Two females in a clothes shop looking at clothes

July 17, 2020, by aeyaebr

Working in Sales: What I Learned

By Annie Brown, MA Creative Writing student blogger

To support my masters degree, I got a part-time job in sales. Sales was a career area I had always been interested in, and I have learned a lot from the experience. Here are the top five things I learned:

Representing the brand

You are responsible for showcasing the brand you’re selling for. As part of our uniform, we were required to wear the merchandise during our shift so we could show it off to customers. But, it is also essential to know the stock and the layout of the showroom.

Having an intricate knowledge of your brand can make sales easier as you are able to recommend the best deals to customers. This benefits both the customer and the store you work for.

Working smart

You should always give your best to any job, and try to go above and beyond to help. But this does not mean you should exhaust yourself in the process. In the beginning, when I was new, I was very eager to help by taking on a lot of shifts. Yet, in the long run this is doing yourself and your shop a disservice as it can lead to burn out. Remember to take breaks when you need to and look after yourself.

Service with a smile

You should never underestimate the power of a smile in sales. It can massively benefit you if you’re genuinely nice and interested in the customers. Carefully listening to their requirements helps you to understand the best way you can assist them.

I achieved the record for the most emails taken in store as I always asked with a smile and emphasised how I was helping the customer save money and earn deals. Customers appreciate when their politeness is reciprocated!

Innovative ideas

Suggesting your own ideas and methods to improve the functionality of your shop demonstrates to employers you can take initiative. For example, I suggested themed, seasonal ‘parties’ in store (like an Easter Bunny Party) and rewarding customer purchases with ‘makeovers’ to entice customers.

These ideas worked well to boost our overall sales. They demonstrated to my manager that I was capable and understood how to improve the store, resulting in securing a supervisor position.

Loving what you do

Even in a part-time job, it is important to genuinely enjoy the work you do. I enjoyed working with the customers, getting to chat with them while I helped, and getting to know my co-workers. I also enjoyed the aesthetic side of the role where I could help put together displays and work out what would sell best where. The job of selling worked well for me as it combined my communication skills, independence and charisma into a rewarding role.

For me, working in sales was a great way to support myself during my studies. It was a great experience where I learned valuable skills that will continue to benefit me throughout my career.

Explore careers in buying, selling and retail.

Posted in Careers AdviceChoosing Your Career