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Become A Retail Sales Specialist

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Working As A Retail Sales Specialist

  • 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

  • $22,100

    Average Salary

What Does A Retail Sales Specialist 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 Retail Sales Specialist

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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Retail Sales Specialist jobs

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Retail Sales Specialist Career Paths

Retail Sales Specialist
Sales Consultant Territory Manager
Account Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Service Technician Service Manager Operations Manager
Branch Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Sales Manager Regional Sales Manager
Director Of Sales
10 Yearsyrs
Territory Manager Regional Sales Manager Director Of Sales
Director Of Sales And Marketing
9 Yearsyrs
Sales Manager General Manager
District Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Technician Operations Manager Account Executive
District Sales Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Account Executive Sales Manager
General Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Retail Sales Lead Account Executive Sales Manager
General Sales Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Driver Delivery Driver Sales Consultant
Internet Sales Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Service Technician Project Manager Program Manager
Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Technician Specialist Account Manager
National Account Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Account Manager Sales Manager
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Marketing Manager General Manager Account Manager
Product Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Account Manager Account Executive Sales Manager
Regional Sales Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Retail Sales Lead Office Manager Account Manager
Sales Account Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Driver Operation Supervisor Account Executive
Sales And Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Account Executive Sales Consultant
Sales Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Territory Manager Account Manager
Senior Account Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Sales Consultant Senior Sales Representative Account Executive
Territory Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Marketing Manager Operations Manager Account Executive
Territory Sales Manager
7 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Sales Specialist 2.5 years
Specialist 2.5 years
Selling Specialist 2.5 years
Retail Sales Lead 2.4 years
Retail Specialist 2.2 years
Sales Consultant 2.2 years
Sales Person 2.2 years
Retail Sales Clerk 2.2 years
Sales Assoc 2.1 years
Sales Assistant 2.0 years
Retail Clerk 2.0 years
Sales Clerk 2.0 years
Sales Expert 1.9 years
Cellular Sales 1.9 years
Phone Sales 1.8 years
Retail Consultant 1.8 years
Attendant Sales 1.6 years
Sales Associate 1.6 years
Top Employers Before
Cashier 5.7%
Manager 4.2%
Internship 3.6%
Top Employers After
Manager 4.5%
Owner 3.7%
Cashier 2.9%
Specialist 2.6%

Retail Sales Specialist Demographics

Gender

Male

54.4%

Female

43.8%

Unknown

1.8%
Ethnicity

White

78.9%

Hispanic or Latino

12.5%

Asian

6.3%

Unknown

1.7%

Black or African American

0.6%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

56.4%

French

7.7%

Italian

3.8%

Nepali

2.6%

German

2.6%

Greek

2.6%

Chinese

2.6%

Hindi

2.6%

Russian

2.6%

Arabic

2.6%

Tibetan

2.6%

Portuguese

1.3%

Mandarin

1.3%

Ukrainian

1.3%

Igbo

1.3%

Hebrew

1.3%

Japanese

1.3%

Romanian

1.3%

Thai

1.3%

Hmong

1.3%
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Retail Sales Specialist Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

11.5%

Northern Illinois University

7.1%

University of North Texas

6.2%

Florida International University

6.2%

Southern New Hampshire University

6.2%

Middle Tennessee State University

5.3%

Temple University

5.3%

Liberty University

5.3%

Northeastern University

5.3%

West Virginia University

4.4%

Howard University

4.4%

Western Michigan University

4.4%

California State University - Fullerton

3.5%

Wayne State University

3.5%

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

3.5%

Michigan State University

3.5%

University of Central Arkansas

3.5%

Ashford University

3.5%

Auburn University

3.5%

The Academy

3.5%
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Majors

Business

30.3%

Marketing

8.8%

Management

6.2%

Communication

5.8%

Psychology

5.4%

Automotive Technology

3.9%

Finance

3.6%

General Studies

3.4%

Graphic Design

3.3%

Criminal Justice

3.3%

Health Care Administration

3.3%

Accounting

3.3%

Education

3.0%

Computer Science

2.6%

Kinesiology

2.5%

Human Resources Management

2.5%

General Education, Specific Areas

2.3%

Electrical Engineering

2.2%

Liberal Arts

2.2%

Nursing

2.1%
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Degrees

Bachelors

39.5%

Other

31.3%

Associate

13.7%

Masters

8.5%

Certificate

4.7%

Diploma

1.2%

License

0.6%

Doctorate

0.5%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills for A Retail Sales Specialist

OutstandingCustomerServiceDepartmentalPoliciesMonthlySalesGoalsRetailSalesTerritoryProductKnowledgeCustomerSatisfactionRetailStoresInventoryControlAutomotivePartsSalesFloorInternetPOSCustomerRelationsSalesAssociatesVerizonCustomerBaseTechnicalSupportInventoryManagementAudit

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Top Retail Sales Specialist Skills

  1. Outstanding Customer Service
  2. Departmental Policies
  3. Monthly Sales Goals
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Provided outstanding customer service and ensured clients had a positive shopping experience.
  • Achieve all sales and retention quotas set for the department by following the established departmental policies and procedures.
  • Assisted in advancing the company's retail position in consumer markets by consistently exceeding monthly sales goals and service performance requirements.
  • Direct retail sales to consumers.
  • Finished in the top 10 in territory multiple occasions and rewarded for be a high producer.

Top Retail Sales Specialist Employers

Retail Sales Specialist Videos

A Day in the Life - Retail Buyer

A day In the life of homechoice’s group retail sales manager Lavona Roman

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