The starting wage for many retail sales positions is the equivalent minimum wage prevailing in the locality of employment. On top of the basic pay, some establishments give commissions under a quota
system. To promote teamwork among the sales staff, some employers provide incentives such as the grant of bonuses and other benefits in kind. In addition, retail salespersons are given discounts on the store’s merchandise.
Basic Educational Requirement
Persons with a high school diploma or with 2 years of college education are qualified for the job of a Retail Salesperson. The training for hired retail salespersons are usually conducted in-house. The topics generally discussed are customer service, security, store policies and procedures, and in some cases, how to operate a cash register. Depending on the type of product they are selling, retail salespersons may be given specialized training by manufacturers’ representatives. Large retail businesses usually prefer to hire college graduates as management trainees, making college education a requirement even at the entry level in large establishments.
Cost of Education *
High school education would normally range from P25,000 - P40,000 per year in private schools and institutions and about P3,000 - P5,000 in public institutions.
This occupation offers many opportunities both for full-time and part-time work. Retail Salespersons may be employed in various settings ranging from small specialty shops employing a few persons to giant department stores with hundreds of employees. Others can also be part-time, self-employed representatives of direct-sales companies. Many new jobs in retail selling are expected to be created due to businesses expanding their operations, the need for temporary workers during peak selling periods, and a growing population that normally results in rising retail sales.
Retail salesperson may also be employed in the following industries: Manufacturing, Wholesale and Retail Trade, Repair of Motor Vehicles, Motorcycles and Personal and Household Goods, Real Estate, Renting and Business Activities, and Other Community, Social and Personal Service Activities.
Prospects for Career Advancement
As salespersons gain experience and seniority, they usually move to positions of greater responsibility. Employees even without college degrees may advance to administrative or supervisory positions as long as they display strong motivation and extraordinary capability.
Nature of Work
A Retail Salesperson sells goods to customers in retail establishments and demonstrates and explains functions and qualities of these goods.
- Moves goods to be sold from storage area to sales area and placing them on display;
- Ascertains the nature and quality of the product desired by the customer;
- Quotes prices, credit terms and discounts;
- Picks and arranges delivery of goods if needed;
- Writes bills, invoices, dockets or receipts;
- Verifies cashier’s receipt, if necessary; and
- Gives demonstration of articles on sale in order to inform customer about their characteristics and mode of use, as well as to stimulate buying interest.
Skills and Competencies
- Knowledgeable of sale techniques coupled with an extensive knowledge of the merchandise they sell;
- Ability to communicate clearly and effectively both in English and in the local dialect; and
- Extraordinary talent for persuasion.
Physical Attributes and Characteristics
- Must have an interest in sales work and must have the tact and patience to deal with different customers;
- Patience and courtesy are required especially when the work is repetitious and customers are demanding; and
- Must also be neat in appearance at all times.
* Based on tuition fee rates for school year 2010-2011.