Tasks and Duties
- Answer customers' questions about products, prices, availability, product uses, and credit terms.
- Arrange and direct delivery and installation of products and equipment.
- Contact regular and prospective customers to demonstrate products, explain product features, and solicit orders.
- Estimate or quote prices, credit or contract terms, warranties, and delivery dates.
- Forward orders to manufacturers.
- Identify prospective customers by using business directories, following leads from existing clients, participating in organizations and clubs, and attending trade shows and conferences.
- Monitor market conditions, product innovations, and competitors' products, prices, and sales.
- Negotiate details of contracts and payments, and prepare sales contracts and order forms.
- Prepare drawings, estimates, and bids that meet specific customer needs.
- Provide customers with product samples and catalogs.
- Recommend products to customers, based on customers' needs and interests.
- Buy products from manufacturers or brokerage firms, and distribute them to wholesale and retail clients.
- Check stock levels and reorder merchandise as necessary.
- Consult with clients after sales or contract signings in order to resolve problems and to provide ongoing support.
- Negotiate with retail merchants to improve product exposure such as shelf positioning and advertising.
- Obtain credit information about prospective customers.
- Perform administrative duties, such as preparing sales budgets and reports, keeping sales records, and filing expense account reports.
- Plan, assemble, and stock product displays in retail stores, or make recommendations to retailers regarding product displays, promotional programs, and advertising.
- Train customers' employees to operate and maintain new equipment.
This project is supported, in part, by the National Science Foundation. Opinions expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily the Foundation.