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Retail Salespersons
SOC Code: 41-2031.00

Sell merchandise, such as furniture, motor vehicles, appliances, or apparel to consumers.

Sample of reported job titles: Car Salesman, Clerk, Customer Assistant, Retail Salesperson, Sales Associate, Sales Clerk, Sales Consultant, Sales Person, Sales Representative, Salesman

Tasks

  • Greet customers and ascertain what each customer wants or needs.
  • Recommend, select, and help locate or obtain merchandise based on customer needs and desires.
  • Compute sales prices, total purchases, and receive and process cash or credit payment.
  • Prepare merchandise for purchase or rental.
  • Answer questions regarding the store and its merchandise.
  • Maintain knowledge of current sales and promotions, policies regarding payment and exchanges, and security practices.
  • Demonstrate use or operation of merchandise.
  • Describe merchandise and explain use, operation, and care of merchandise to customers.
  • Ticket, arrange, and display merchandise to promote sales.
  • Inventory stock and requisition new stock.
  • Exchange merchandise for customers and accept returns.
  • Watch for and recognize security risks and thefts and know how to prevent or handle these situations.
  • Place special orders or call other stores to find desired items.
  • Clean shelves, counters, and tables.
  • Maintain records related to sales.
  • Open and close cash registers, performing tasks such as counting money, separating charge slips, coupons, and vouchers, balancing cash drawers, and making deposits.
  • Prepare sales slips or sales contracts.
  • Estimate and quote trade-in allowances.
  • Bag or package purchases and wrap gifts.
  • Help customers try on or fit merchandise.
  • Sell or arrange for delivery, insurance, financing, or service contracts for merchandise.
  • Estimate quantity and cost of merchandise required, such as paint or floor covering.
  • Rent merchandise to customers.
  • Estimate cost of repair or alteration of merchandise.

Technology Skills

  • Accounting software - Intuit QuickBooks ; Sage 50 Accounting
  • Computer aided design CAD software - Autodesk AutoCAD
  • Customer relationship management CRM software - Salesforce software
  • Data base user interface and query software - FileMaker Pro; Gift registry software; Microsoft Access
  • Development environment software - Eclipse IDE
  • Electronic mail software - IBM Notes ; Microsoft Outlook
  • Enterprise resource planning ERP software - Oracle PeopleSoft ; SAP
  • Graphics or photo imaging software - Adobe Systems Adobe Fireworks
  • Human resources software - Exact Software
  • Internet browser software
  • Office suite software - Microsoft Office
  • Operating system software - Handheld computer device software ; Microsoft Windows
  • Point of sale POS software - iQmetrix RQ4 Retail Management System; Plexis Software Plexis POS; The General Store; TokenWorks Magnetic Card Reader (see all 37 examples)
  • Presentation software - Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Project management software - Microsoft SharePoint
  • Spreadsheet software - Microsoft Excel
  • Web page creation and editing software - Facebook ; LinkedIn
  • Word processing software - Microsoft Word

Tools Used

  • Adjustable widemouth pliers
  • Adjustable wrenches
  • Bar code reader equipment - Barcode scanners
  • Cash registers - Computerized cash registers
  • Desktop computers
  • Domestic clothing irons - Clothing irons
  • Domestic sewing machines - Sewing machines
  • Electronic funds transfer point of sale equipment - Electronic funds transfer EFT terminals
  • Fluid regulators - Gas consoles
  • Garment steamer - Clothing steamers
  • Hammers
  • Label dispensers - Price guns
  • Ladders
  • Magnetic stripe readers and encoders - Credit card processing machines; Magnetic card readers
  • Personal computers
  • Pocket calculator - Handheld calculators
  • Point of sale payment terminal - Telecheck processing terminals
  • Point of sale POS terminal - Point of sale POS computer terminals
  • Screwdrivers
  • Tape measures
  • Ticket dispensing machines - Lottery machines

Knowledge

  • Sales and Marketing - Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.

Skills

  • Persuasion - Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Negotiation - Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Time Management - Managing one's own time and the time of others.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Abilities

  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.

Interests

  • Interest code: EC
    • Enterprising - Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
    • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Work Context

  • Contact With Others - 89% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions - 88% responded “Every day.”
  • Deal With External Customers - 64% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Telephone - 90% responded “Every day.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team - 50% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making - 71% responded “Every day.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate - 43% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled - 78% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Standing - 46% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work - 44% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results - 47% responded “Very important results.”
  • Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People - 59% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Electronic Mail - 62% responded “Every day.”
  • Physical Proximity - 55% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).”
  • Spend Time Walking and Running - 43% responded “More than half the time.”
  • Level of Competition - 39% responded “Extremely competitive.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others - 37% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks - 34% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions - 29% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Time Pressure - 50% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls - 27% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Frequency of Conflict Situations - 38% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”

Education

Percentage of RespondentsEducation Level Required
63%High school diploma or equivalent
19%Less than high school diploma
10%Associate's degree

Work Styles

  • Dependability - Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Attention to Detail - Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Cooperation - Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Self Control - Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility - Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Social Orientation - Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
  • Stress Tolerance - Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Independence - Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Initiative - Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Achievement/Effort - Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Persistence - Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Concern for Others - Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Leadership - Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Analytical Thinking - Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Innovation - Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.

Work Values

  • Relationships - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
  • Support - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
  • Achievement - Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.

Wages & Trends

  • Median wages (2017)
    • $11.16 hourly, $23,210 annual
  • Employment (2016)
    • 4,603,000 employees
  • Projected growth (2016-2026)
    • Slower than average (2% to 4%)
  • Projected job openings (2016-2026)
    • 670,300

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