Career Profile: Sales Representative

Career Profile: Sales Representative

by Susan Huebert
Jobs People Do | JobsPeopleDo.com

Suppose that you wanted to buy something like a chocolate bar or even a computer. You would probably just go to a store, look at the different types that are available, and then buy one. What about something that isn’t available in stores like a database for library computers? You would need the help of a sales representative.

We all live in a capitalist based society.Salespeople work in many different fields, such as medical supplies, library programs, and insurance. Some of them might even work with not-for-profit organizations as fundraisers for different projects. Much of the work involves meeting with people or calling them on the telephone to encourage them to buy a specific product or to donate to a project. This work can involve a lot of travel, but some sales representatives might find that they can do their work through e-mail or other electronic means.

Sales representatives have to be friendly and excel at working with people. It is also useful for a Sales Rep to know how a business is run. Many people in this field study to get a degree in business management or administration, and later they learn about the specific requirements of their jobs. Being flexible and ready to learn can help sales representatives succeed in their work.

An important characteristic that sales representatives require is self-discipline. Most of the time, people in these jobs work alone or in pairs, visiting various offices or other locations. They need to be able to organize their time well and get from one place to another without being late for appointments.

Normally, sales representatives work only in certain areas of a city or province. A sales representative might work in parts of Toronto or Vancouver, where there are many people, or in all of northern Manitoba, where the population is low. Some representatives have to travel far away from home for their work, but others can go home every night.

Trade shows are an important part of a sales representative’s work. These shows happen at convention centres, hotels, and many other places where customers are likely to go. Sales representatives might also spend a lot of time answering their customers’ questions about the product and dealing with any problems that they discover.

Sales representatives should know their products well and be able to keep up with any new developments that come. Demonstrating the product to customers is an important part of the job, but that requires knowledge. Imagine that you worked for a company that produces vacuum cleaners. You would have to know how the machine works before you could show it to customers.

Salaries for sales representatives can vary from company to company. The average salary is about $56,000 per year, but earnings can vary between about $33,000 and $86,000. There is also the added factor of commission sales. Commission earnings are usually based on each individual sale. If you are a Real Estate Sales Representative, you may earn thousands more dollars a year, besides the basic salary with your company.

Working as a sales representative can be very busy and high pressure, but it can be a rewarding career for anyone who likes being with people and working with various products. If that describes you, a career as a sales representative might be a good thing to consider.


Glass Door.com. “Sales Representative Salaries in Canada.” http://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/canada-sales-representative-salary-SRCH_IL.0,6_IN3_KO7,27.htm.

Halvorsen, Rob. “Sales Representative Job Description.”


Payscale.com. “Outside Sales Representative Salary (Canada).” http://www.payscale.com/research/CA/Job=Outside_Sales_Representative/Salary.

Richardson, Melvin. “Sales Rep Job Description.” http://www.ehow.com/facts_5192766_sales-rep-job-description.html.

Root, George N. “Sales Rep Requirements.” http://www.ehow.com/list_6686272_sales-rep-requirements.html.

Simply Hired.com. “Sales Representative- Entry Level- Training and Growth Opportunities Available.” http://www.simplyhired.com/job-post/58669.41725



Currently there is one comment:

  1. JPD Writers says:

    Very good article, Susan!

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