well under pressure.

Skills

Sales representatives need to have:

  • knowledge of the products or services they are selling
  • knowledge of the particular industry, such as construction, or market they are selling in, including their competitors' products
  • skill in advertising, presenting or promoting the products or services they are selling
  • an understanding of contract law
  • business, marketing and basic accounting skills.

Conditions

Sales representatives:

  • generally work normal office hours, but may sometimes work evenings or weekends to meet clients' needs
  • work in offices, but also travel locally or around the country to meet with clients
  • often work in stressful conditions as they usually have sales targets to reach.

Sales Representatives can earn around $44K-$100K per year.

Pay for sales representatives varies depending on skills, experience and the type of work they do. 

  • Sales representatives in small to medium-sized companies usually earn between minimum wage and $100,000 a year.
  • Sales representatives working for large companies can earn between $50,000 and $120,000.

Sales representatives may also earn bonuses based on meeting sales targets.

Sources: Hays; Michael Page; Robert Walters; and Trade Me, 2018.

Sales representatives may progress to selling specialised technical equipment, or move into management roles:

Technical Sales Representative
Technical sales representatives sell specialised goods such as scientific or medical equipment.

Years Of Training

There are no specific requirements to become a sales representative as you gain skills on the job. However, a certificate, diploma or degree in business studies, sales or marketing may be useful.   

Sales Representative