25 Retail Skills Every Sales Associate Must Have

In retail, it’s important to focus on customer satisfaction along with providing the best services and gaining sales.

There are a lot of roles that a person who wants to grow in a sales career can find. It can be difficult to ascertain which type of role suits them best. However, there are some careers like sales associates that are options to consider for setting up success.

Regardless if you are a person who wants to make your career in sales or an owner who wants to hire the ideal sales associate for retail, here are some sets of skills that you should know.

What You Should Know About Sales Associates?

The sales associate holds an important role in retail. They are typically related to B2C where they engage with potential customers, help in finding the right product that can fit the requirements customers have.

The sales associate is different as compared to other positions in sales. Here they are more focused on consultation and providing a smooth shopping experience instead of prospecting and pipeline the management.

When you are a sales associate of retail, you need to find potential customers for your company.

Along with that,  you are required to provide a valuable customer experience. Here you get hands-on experience where you sell and deal directly with your consumers.

ways improve sales associate skills

But also you have the opportunity for reporting the company and gaining knowledge about the product and services.

Responsibilities Of Sales Associate

The prime responsibilities can vary based on what position you are hired but there are some of the key responsibilities that include –

  • Greeting customers, answering the questions and making sure to provide engagement.
  • Providing outstanding customer services
  • Operating the cash registers, balancing drawers, and managing the financial transaction.
  • Achieve the goals that are established by the company.
  • Directing the customers who are in the store.
  • Boosting the numbers of in-store sales.
  • Understanding and having superior knowledge about the product and services.
  • Cross-selling products for boosting the purchase amounts.
  • Maintaining the associates on the sales floor.

What Sales Skill Should Every Sales Associate Should Have?

Well when the sales associate holds the important work, it’s crucial to hire the person who possesses the skills that can help the company to achieve goals, and boost the sales.

As for the candidates, these skills can help you in getting higher chances to get selected by the companies. Also, set yourself apart from the rest of the crowd, and boost your career in sales.

skills that every sales associate have

1. Experience With POS And CRM Software

The sales associate should know how to handle the POS and CRM software.  It’s an important ability that the person should have so they can use CRM or Customer relationship management, it’s an essential skill in sales.

There are many sales professionals who depend heavily on CRM for helping as well as managing the contacts as well as deals.

CRM makes it efficient to maintain the information instead of using the spreadsheet or documenting every single detail.  Also, it provides segmentation and automation-like features to make the work much better and hassle-free.

With using CRM, it becomes much easier to find the right people at the right time without wasting too much time on searching for their information.

For the sales associate, they should understand working with CRM, also POS or Point of sales system is a crucial part too.

It’s a customer transaction that is processed as well as logged, it’s a common practice that every retail sales associate should have.

2.  Communication & Interpersonal Skills

Well for a sales associate, they have to interact with the customers and people, in general, the whole day.

It can be taking directions from the managers, providing feedback to colleagues for helping the customers in stores.

Here the person should have the commercial skills that are not just good but also fluent so it can be the foundation of the successful sales associate.

When you work as a sales associate, you are holding the role which is customer-facing which means you will engage with different kinds of people throughout the day. 

They can have different communication styles, backgrounds, and as a sales associate, it becomes your job to solve the problem.

To make sure that you have better skills, and to improve, you must ask for feedback. It can be your customers or colleagues. They can tell you your ability to actively listen and might provide a useful recommendation.

3. Customer-Centered Thinking And Mindset

Working as a sales associate in retail,  you need to first touchpoint the potential customer that they have with the company.

As there is one thing common regardless of what kind of company or industry, every single one of them is providing the product or services to their customers in order to solve their problems.

For the sales associate, it’s the job to identify the problem that can be solved by using the product or services that the company provides.

customer touchpoints for sales

Also, the experience with you has a heavy influence on what kind of opinion the customer will form towards the brand.

That’s why it’s important that the sales associate have a customer-focused mindset. They should have the understanding and strive to help the customers, so they can find the solution to their problems.

When you have a customer-centric mindset, you prioritize the needs as well as wants of your customer above anything. 

It demands to dedicate the time during the shift so you can engage with customers, instead of selling what your company offers

Here you need to bring the best solutions to your customers, even if it’s not what your company provides.

4. Deep Understanding And Knowledge About What Company Sells

The sales associate is required to have a solid understanding of the products and services that the company sells.

Oftentimes, the sales associate is required to answer the questions and solve the troubleshooting like problems for the potential customers.

That’s why having a deep understanding and knowledge about the product can help in serving better to the potential buyers.

When the sales associate has the understanding, the customer also feels empowered and supported during the purchase.

 5.  Genuine Enthusiasm For Product & Brand

Having an understanding of what you are selling helps in becoming a better and successful sales associate.  To make it much better, it’s going to need guinea enthusiasm as well.

When the sales associate has genuine enthusiasm that the company provides an extra understanding of what actual value it provides to the customer.

Also, it affects the prospective customer as they know better how it can serve them. So when you meet the repeated customers, make sure to ask what actually they like using the company and what’s the reason they come back.

This will help in understanding how you can build enthusiasm and knowledge that goes beyond personal experience.

6.  Being Empathic

Every Business looks for the help that their customer can have for solving their problems.

Here the sales associates work in the front line, where they handle the customer and their problems as well as find the right solution.

The sales associate requires an empathic attitude to serve best. When the sales associates have genuinely empathized with the problems that the customers are going through, they can find better solutions and relate as well.

Well, you can practice becoming empathic. For that, you need to imagine yourself in the same shoes as the customer. Understand how you would feel when you are going through the same problem and desperate to find the right solution.

Here what kind of assistance will help you and what you will share with someone who is helping you. This can help in understanding the right questions that you can ask the customers to know more.

7.  Understanding Problem Solving And Dealing With Decision Making

Sales associates also need to solve the problems that the customers are going through. It requires to be quick as well as decisively, to make sure you are successful and solution-oriented, here the sales associate is required to have a mindset and have a creative approach as the key points.

Well, the sales associates are the first who always contact the customer experiencing a problem that they are facing with the product.

If the same problem keeps repeating, here the sales associates are required to prepare a troubleshooting solution. Also, it’s important to understand the language that can help them.

The customer troubleshoot can help in assuring them their problem gets solved, and the overall experience gets better to think favorably towards the company.

8.  Ability To Prioritize, Adapt, And Multi Tasks

When you are the sales associates,  there are different work and tasks that you need to handle.

There might be a tight deadline along with completing the priorities.

To make sure that you are thriving in such a situation, the sales associates require you to adapt fast to adapt.

The ability to adapt for adjusting regardless of which situation you are in, and reprioritize on the fly. These are some of the important skills that make you successful.

The sales associate is required to show the adaptation in an unexpected situation and make sure it stays in a calm manner. Also, they are required to open up to new ideas and try different solutions without making it affect the work.

Also, they have to take the responsibilities and roles that they need to follow.

9. Active Listing & Trust Building

The sales associate requires understanding what problem the customer is facing. Here they need to have skills like active listening. With the excellent skill of active listening, you can listen better to the buyers and understand instead of responding.

Also, there are lots of sales associates who have to work in a team environment. Here they have to give as well receive the feedback.

Well to give them valuable feedback and receive it heavily depends on how better your active listing is.

10.  Time Management

When you are handling the sale, there will always be something they demand your attention.

It became crucial to know where and how you are going to handle the time. And here comes the importance of having time management for the sales associates.

That’s why you need to know how to prioritize when you have multiple tasks to do, such as balancing the amount to spend with prospects.

Apart from this, you also need to know when the deal is cold and not more beneficial.

11.  Handling The Money And Basic Maths

The sales associates also need to know the handling of the money and basic maths. With these skills, it will be helpful to ensure that the customer and company are aligned money related too.

Also, you are going to need to handle the proper facilities like POS transactions. Knowing the additional and subtraction will help in accurately performing better, fast, and easy calculations when you deal with the cash.

If you have a colleague who knows the POS system and is doing the transaction, shadows them so you can get a better understanding of the best practices.

12.  Retail Sales Experience

For those who don’t have much sales experience, a retail position can be the perfect start.

When you are working as a sales associate, you can introduce different useful skills.  There will be best practices regarding customer service, inventory management, visual merchandising, and sales techniques that are commission-based.

Also when you prepare for the retail position, you can also update the resume where you can add the different skills including leadership, working with others, etc.

13.  Learn Quickly And Accept the Feedbacks

When you are handling customer-facing roles, it can be unpredictable. Here you will need to learn new selling techniques, understanding information about products, mastering the skills, etc to help you succeed.

Apart from this, you are going to accept the feedback from the senior members of your team.

14.  Being Genuine Persuasiveness

The sales associate requisites to have the ability to persuade the prospects. Here you need to convince the customer to find the solution and that’s the product or service you are offering.

Well, you need to bring genuine persuasiveness, it should be natural and also useful. However, you can practice this by following these practices :

Make sure when you address the customer’s objections, your tone should be empathetic.

When the customer makes objections, it also gives the opportunity where you can ask more questions. This is important for the conversation to keep going.

When you answer, it should be framed as a solution. So the customer can overcome their problems or challenges.

Once you build trust with your potential customer, you will be able to persuade them of the company offering the solution that would be best for them.

15.  Personal Autonomy

Sales associates are required to have a sense of personal autonomy and that will help in becoming more successful.

When you have the specific sales target that you want to reach, it will help in working independently.

And with that, you can have personal responsibility so you can be more focused. It will be your personal motivator and booster to achieve greater goals each day.

16. Styling Skills

For becoming the best retail associate, you are going to need style and taste as well.  Here you need to be able to quickly discern so the items can go well together.

Using the skill can help you set up the retail display to look pretty and attractive. The styling skills can also come in handy when the customer asks for advice.

However it seems like the skill might be needed for fashion-related purposes, but it can be used for other niches as well such as gifts, homeware, etc.

For example, as a retail associate, you are going to need the styling skills for recommending the fixtures and furnishing that go perfectly together.

17. Sales Or Customer Skills

Well, sales and customer skills are two basic and important for you to have.  The employees are required to know how to deal with the customers when they are on different stages of the sale.

You are going to greet the customer,  assess different problems and interests. Help in creating the solution for them, and to help in getting better sales.

However, to make sure you have better sales and customer skills, there are some practices that can be tried.  For example:-

  • You can use modular training where you train for short segments instead of long ones.
  • You can use different learning tools as well as methods.
  • Role-playing is also useful, it can help in training someone in retail.

18.  Skill For Storytelling

Storytelling is an important skill for the sales associate, so you can sell the product and brand. It also makes it engaging and accurate, especially today’s requirement.

These Days the products are commoditized and in order to develop strong connections with shoppers,  you are going to tell stories that can be genuine and relatable.

That’s why storytelling is an important skill for associates to have.

19. Able To Handle Physical Exertion

The job is not easy and it takes strength to do. Here you are going to be on your feet for more than five hours.

It causes physical exertion, and it can be challenging for a lot of people. That’s why it should be important that if you are hiring someone for the role, they know what they are going to deal with.

Or if you are applying, you should be mentally prepared for the physical excitement at work.

20.  Being Friendly Yet Professional

While the person should not have to be an extrovert, it’s still important to have to be friendly with the employees as well as the team.

Retail is people-oriented, and the industry is based on being social.  It’s important to know how to deal with the customers and all people you meet.

The sales associates have to be kind, welcoming, and friendly. However, they also know how to be professional at the same time.

21.  Have Patience

Well, another skill that is crucial is patience. It’s an important ingredient that can help in providing customer service skills.

You will meet a lot of people, they can be different and it’s important to know how to treat them.

Well, you might find the customers who are slow and want to take things slow as well. That’s why you need to match with the pace.

There might be some guests who want you to go back and check it again to find the right product.

22. Understanding About Techs

The retail associate requires understanding about the techs and how it works. It includes the mobile device and retail system so they make sure everything is going smoothly.

It’s important that you have a strong grip,  when you don’t understand it well it can cause mistakes and inefficiencies.

23.  Be The Brand Ambassador

Well, social media is becoming important and influencer marketing is a popular thing. That’s why the associates require a brand ambassador who can also endorse, promote and help in making it famous on social media.

24. Language

There will be the chance that you encounter different customers who might have different languages.

Speaking to your customers in their language can be more helpful as they can understand you better. Also, it gives a comfortable vibe, and the customer can feel more relaxed while shopping.

25. Organization Skills

Another skill that plays an important role in understanding the customer preferences, keeping track of inventory, documenting the paperwork, etc.

This can help in keeping work hassle-free, and the organization skill can make your resume look much better than the rest of the others.

Having organization skills in your resume also shows the employers that you have the capability in managing the tasks, and handling people efficiently or efficiently.

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