Retail industry has a lot of opportunities and, consequently, a lot of positions. There are highly customer service oriented positions such as sales associates, cashiers, and customer service associates. There are not so obvious to the customer positions such as freight processors, price check associates, merchandisers and loss prevention associates. Besides, there are managers. All positions are important for the proper and smooth functioning of the retail operation.
Retail sales associate is mostly responsible for, well, sales. Retail sales associate's job is to sell items to the customer and to be able to make every customer leave with the purchase, be happy about it and come back. Retail sales associates sometimes have a quota for their weekly or monthly performance and even if not, they are supposed to up sell and/or solicit store credit. In order to get that job and be successful and happy doing it you need:
~ Ability and desire to help people.
It helps if you like to help people and you are comfortable talking to anybody since you will need to engage your customers in conversation. Remember that you will have all kind of customers and some of them will not be very nice to you. Ability not to take it personally and to make customer feel better by helping him or her is paramount.
~ Ability to listen and hear.
To be able to sell you need to determine what your customer needs. In order to do so you need to listen attentively to your customer and the answers you will be getting. Knowing what your customer is looking for will further help you in offering some additional items.
~ Ability to stay calm under pressure.
As sales associate you may be exposed to a lot of pressure and stress, be it an unhappy customer or performance quota to meet. You need to be able to keep your composure at all times and under any conditions and stay calm and productive under pressure.
~ Ability to multi-task.
Very often you will need to do several things at once. It is very important to be able to switch from one task to another and than get right where you stopped and continue. It is also important to always finish your tasks without compromising your customer service duties.
~ Ability to be reliable and dependable.
It is very important that you are always on time and ready for your shift. Managers want to hire associates they can trust t o be at work when scheduled and ready to perform their job.
If you think that you have all these skills then you ready to apply for a job of a retail sales associate. While going through the interview remember that you need to show your possible employer that you do possess all those abilities and more. Retail managers usually are quick and good judges of character so don't pretend to be somebody you are not. Remember that if you are not delivering up to your promise they can always find ways to get rid of you. On the other hand, if you are good solid employee you can get some incentives you never even thought of when you started you career in retail such as monetary incentives for over performing your quota, commissions on sales and other. You can also move up the ladder and become a manager since retail organizations often promote from within.