Sales Associate Qualifications

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Sales employees are extremely important to a company because what they do is directly linked to revenues. Before hiring sales associates many companies want to ensure that they meet certain basic qualifications. If working in sales is your current career aspiration a sales associate position is a logical first step toward that goal. Know the common qualifications so that you can present yourself as an ideal candidate.

Sales Associate Job Description

A sales associate is an individual who assists customers with making a purchase. They help customers locate what they need and then encourage the sale. This position is most commonly associated with retail businesses that sell products like clothing and jewelry. Retail sales associates earn a median hourly wage of $9.86 per hour including commissions, according to a 2008 survey by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Employers sometimes offer these commission payments as an incentive to motivate sales associates.

Training and Education

Many companies train new sales associates on the job. In addition to basic sales tips, new hires must learn store policies, how to treat customers and closing the sale. The minimum formal education required for a sales associate is a high school diploma. If an associate wants to become a sales manager at some point in the future, especially if it is a big retail store, a college degree is sometimes a prerequisite.

Past Experience

One of the top qualifiers for a person applying to work as a sales associate is past experience in the sales or customer service field. If a candidate can show that he has successfully worked as a sales person at another company, that places him in a better position to secure a sales associate job.

Communication Skills

Another qualification that employers look for when hiring sales associates is the ability to communicate successfully. The associate must communicate with customers, his managers and his co-workers. This skill is commonly evaluated during the interview process. A sales associate must have knowledge of the products and services he is responsible for selling and must have the ability to communicate these features and attributes to the customer in an effective manner.

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