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Sales Associate Job Description

Sales Associate Duties

The five categories of the retail sales associate job description are:

  • Managing inventory
  • Sales
  • Customer Service
  • Cashier
  • Administrative Duties

Managing Inventory

There are two aspects to this category of a sales associate’s responsibilities: stock and store floor. In the behind-the-scenes operation of the store, a sales associate may perform duties such as unloading trucks and keeping overflow stock organized in the back room or warehouse area. For products that will be featured on the store floor, a sales associate will be involved in tagging merchandise with tags (price tags, size tags, sales stickers, etc.). Prices often change, and sales associates are expected to complete price changes by re-tagging and/or moving merchandise. Once this is done, they will arrange the merchandise on the store floor. This means placing the products in an organized fashion on shelves, racks, counters, and sales displays.

Sales Associate Duties - Managing Inventory

Sales Associate Duties - Managing Inventory

Aside from merchandise, sales associates are also involved in setting up promotional displays, such as posters, mannequins, window displays, display cases, and general seasonal presentation materials. You know the kind: “On sale!”; “50% off!”; “New arrivals!” etc. Every once in a while, the store layout may change and the sales associates will assist in shuffling tables around.

Once all of the merchandise is ready to go, the promotional displays are up, and the store opens, the sales associate is in charge of maintaining the quality of the store’s presentation. This means monitoring and maintaining the inventory stock on the store floor by replenishing any emptying shelves with new merchandise. Customers will often move items around as they browse the store, and a sales associate must rectify this by reorganizing things so that customers aren’t hindered in finding what they’re seeking, or just to have a more pleasant shopping experience in general. Refolding clothes is a common example of this type of task for a retail sales associate. Maintaining a neat and tidy store front is a basic task that you will find in many a sales associate job description.

Sales Associate Duties - Store Floor

To summarize Managing Inventory, a sales associate’s duties in this area include:

  • Maintaining inventory in the back
  • Arranging inventory on the store floor
  • Tagging merchandise
  • Setting up promotional material and displays
  • Replenishing inventory
  • Reorganizing items
  • Maintaining a neat and tidy store

Sales

Selling products ranks pretty high in the retail sales associate job description. Depending on which store you’re applying to work for, the interview process may involve “selling” something simple like a pen to the interviewer.

Sales Associate Duties - Sales

Sales Associate Duties - Sales

As a sales associate, you should know your product inside and out. Know the product’s specifications, price, function, and how it compares to similar competing products. For example, a sales associate at a card dealership would have to be able to explain to the customer what the car’s features are as well as financing and warranty details. An associate selling big screen TVs would need to know the differences between plasma TVs and LCD TVs.

At the end of the day, a sales associate is trying to sell the product by closing the deal. Identify what the customer is looking for and help him or her solve their problem with a product. Use suggestive selling and recommend items that will appeal to their budget and needs. Answer any questions they may have, or if you don’t know the answer, direct them to someone who does.
If you can sell things efficiently and quickly, and with minimal supervision, you are sure to stand out among other sales associates.

To summarize Sales, sales associate responsibilities in this area include:

  • Persuading customers to buy a product
  • Be informed of the products’ specifications and information
  • Identifying customer needs and directing them to an appropriate product

Customer Service

The customer service part of the retail sales associate job description is closely related to the previous one we covered, sales. Other than trying to sell customers products, a sales associate’s responsibility is to provide them courteous, professional, and prompt service in whatever they need. From a bright smile when they walk in the door to a polite “thank you” as they leave, you are expected to make them feel welcome for doing business with you. Because of this, the best sales associates are outgoing, happy, and like to work with other people.

Helping customers finding merchandise is a common example of this type of service. A sales associate should approach customers who look confused or lost and ask them if they need assistance locating something. Once you lead them to the proper location, a good sales associate might point out similar, complementary, or related items that might be of interest to them. Also, suggest tips for how to set up or care for the product. If the associate does not have the answer to a customer’s question, he or she is expected to direct them to someone who does.

Sales Associate Duties - Customer Service

Sales associates are also in charge of providing customers with excellent service after the sale has been made. Customers may want to return or exchange an item. Sales associates working the customer service counter must ensure that the return is processed smoothly, a return receipt or acknowledgement is provided, and the customer leaves satisfied.

All in all, a sales associate’s job is to help customers solve their problems. You want to have them leave the store satisfied with the feeling that they accomplished their goal, and want to return to shop at your store in the future. Client and customer satisfaction is key to a sales associate’s job description.

To summarize Customer Service, sales associate duties in this area include:

  • Provide courteous and prompt service
  • Welcome customers as they enter and thank them as they leave
  • Assist customers in locating what they’re looking for
  • Provide excellent after-sales service
  • Smile

Sales Associate Job Description Series
  1. Sales Associate Duties
  2. Sales Associate Duties – Part 2
  3. Sales Associate Resume
  4. Sales Associate Salary

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