Retail salespersons sell merchandise, such as furniture, motor vehicles, appliances, or apparel to consumers.

  • 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.
Work Context
  • Contact With Others — 89% responded "Constant contact with others".
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 88% responded "Every day".
  • Telephone — 91% responded "Every day".
  • Deal With External Customers — 65% responded "Extremely important".
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 50% responded "Extremely important".
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 78% responded "Every day".
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 44% responded "Extremely important".
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Work Activities
  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
  • Selling or Influencing Others — Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
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Detailed Work Activities
  • Gather customer or product information to determine customer needs.
  • Greet customers, patrons, or visitors.
  • Reconcile records of sales or other financial transactions.
  • Review laws or regulations to maintain professional knowledge.
  • Calculate costs of goods or services.
  • Process sales or other transactions.
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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.
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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.
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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 Recognition
  • The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
Speech Clarity
  • The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
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Personality

People interested in this work like activities that include ideas, thinking, and figuring things out.
They do well at jobs that need:
  • Achievement/Effort
  • Persistence
  • Initiative
  • Leadership
  • Cooperation
  • Concern for Others
  • Social Orientation
  • Self Control
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Technology

You might use software like this on the job:

Project management software
  • Microsoft SharePoint Hot Technology
Video creation and editing software
  • YouTube Hot Technology
Electronic mail software
  • IBM Notes Hot Technology
  • Microsoft Outlook Hot Technology
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Education

High School Diploma or
Less than a High School Diploma
usually needed

Get started on your career:

Job Outlook

New job opportunities are very likely in the future.
Salary
$27,080
$19,740
$44,570