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Become A Customer Sales Associate

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Working As A Customer Sales Associate

  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public
  • Selling or Influencing Others
  • Getting Information
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
  • Deal with People

  • Unpleasant/Angry People

  • $21,780

    Average Salary

What Does A Customer Sales Associate Do

Retail sales workers include both those who sell retail merchandise, such as clothing, furniture, and cars, (called retail salespersons) and those who sell spare and replacement parts and equipment, especially car parts (called parts salespersons). Both types of workers help customers find the products they want and process customers’ payments.

Duties

Retail sales workers typically do the following:

  • Greet customers and offer them assistance
  • Recommend merchandise based on customers’ wants and needs
  • Explain the use and benefit of merchandise to customers
  • Answer customers’ questions
  • Show how merchandise works, if applicable
  • Add up customers’ total purchases and accept payment
  • Inform customers about current sales, promotions, and policies about payments and exchanges

The following are examples of types of retail sales workers:

Retail salespersons work in stores where they sell goods, such as books, cars, clothing, cosmetics, electronics, furniture, lumber, plants, shoes, and many other types of merchandise.

In addition to helping customers find and select items to buy, many retail salespersons process the payment for the sale, which typically involves operating cash registers.

After taking payment for the purchases, retail salespersons may bag or package the purchases.

Depending on the hours they work, retail salespersons may have to open or close cash registers. This includes counting the money in the register and separating charge slips, coupons, and exchange vouchers. They may also make deposits at a cash office.

For information about other workers who receive and disburse money, see the profile on cashiers.

In addition, retail salespersons may help stock shelves or racks, arrange for mailing or delivery of purchases, mark price tags, take inventory, and prepare displays.

For some retail sales jobs, particularly those involving expensive and complex items, retail sales workers need special knowledge or skills. For example, those who sell cars must be able to explain the features of various models, manufacturers’ specifications, different types of options on the car, financing available, and the details of associated warranties.

In addition, retail sales workers must recognize security risks and thefts and understand their organization’s procedures for handling thefts—procedures that may include notifying security guards or calling police.

Parts salespersons sell spare and replacement parts and equipment, especially car parts. Most work in either automotive parts stores or automobile dealerships. They take customers’ orders, inform customers of part availability and price, and take inventory.

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How To Become A Customer Sales Associate

Typically, there are no formal education requirements for retail sales workers. Most receive on-the-job training, which usually lasts a few days to a few months.

Education

Although retail or parts sales positions usually have no formal education requirements, some employers prefer applicants who have a high school diploma or equivalent, especially employers who sell technical products or “big-ticket” items, such as electronics or cars.

Training

Most retail sales workers receive on-the-job training, which usually lasts a few days to a few months. In small stores, an experienced employee often trains newly hired workers. In large stores, training programs are more formal and usually conducted over several days.

During training sessions, topics often include customer service, security, the store’s policies and procedures, and how to operate the cash register.

Depending on the type of product they are selling, employees may be given additional specialized training. For example, salespersons working in cosmetics get instruction on the types of products the store offers and for whom the cosmetics would be most beneficial. Likewise, those who sell computers may be instructed on the technical differences between computer products.

Because providing exceptional service to customers is a priority for many employers, employees often get periodic training to update and refine their skills.

Advancement

Retail sales workers typically have opportunities to advance to supervisory or managerial positions. Some employers want candidates for managerial positions to have a college degree.

As sales workers gain experience and seniority, they often move into positions that have greater responsibility and may be given their choice of departments in which to work. This opportunity often means moving to positions with higher potential earnings and commissions. The highest earnings potential usually involves selling “big-ticket” items—such as cars, jewelry, furniture, and electronics. These positions often require workers with extensive knowledge of the product and an excellent talent for persuasion.

Important Qualities

Customer-service skills. Retail sales workers must be responsive to the wants and needs of customers. They should explain the product options available to customers and make appropriate recommendations.

Interpersonal skills. A friendly and outgoing personality is important for these workers because the job requires almost constant interaction with people. 

Math skills. Retail sales workers must have the ability to calculate price totals, discounts, and change owed to customers.

Persistence. A large number of attempted sales may not be successful, so sales workers should not be discouraged easily. They must start each new sales attempt with a positive attitude.

Selling skills. Retail sales workers must be persuasive when interacting with customers. They must clearly and effectively explain the benefits of the merchandise.

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Customer Sales Associate jobs

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Customer Sales Associate Career Paths

Customer Sales Associate
Customer Sales Representative Personal Banker Branch Manager
Account Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Specialist Operations Manager General Manager
Area Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Machine Operator Home Health Aid Front Desk Agent
Assistant General Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Security Officer Technician Service Manager
Branch Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Security Officer Dispatcher Operations Manager
Business Development Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Home Health Aid Technician Operations Manager
Business Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Office Manager General Manager
District Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Sales Consultant Senior Sales Representative Account Executive
District Sales Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Operations Manager
General Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Sales Consultant Sales Manager
General Sales Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Call Center Representative Service Representative Sales Consultant
Internet Sales Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Machine Operator Service Technician Sales Manager
Market Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Call Center Representative Specialist Merchandiser
Merchandising Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Customer Sales Representative Office Manager
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Warehouse Associate Security Officer Account Manager
Sales Account Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Medical Assistant Service Representative Account Executive
Sales And Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Home Health Aid Security Officer Account Manager
Sales Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Specialist Account Manager Account Executive
Territory Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Medical Assistant Office Manager Account Manager
Territory Sales Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Warehouse Associate Forklift Operator
Warehouse Manager
5 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Customer Liaison 3.1 years
Sales Specialist 2.5 years
Retail Sales Lead 2.4 years
Sales Person 2.2 years
Sales Consultant 2.2 years
Retail Sales Clerk 2.2 years
Hourly Sales Staff 2.2 years
Sales Assoc 2.1 years
Customer Agent 2.0 years
Sales Assistant 2.0 years
Sales Clerk 2.0 years
Sales Agent 2.0 years
Customer Advisor 1.9 years
Sales Expert 1.9 years
Cellular Sales 1.9 years
Customer Assistant 1.9 years
Phone Sales 1.8 years
Customer Associate 1.8 years
Jewelry Consultant 1.7 years
Attendant Sales 1.6 years
Sales Associate 1.6 years
Cashier/Sales 1.6 years
Adviser Sales 1.5 years
Sales Team Member 1.5 years
Store Associate 1.4 years
Floor Associate 1.4 years
Associate Retailer 1.4 years
Sales Trainee 1.0 years
Seasonal Associate 0.6 years
Top Employers Before
Cashier 13.0%
Internship 4.3%
Server 2.6%
Manager 2.6%
Volunteer 2.6%
Hostess 2.2%
Waitress 2.0%
Supervisor 1.8%
Top Employers After
Cashier 6.8%
Internship 4.3%
Server 3.5%
Teller 2.6%
Manager 2.3%
Volunteer 2.3%
Associate 2.2%

Customer Sales Associate Demographics

Gender

Female

59.3%

Male

38.6%

Unknown

2.1%
Ethnicity

White

78.1%

Hispanic or Latino

13.2%

Asian

6.6%

Unknown

1.6%

Black or African American

0.5%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

62.7%

French

9.7%

German

3.7%

Portuguese

3.0%

Russian

2.6%

Arabic

2.0%

Italian

1.8%

Chinese

1.8%

Polish

1.8%

Swedish

1.4%

Hindi

1.4%

Tagalog

1.2%

Japanese

1.2%

Ukrainian

1.0%

Filipino

1.0%

Vietnamese

0.8%

Mandarin

0.8%

Armenian

0.6%

Carrier

0.6%

Cantonese

0.6%
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Customer Sales Associate Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

20.4%

Ashford University

5.6%

Strayer University

5.4%

Miami Dade College

5.2%

Liberty University

4.8%

University of North Texas

4.7%

American InterContinental University

4.7%

Southern New Hampshire University

4.3%

Valencia College

4.3%

Kaplan University

4.3%

University of South Florida

3.9%

Broward College

3.8%

University of Houston

3.8%

Northern Virginia Community College

3.8%

College of Southern Nevada

3.6%

San Jose State University

3.6%

Georgia State University

3.6%

Hillsborough Community College

3.6%

Florida International University

3.4%

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

3.4%
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Majors

Business

27.4%

Criminal Justice

8.4%

Psychology

7.4%

Nursing

5.1%

Communication

4.9%

Accounting

4.6%

Health Care Administration

4.4%

General Studies

4.1%

Medical Assisting Services

4.1%

Marketing

3.6%

Education

3.4%

Management

3.3%

Liberal Arts

3.1%

Biology

3.0%

Computer Science

2.8%

Sociology

2.4%

Graphic Design

2.1%

English

2.1%

Information Technology

2.0%

Cosmetology

2.0%
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Degrees

Bachelors

35.4%

Other

35.0%

Associate

15.0%

Masters

5.9%

Certificate

5.4%

Diploma

2.3%

License

0.5%

Doctorate

0.4%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills for A Customer Sales Associate

CustomerServiceSkillsNewMerchandiseSalesFloorEnsureCustomerSatisfactionMonthlySalesGoalsProductKnowledgePhoneCallsCustomerSalesInternetCustomerInquiriesCustomerComplaintsCustomerQuestionsDataEntryCommunicationSkillsPOSCustomerRelationsCustomerIssuesInboundCallsInventoryControlSpecialOrders

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Top Customer Sales Associate Skills

  1. Customer Service Skills
  2. New Merchandise
  3. Sales Floor
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Developed excellent communication, interpersonal, and customer service skills
  • Worked on the dock, receiving new merchandise that were processed and distributed to its proper departments.
  • Assisted customers and merchandised product on sales floor.
  • Processed orders, prepared correspondence, and fulfilled customer need to ensure customer satisfaction.
  • Required to meet monthly sales goals for Internet, cable, phone, and homes security products.

Top Customer Sales Associate Employers

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