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Educational requirements vary, depending on the type of product sold. If the products are not scientific or technical, a high school diploma is generally enough for entry into the occupation. If the products are scientific or technical, sales representatives typically need at least a bachelor's degree.Education
A high school diploma is sufficient for many positions, primarily for selling nontechnical or scientific products. However, those selling scientific and technical products typically must have a bachelor's degree. Scientific and technical products include pharmaceuticals, medical instruments, and industrial equipment. A degree in a field related to the product sold, such as chemistry, biology, or engineering, is often required.
Many sales representatives attend seminars in sales techniques or take courses in marketing, economics, communication, or even a foreign language to improve their ability to make sales.Training
Many companies have formal training programs for beginning wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives that last up to 1 year. In some programs, trainees rotate among jobs in plants and offices to learn all phases of producing, installing, and distributing the product. In others, trainees receive formal technical instruction at the plant, followed by on-the-job training under the supervision of a field sales manager.
New employees may be trained by going along with experienced workers on their sales calls. As they gain familiarity with the firm's products and clients, the new workers gain more responsibility until they eventually get their own territory.Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations
Many in this occupation have either the Certified Professional Manufacturers' Representative (CPMR) certification or the Certified Sales Professional (CSP) certification, both offered by the Manufacturers' Representatives Educational Research Foundation (MRERF). Certification typically involves completing formal technical training and passing an exam. In addition, the CPMR requires 10 hours of continuing education every year in order to maintain certification.Other Experience
Although not required, sales experience can be helpful, particularly for nontechnical positions.Advancement
Frequently, promotion takes the form of an assignment to a larger account or territory, where commissions are likely to be greater. Those who have good sales records and leadership ability may advance to higher level positions, such as sales supervisor, district manager, or vice president of sales. For more information on these positions, see the profile on sales managers.Important Qualities
Customer-service skills. Sales representatives must be able to listen to the customer’s needs and concerns before and after the sale.
Interpersonal skills. Sales representatives must be able to work well with many types of people. They must be able to build good relationships with clients and with other members of the sales team.
Self-confidence. Sales representatives must be confident and persuasive when making sales presentations. In addition, making a call to a potential customer who is not expecting to be contacted, or “cold calling,” requires confidence and composure.
Stamina. Sales representatives are often on their feet for long periods of time and may carry heavy sample products.
|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Enterprise Field Representative Consultant||Dell Marketing, LP||Orlando, FL||Sep 03, 2013||$125,000|
|SR. Field Representative||HNTB Corporation||Tipton, CA||Jan 23, 2015||$110,323|
|SR. Field Representative||HNTB Corporation||Santa Ana, CA||Apr 28, 2014||$110,240|
|Field Clinical Representative II||Boston Scientific Corporation||Oakland, CA||Dec 17, 2012||$104,350|
|Field Representative||Caterpillar Inc.||Houston, TX||Sep 01, 2010||$95,148|
|Offshore Chemical Field Representative||Baker Hughes Incorporated||New Orleans, LA||Sep 30, 2013||$89,285|
|Senior Clinical Field Representative||Boston Scientific Corporation||Oakland, CA||May 20, 2013||$78,000 -
|Field Representative & Technical Legal Translator||Unite Here Local 17||Minneapolis, MN||Jun 14, 2016||$72,000 -
|Field Representative & Technical Legal Translator||United Here Local 17||Minneapolis, MN||Jun 14, 2015||$72,000 -
|Field Representative & Technical Legal Translator||Unite Here Local 17||Minneapolis, MN||Jun 14, 2010||$59,202|
|Field Representative & Technical Legal Translator||Unite Here Local 17||Minneapolis, MN||Jun 14, 2015||$58,000 -
|Field Representative||Giffels America Inc.||Southfield, MI||Dec 10, 2009||$55,243|
|Field Representative||Interbase Consultants Ltd.||Southfield, MI||Dec 28, 2009||$55,243|
|Field Representative L2||Giffels LLC/IBI Group||Southfield, MI||Aug 11, 2009||$55,243|
|Field Representative L2||Giffels Inc./IBI Group||Southfield, MI||Aug 17, 2009||$55,243|
|Field Representative L2||Giffels, Inc.||Southfield, MI||Aug 20, 2009||$55,243|
|Field Representative, L2||Giffels, Inc.||Southfield, MI||Sep 04, 2009||$55,243|
|Field Representative, L2||Giffels, Inc.||Southfield, MI||Sep 22, 2009||$55,243|
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