Welcome back to my blog, beauties! Hope you’re currently doing well as you’re sitting reading this (which, btw, thanks!). In this post, I shall be doing a quick run-through of my experience working in retail, in the role of sales representative, formerly known as a sales assistant.
This run-through is not only my personal experience but also the research I have conducted. Not everything is as said, because not all companies have the same requirements and roles. I tried combining everything into a nutshell for your benefit.
My role as sales representative included, but were not limited to:
- Selling products/services to prospective customers;
- Ensuring a high level of customer satisfaction;
- Maintaining conditions and merchandising of the store;
- Assist with the sales process by maintaining a fully-stocked store;
- Present, promote and sell products/services;
- Establish and maintain positive business and customer relationships;
- Quickly and effectively deal with customer complaints in a professional manner;
- Achieve sales targets set by management;
- Consult management with regards customer needs, problems, interest and potential for new products/services;
- Maintain a fully-stocked shop;
- Recommend items that match customer needs;
- Describe product features and benefit with confidence and accuracy;
- Follow company policies and procedures.
Not all companies have the same requirements for someone to become a sales rep, but some of them may include:
- Work experience (this is many times considered as an asset);
- Motivation and target-driven personality;
- Excellent selling, communication, interpersonal, intrapersonal, organisation, time management and negotiation skills;
- Openness to feedback – positive and negative;
- Basic understanding of sales principles and customer service;
- Proficiency in English (some stores also require other languages such as Italian and French, depending on where you’re from and what nationality the company is. Pro tip: the more languages you speak, the higher the chance of getting hired because you can communicate with more people!);
- Friendly, helpful, confident and engaging personality;
- High school (i.e. secondary school) school-leaving certificate.
I have almost 5 years worth of experience in the retail industry. My first-ever job (in general and even part-time) was in a very well-established store. I really enjoyed it, but after two years I decided it was time to move on into something new and hopefully better, so I found a job in a bookstore.
For someone who’s a big-ass bookwork, this was a dream come true, plus my good friend Rebecca (check out her blog for some travel inspo/goals!) was working at one of their shops and she told me they were hiring. So I thought I’d give it a shot, with hopes I’d work with her (and have a laugh or two along the way – I’m usually the funny one… right, B?).
But instead, they put me in a different shop… the busiest one, to be exact: at the Airport.
Hours were long, but I was in heaven, because I was always on the go, working with books and earning a lot of money – more than I did with the previous part-time job. But as days turned into weeks, and weeks turned into months, I was getting stressed and overworked. Having dropped out of University during that time, I was working almost daily.
Since the same company I worked for owned some other shops, they told me to work there as well. One of these shops happened to be a pharmacy. And I was always sick whilst working shifts there, so I decided to wait slightly longer just to see if things changed, but when they didn’t, I quit.
I sometimes miss it because of the books, but the long hours got to me, and since I wasn’t in school anymore, I decided to find a full-time job, and have been doing that since. Two years ago, whilst working in a summer school, I thought it would be good to also have another job in the evening in a clothes’ store, but that only lasted several weeks because the stress and summer heat was getting to me, so I quit that one and stuck to summer school only.
And that’s my experience! Let me know if you have any questions about my work experience in this industry. If you want to know what it’s like to work within education, click here as I have a whole post about that!
Til next time, beauties!