Sales Assistant Careers

How to become a Sales Assistant

What does a Sales Assistant do?

Sales assistants are responsible for providing services to customers in retail outlets, this involves dealing with customers, selling goods, handling payments and making sure goods are attractively displayed.

They help customers find the goods they want and offer advice on the availability of stock and any special promotions. Assistants also give information on products and prices and sometimes arrange ordering and delivery.

In specialist stores assistants will need specialist product knowledge and will have tasks which are specific to the type of product, such as measuring and cutting fabric in a fabric store. In smaller shops tasks will be more varied, and may include arranging window displays and receiving stock deliveries.

What's the working environment like working as a Sales Assistant?

Sales assistants generally work 37 or 38 hours a week, including evenings and weekends. Part-time work is very common and assistants may work a shift pattern.

Assistants spend a lot of time on their feet and may be required to lift and carry items of stock.

Many stores provide a uniform.

What does it take to become a Sales Assistant?

To be a sales assistant you should:

  • be able to work within a team
  • enjoy working with the public and have a polite, helpful manner
  • be confident when dealing with difficult and sometimes unexpected situations
  • have a smart appearance
  • have good numerical skills
  • be comfortable using computerised equipment such as cash registers
  • have plenty of stamina.

Sales Assistant Career Opportunities

Retail is a growing industry. There are shops and stores of all shapes and sizes, from small independent shops (such as newsagents or pet shops), to larger department stores.

Opportunities can be found nation wide. Many stores/retail operations now have their own web sites advertising vacancies and training schemes. Promotion prospects can be excellent, particularly in larger organisations committed to staff training. Progression would usually be to supervisor level then possibly onto management positions.

Further information

If you would like to know anything about Sales Assistant that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

Skillsmart Retail
40 Duke Street
Tel: 020 7399 3450
Career Line: 0800 093 5001

Support Training Limited
222-224 Queensferry Road
Federation House
Tel: 0131 343 3300

Facts and Stats:

  • There are one million people in the sales profession, excluding retail sales

  • Half of all sales people are in business-to-business sales.

  • Until something is sold, nothing happens (think about it).
  • The sales process in company IT may take three years.

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