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Sales Associate Overview

Sales associates are the face of any local business. They are masters of balancing hospitality and persuasion. They welcome you into the store with a warm smile and gentle demeanor but have nothing but sales on their mind. Perfect the art of sales and you’ll be in high demand. 

If you’re an upbeat person who loves interacting with people, then a sales associate job is for you!


  • Greeting customers. The most important part of working as a sales associate is keeping customers happy. Always wear a smile.
  • Assisting customers. You are the go-to person in the store. You should be readily accessible to all customers and prepared to answer any and all of their questions. 
  • Selling merchandise. Sales associates should have a number of strategies to sell products including building customer confidence, informing customers of deals, and working to make sure each customer has a pleasant shopping experience.
  • Documenting sales through customer profile records. You may be required to either make these records or update them.
  • Processing payments. This includes totaling purchases and handling checks, cash, or store credits.


  • Persuasion and comfort talking with strangers. Many stores will expect sales associates to market certain products more than others, so be prepared to think on your toes.
  • Patience. We’ve all seen an angry customer making a big scene because they didn’t get what they wanted. As a sales associate, you will likely be on the other end of that conversation. Be prepared to be patient with difficult customers.


No formal education is required for a sales associate job, but employers generally hire more people with high school diplomas or a GED credential.

If you have an associate or bachelor’s degree, you are more likely to rise to supervisor or management positions. If you’re interested in managing a staff, consider part-time sales associate jobs to gain experience while you earn your degree.

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