People’s ideas about who the seller is, what he does in accordance with the official duties prescribed in the instructions, are not always accurate. The description of the profession cannot ignore such a moment as the variety of its specializations and an indication of what a successful salesperson should be like. You should also describe the training of salespeople and the salary they receive.
Who is that?
If you ask most people about the essence of the work of sellers, they will most often indicate that they “accept money and issue goods.” However, this superficial description of the profession, although true, still does not exhaust its content. The seller is an intermediary, without which the interaction of consumers and producers is impossible. Maintaining the smooth operation of even “just” a department in a store is not as easy as it seems. It is very important not only to do our job in the narrow sense, but also to create optimal conditions for buyers.
Trade is constantly evolving. Therefore, the demand for sellers among various organizations is consistently high. Be sure to monitor the behavior of buyers and respond to their actions. Employees of trade structures bear financial responsibility.
They also have to follow a large number of management orders and make quite a lot of reports.
Categories and job responsibilities
The main specializations of sellers are related to the sale:
- bakery products;
- food products in general;
- industrial goods;
- building materials;
- household appliances and electronics;
- electrical goods;
- jewelry and souvenirs;
- household goods.
A generalist, contrary to popular belief, is not always someone who sells a wide variety of products. They are doing:
- loading and unloading of goods;
- cashier work;
- setting price tags;
- tracking expiration dates;
- controlling the actions of buyers (so that they do not spoil or steal anything);
- execution of other orders of the administration of the trading establishment.
The job descriptions clearly indicate that the position of the seller implies subordination to the directors of outlets and merchandisers, control over them. If we are talking about a specialist working with large volumes of goods, then only subordination changes. In addition, wholesalers have a predominantly narrow specialization. Usually their field of activity involves mastering only one commodity item or a rather narrow category.
Yet a far greater number of salespeople are those whose job is behind the counter.
In this case, the provisions of standard job descriptions usually apply. Each retailer may have different instructions for this. But if we generalize, we can see the following main functions:
- initial placement of goods in the right places;
- as needed — replenishment of their loss;
- assistance to consumers;
- control of the safety of goods;
- activation of sales of individual items, the list of which is determined by the administration.
Both in small and large retail outlets, sellers often work on the acceptance of newly received batches, checking their completeness according to the lists. As already mentioned, there are many other things to do. So, the usual functional duties include posting price tags (their replacement as needed), and participation in inventories. Additionally, you will need to prepare cash documents. Everything that the seller does at the workplace does not happen just like that, but in strict accordance with the official schedules. Coming to work, even before the arrival of the first visitors, you need to check whether there are enough goods, if necessary, submit an application. Such control and filing of applications are carried out continuously throughout the entire shift.
Just randomly putting the goods on the shelf will not work either. It should be neatly placed there. Any commodity position should not be empty for a long time. If any of the visitors tries to steal the property of the outlet, the sellers must detain him until the arrival of representatives of the competent authorities. In relation to all conscientious buyers, it is supposed to behave politely and correctly. In all retail outlets that are not guarded at night, a mandatory function of employees is personal protection with full responsibility for all material assets.
Sales promotion usually involves drawing the attention of buyers to promotional products. It also includes moving them to the most in-demand locations in the store. It is necessary to arrange all imported products and other items so that buyers can take goods with expiring dates in the first place. Another obligation of sellers is to process returns and refusals of purchases in cases expressly prescribed by law or internal documents of the store. The position also includes:
- notification of management of all abnormal and atypical situations;
- registration of a sanitary book and other relevant documents;
- passing medical examinations;
- execution of other orders that are justified by the logic of the trading profession and practical necessity.
Much depends on the categories of sellers. So, the 2nd category involves the packaging and weighing of various types of goods. Additionally, it is expected to check the names, qualities, varietal affiliation and serviceability of packaging, related supplies and accessories. Sellers of the 2nd category prepare the workplace themselves. Everything that is not sold, as well as the container, they clean personally.
Category 3 specialists should already be ready to advise visitors on individual properties and characteristics of goods, on the possibility of replacing one purchase with another, as well as on possible risks and difficulties in use. Another additional duty at this level is window dressing. Finally, you will have to deal with the primary analysis of demand. For sellers of the 4th category, such responsibilities are added as:
- assessment of the state of commercial and technological equipment;
- filing requests for its repair and replacement as needed;
- resolution of simple disputes with consumers when it is impossible to call a management representative;
- taking samples for analysis of clearly problematic and questionable goods in laboratories;
- preparation of acts for defective, spoiled and unusable goods due to force majeure.
Of course, a successful salesperson must be friendly and able to connect with most people. At the same time, there are other important positions that cannot be ignored. In particular, purposefulness is very relevant, without which it is difficult to achieve any result. It also requires the ability to adequately assess oneself, one’s capabilities and achievements — without narcissism and self-abasement. The need to endure stresses is also obvious: trading work consists of almost one continuous stress.
Sellers must strive to develop and build their skills, expand knowledge about the goods sold and other subtleties. An extremely significant feature in some cases is the ability to take the initiative. In addition, modern trade is unthinkable without the ability to find mutual understanding with other people and work in a team. Those who are focused only on their personal success, rejecting cooperation with others, do not belong there. Customers need to be patient and grateful, and be clear about when to offer help and when they don’t need it.
Additionally, it is worth mentioning the following points:
- keeping yourself in good physical shape;
- ability to count;
- ability to analyze different situations.
Knowledge and skills
But to become a good seller, appearance and communication skills, other personal qualities are not enough. A number of key professional points are required. So, you will need to study the features of all the goods sold, even those positions that are not in special demand or are sold only occasionally. You must also master the art of persuading other people, the individual elements of oratory. Such a simple aspect as a demonstration of a particular product also turns into a kind of performance, and it is supposed to play it flawlessly.
Since almost all salespeople work at least periodically at the cash registers, they have to learn how to operate the machine, scan barcodes, and maintain documentation. Pre-sale preparation of goods and maintenance of cleanliness are also not as simple as they seem from the outside.
Most importantly, all major actions must be carried out quickly and accurately. You need to be able to plan both your day as a whole and individual operations. With all that said, it’s not hard to see why qualifications are so important to salespeople.
The fulfillment of extensive duties is unthinkable without certain rights. They consist in:
- access to work in accordance with the contract and instructions;
- obtaining all necessary information and explanations;
- timely pay;
- obtaining overalls, other means and resources necessary for work;
- implementation by the employer of the norms of labor law;
- compliance of the workplace with hygienic norms and labor protection standards.
Many large trading firms offer to learn the profession of a salesperson directly at the workplace. But preference is given to those who have completed at least the courses. Better yet, study at a college or technical school. Having received such an education, you can apply for the position of head of the department. But if there are still great career intentions, then it is more correct to choose training at a university with a solid economic education.
You can apply to:
- Magnitogorsk University named after Nosov;
- economic university in Samara;
- University of Economics and Management in Novosibirsk;
- Plekhanov Russian University of Economics;
- University of the Pacific;
- Siberian Federal University;
- Russian University of Cooperation.
Secondary vocational education can be obtained in:
- Moscow Humanitarian College of Economics and Law;
- Moscow Educational Complex named after Talalikhin;
- Izhora College;
- Ural State College named after Polzunov;
- Kazan Social and Humanitarian College;
- University College of OmSPU;
- Zuykova College of Trade and Economics;
- Samara and Ufa Trade and Economic College;
- Perm Trade and Technology College;
- Khabarovsk Technological College.
You can often find reasoning that the professional training of a salesperson is highly dependent on specialization. And to some extent this is true. In a radio store, physics is clearly more needed than in a food pavilion or a supermarket. However, both physics and chemistry describe in one way or another all the objects of the material world. Therefore, these subjects need to be given maximum attention in school.
For obvious reasons, it is worth “leaning” on mathematics, as well as a decent knowledge of the Russian language — it’s very good if you also master the English language properly.
Stable demand for vendors may vary by region. And trade workers in different areas do not earn the same amount at all. It is also worth considering that specialization plays a role, and the scale of the trading network, and the success of the company, and the percentage of sales. Therefore, even sometimes in two neighboring points of the same profile, sellers receive different income. Finally, retail outlets usually set a sales plan, depending on the fulfillment or overfulfillment of which bonuses are awarded.
Increasingly, there are positions for which there are no salaries. Such vacancies are associated with the sale of goods that are not subject to seasonal fluctuations in demand. On average, in the Russian Federation, the seller receives an income of 17,000 rubles. The food trade is very poorly paid. In most retail chains, 15–18 thousand (with the exception of the capital). When selling household goods and other specialized goods, including flowers, income can be 20,000–25,000 rubles.
A special category — sales consultants. They are well versed in the features of the goods being sold and are able to find contact with visitors. The rate depends on the specialization and the policy of a particular company. The sale of furniture and branded clothing can be rewarded with a payment of 40 to 45 thousand. The seller-cashier in a supermarket or hypermarket has an average income of 30 thousand rubles, and has a role and category.
In the markets, income can reach 30,000 rubles per month, even in the food segment. But we must understand that this is often associated with a significant share of the “gray” cash turnover. Often income is paid daily. The specific payment scheme in trade is always set by the local regulatory act of the organization. You also need to remember that almost everywhere deductions are assigned for any omission, therefore it is impossible to say exactly how much the seller receives.
Career and prospects
The very combination of the words “salesperson” and “career prospects” may seem devoid of any meaning. However, there are still some opportunities for professional growth. A very important role, according to the reviews of those who have passed this path, is played by a clear specialization. Only in this case it will be possible to thoroughly study positioning and other aspects. Gradually, you can become:
- senior shift;
- department head;
- deputy director;
Lack of experience is not too important. Much more important is the willingness to learn new skills and help choose products. Career growth for a salesperson who knows the whole “kitchen” of trading activity from the inside is even more likely in many companies than for a manager who has mastered his profession at the university according to standard patterns.
Even after the post of director, there is room for development — for example, to the position of a regional network manager.