What does a Sales Associate do?
The primary function of a Sales Associate is to achieve sales goals and deliver excellent customer service. They greet customers when they arrive at the store, interact with them and answer questions regarding products or services. Sales Associates also sell products to customers, suggest items to visitors, process payments and handle returns and refunds. They help resolve complaints and maintain cordial relationships with customers. In many organisations, the Sales Associate also keeps the sales floor clean and presentable.
Sales Associate skills and qualifications
A successful Sales Associate candidate will have various prerequisite skills and qualifications needed to perform duties effectively. These include:
- Diploma in Retail Skills, other equivalent qualification or an apprenticeship
- Proven work experience in a retail sales role
- Knowledge of customer service and sales
- Ability to stand and walk for extended periods
- Proficiency in handling cash registers and point of sales transactions
- Ability to achieve sales quota
- Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
- Basic arithmetic skills
Sales Associate experience requirements
Sales Associates need proven experience in a sales position, even if it is from a temporary job at a local store. Some employers prefer candidates who have worked as a Sales Assistant, Sales Representative or in similar, related roles. The ideal candidates need at least a basic knowledge of inventory management, point of sale systems and bookkeeping to balance cash registers. They must have the physical stamina to stand and walk around for extended periods while responding to questions because the position requires extensive interaction with customers. Some marketing experience to promote products and services to customers is also beneficial.
Sales Associate education and training requirements
Most candidates need a college course or apprenticeship as a minimum. Some employers prefer candidates with a Level 2 Certificate or Diploma in Retail Skill or Level 3 Diploma in Retail Skills Sales Professional for senior roles. Sometimes, Sales Associates may need a university degree for employment. Regardless of qualification and experience, Sales Associates often require on-the-job training to familiarise them with your company’s products, services and policies.
Successful Sales Associate candidates will have confidence, excellent communication skills and knowledge of customer relations. Typically, candidates can apply to this role without specialised credentials or licenses. However, positions in specific fields such as tech, manufacturing and health may require professional certifications. If your company sells restricted goods and alcohol, then the Sales Associates need to be over 18-21 years of age to work legally.
Sales Associate salary expectations
According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for Sales Associate candidates is £22,566 per year. The actual salary may depend on the employer, experience, location, qualification, industry and specific job duties and responsibilities.
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