Job Description for Sales Assistant

If you enjoy working with different people every day and helping others make good choices, you might consider the field of sales assistants. The job outlook for sales assistants is good, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, with openings expected to increase by 8 percent between the years 2008 and 2018.

  1. What They Do

    • Sales assistants are hired by retail companies to work with customers and promote whatever specific products that company is marketing. As a professional sales assistant, you can find employment in a variety of different retail venues, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Department stores, home improvement stores, discount stores, appliance stores, and new and used car dealerships all employ qualified sales assistants to represent them in the public and work with customers. The final goal, of course, is making the sale.

    Sales Techniques

    • Sales assistants work to increase their sales volumes by explaining the features and benefits of their company's products, answering customer questions and promoting the value of the product in general, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. To be a success in the industry, this requires professional sales assistants to be knowledgeable about every aspect of the products they are promoting. In some cases you may also be required to physically demonstrate a product.


    • Sales assistants must always be well groomed, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, with a very neat overall appearance. Most companies may mandate that their sales assistants be friendly and courteous at all times, even when a customer may be irate or hard to deal with. Good people skills and patience are a plus in this field. Most sales assistants learn their skills on the job. A high school diploma is often required, but, unless you plan to go into management, it is usually not required for sales assistants to hold a college degree.

    Things To Consider

    • Sales persons spend most of their work days on their feet, often for long periods of time. In some retail stores, you may be required to lift heavy items. Many sales assistants are required to meet a designated quota of weekly or monthly sales. Some sales assistants are paid by the hour or week, while others may be paid strictly by commission. If there is a day where no sales are made, basically the sales assistant makes no income that day. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, most inside sales assistants are required to spend all their time on the sales floor and must often check with a supervisor before taking a break or leaving the floor.


    • Earnings potential as a sales assistant could depend on several factors including experience level, the overall price of product being sold and the type of compensation. According to, out of 607 sales assistants who were surveyed, those with at least one year of experience reported earnings of between $33,565 and $41,703 a year as of 2010. After at least five years of working in the field, sales assistants reported earning up to $43,792 each year as of 2010.

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  • Photo Credit sales office sign image by Brett Mulcahy from

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