Sales Representative

Manufacturing sales representatives sell goods to other organizations. They contact customers, explain product features, answer any questions that their customers may have, and negotiate prices.

Sales Representative

Average Hourly Earnings



Post-secondary non-degree award


  • Identify prospective customers by using business directories; follow leads from existing clients; and attend trade shows and conferences
  • Contact new and existing customers to discuss their needs and explain how specific products and services can meet those needs
  • Help customers select products based on the customers' needs, product specifications, and regulations
  • Emphasize product features based on analyses of customers' needs and on technical knowledge of product capabilities and limitations
  • Answer customers' questions about prices, availability, and product uses
  • Negotiate prices and terms of sale and service agreements
  • Prepare sales contracts and submit orders for processing
  • Follow up with customers to make sure they are satisfied with their purchases and to answer any questions or concerns

Work Environment

Sales representatives have regions that cover several states and may be away from home for days or weeks at a time. Those with smaller regions may travel less. They spend a lot of time on the phone and using web chat, email, and video conferencing to contact clients. Because income and job security often depend on the amount of merchandise they sell and meeting company goals, workers in this occupation can be under considerable stress. Most work full time, during regular hours; however, they often do their sales planning and paperwork in the evening and on weekends.

Key Traits

Enterprising. Usually requires starting up and carrying out projects. Often involves leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.