Sales Agents

Written by Sandy Mitchell
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What Sales Agents Do

A Sales agent is employed by a manufacturer or service company to find buyers for the goods or services the company offers. A sales agent is charged with obtaining new accounts and preserving existing accounts. They analyze sales data and help clients best use their products. Sales agents also represent their company at trade shows, product showcases, and conventions.

Sales agents are generally required to travel within a territory to meet clients. They entertain clients, taking them to lunch or dinner, as needed to strengthen the relationship. A good sales agent works with the client to give them information on new products and how best to utilize existing products to enhance their business. Unlike a manufacturer representative, a sales agent works for one company and represents only that company's products.

Skills Required of a Sales Agent

First and foremost, a good sales agent must know and believe in his product. In some fields, this means technical knowledge is required. In addition, a successful sales agent must enjoy interacting with people and helping them meet needs and solve challenges. They must also be able to communicate well. The most knowledgeable salesperson can't be successful unless he can impart that knowledge to his prospective clients.

Increasingly, a college degree is necessary to break into top sales jobs. Although many established sales people are very successful without a degree, increased competition for sales jobs makes a degree, particularly a sales or marketing degree, desirable. For sales positions involving highly technical products, specialized training is often required.

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