Everyone has heard the term “retail sales associate” tossed around, but few know what the job actually entails. Working as a retail sales associate can be broken down very simply to the 4 K’s:

1. Know your products

Very simply, a retail sales associate sells products. Selling products means knowing your products.

Ryan Langston, retail sales associate in Berkeley, CA, says that one of the most important things he learned as a retail sales associate is to “know the product you’re selling because customers have a lot of questions.”

And not just that — it is also important to know your competitors’ products to understand how your business compares.

2. Know your inventory

You need to keep tabs on items that are out of stock, in excess supply, selling rapidly, or selling slowly at all times. Routinely organizing the store helps make this task easier and ensures that any misplaced items are quickly returned to their original locations.

3. Know your customers

A good retail sales associate knows what makes their customers happy. Ensuring the happiness of your customers involves going above and beyond to make sure everyone leaves the store with their needs met.

When an item is out of stock, you'll guide the customer to similar products or let them know the next time you expect the item to be back in the store. When in doubt, special order the item to make sure the sale is executed and the customer leaves happy.

4. Know your money

As a successful retail sales associate, you'll be making sales. To finalize a sale, you'll need to ring the customer up. Minimize transactional errors and stay detail-oriented — no biggie!

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