Wholesale and Manufacturing, Technical and Scientific Products Sales Representatives

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Also known as:
Chemical Sales Representative, Electroplating Sales Representative, Engineering Supplies Sales, Pharmaceutical Detailer, Pharmaceutical Sales Representative, Pharmaceutical Salesperson, Surgical Instruments Sales Representative, Wholesale Ultrasonic Equipment Salesperson

ABOUT WHOLESALE AND MANUFACTURING, TECHNICAL AND SCIENTIFIC PRODUCTS SALES REPRESENTATIVE CAREERS
Video transcript

There was a time when successful sales representatives needed only a smile, a shoeshine, and a case-full of samples. But today, sales reps have to know a great deal about the technical details of their products - and those of the competition. When selling products such as computers, lasers, microchips, software, space-age plastics, new drugs or chemical compounds, technical sales reps often find themselves on the leading edge of science and technology.

Being successful at this job requires a unique combination of skills. You must be able to explain the features and benefits of a product with the authority of an engineer. You need to be prepared to point out why it is better than competing products. And finally, you must be able to close the sale.

Understanding and keeping up with ever-changing technologies is time-consuming and challenging work. But if you are prepared to make the commitment necessary to meet this challenge and also enjoy selling, you can make a very good living as a technical sales representative.

SNAPSHOT
Sell goods for wholesalers or manufacturers where technical or scientific knowledge is required in such areas as biology, engineering, chemistry, and electronics, normally obtained from at least 2 years of postsecondary education.
Leadership
HIGH
Critical decision making
HIGH
Level of responsibilities
LOW
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
HIGH
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
HIGH
Communication with others
HIGH
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
HIGH
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
LOW
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
LOW
Daily tasks

Attend sales or trade meetings or read related publications to obtain information about market conditions, business trends, environmental regulations, or industry developments.

Prepare sales presentations or proposals to explain product specifications or applications.

Visit establishments to evaluate needs or to promote product or service sales.

Provide customers with ongoing technical support.

Prepare and submit sales contracts for orders.

Verify that delivery schedules meet project deadlines.

Stock or distribute resources, such as samples or promotional or educational materials.

Identify prospective customers, using business directories, leads from existing clients, participation in organizations, or trade show or conference attendance.

Collaborate with colleagues to exchange information, such as selling strategies or marketing information.

Advise customers on product usage to improve production.

Answer customers' questions about products, prices, availability, or credit terms.

MAIN ACTIVITIES
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
Communicating with Persons Outside Organization Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
Selling or Influencing Others Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.
Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Sales and Marketing Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Administration and Management Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Production and Processing Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
Computers and Electronics Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Clerical Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
TOP SKILLS
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Persuasion Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Negotiation Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
Social Perceptiveness Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Service Orientation Actively looking for ways to help people.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Coordination Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.