An entry level sales position offers an incredible variety of opportunities for advancement. Given the high turnover in most retail environments, those who do well and stick it out have a lot of chances to move up from their first sales position. Understanding the expectations of your employer and customers is a great way to demonstrate your value to the sales team. Once you've established value in your current sales position, it's easy to move up. Here are some key ways for you to demonstrate that value and start climbing the ladder of success.
Know Your Products
Informed salespeople are simply more successful. Staying up to date on the product and services you sell makes it easier to relate timely, relevant information to your customers. By being knowledgeable, you take on the role of trusted adviser, as opposed to simply being a salesperson. This knowledge also helps you increase your per-ticket sales. By knowing more about your products, you'll also know more about the other items you sell that can enhance the value of the initial purchase. These add-ons help your averages while also generating more revenue for the store. Becoming a valuable asset for the business is key to moving up from your sales position.
Understand Your Customers
Your customers are constantly giving you information that can help you sell to them. Whether it's the things they say or their body language, they're always communicating. It's up to you to listen to and understand the messages they're trying to convey. They'll let you know when the time is right to close the deal. They'll also let you know when you're successfully building trust. A lot of psychology goes into your sales position. However, if you're not listening to your customers, you can't hope to effectively employ that psychology. Salespeople who listen create a better atmosphere and experience for customers. Those customers make more purchases, and return more often. Showing that you have the ability to build lasting relationships with customers is a great way to move up from your sales position.
Be a Mentor
The days of the cutthroat sales floor are over. The "lone wolf" salespeople generally don't last long, and don't leave a good impression in their wake. Employers and customers are more interested in team players. A great way to be a team player is to share your skills and experience with other salespeople. You're all there for the same reason--to create revenue for the retailer. If you're going it alone, only interested in your own commission, then the store won't see much return on their investment in you. It's much better to use the things you've learned in your sales position to help the entire team. Once an employer sees you doing that, they'll want to move you into a higher position.
Look at your sales position as a launchpad to a more fulfilling and lucrative career. Nearly everyone starts off near the bottom. Those who work hard and develop their skills rapidly move on to a higher sales position. From there, it's easy to move on to management and even ownership. Remember that you're part of a team, and that team is working toward the success of the retailer. Once you've established yourself as a valued team member, moving up from your sales position is only a matter of time.