duties and instructions. Who is that? Description of the profession. What should be a successful seller? Salary

Who is a seller and what does he do?

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;
  • shoes;
  • clothes;
  • under­wear;
  • cos­met­ics;
  • indus­tri­al goods;
  • build­ing mate­ri­als;
  • house­hold appli­ances and elec­tron­ics;
  • elec­tri­cal goods;
  • jew­el­ry and sou­venirs;
  • jew­el­ry;
  • 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.

Primary requirements

Personal qualities

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:

  • neat­ness;
  • 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:

  • OmSTU;
  • 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;
  • KemGU;
  • 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;
  • 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.

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