Definition: Salesman Saleswoman Job Description

What are the seller’s missions? What training should be followed to exercise this profession? What are his outlets and his salary? Discover this profession in detail: missions, training, salary.

Salesperson profession

In France, there are more than a million sellers, 82% of whom are women, mainly involved in the sale of clothing and luxury products.

Each year, around 25,000 jobs are offered in boutiques, stores and supermarkets.

A profession that constantly recruits, even without a diploma, it is ideal for young candidates or for a professional retraining provided that certain skills are acquired. Want to know more ? Follow the leader.

What is a seller?

The salesperson’s job consists of welcoming customers in a store or in a department and then advising them on the products or services that might suit them.

For this, he must develop arguments but also adapt his speech according to the needs, uncertainties and hesitations of each client.

In any case, he should encourage him to buy something if nothing suits him.

A salesperson can work in all types of businesses (food, automobile, ready-to-wear, cosmetics, jewelry, DIY, multimedia, etc.) and structures (supermarkets, specialized stores, traditional stores, etc.). In any case, an excellent knowledge of the products he sells is required.

Depending on where he works, his daily life will not be exactly the same.

The missions of a salesperson

The activities of a seller vary by industry and structure, but they mainly consist of:

  • Welcome and advise clients
  • Display the items on the shelves or in the window
  • Check the price tag
  • Ensure the supply of departments
  • Provide the requested information
  • Demonstrate the items (mainly for high-tech products and tooling)
  • Collect payments (mainly in a small structure or a shop)
  • In small structures, the salesperson can also take inventory of stocks, place orders, collect payments and post the receipts at the end of the day.
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Depending on their location, they can also label products or ensure replenishment orders.

The mission of the supermarket salesperson is different since he spends more time stocking and arranging the shelves than advising customers.

Qualifications required to become a salesperson

Interest in selling

Knowing how to develop a solid sales argument is essential in this profession. In addition, you have to know how to adapt to each client and keep your cool to face each situation.

Contact direction

Listening, friendliness, good oral expression… these human qualities are essential in this profession where interpersonal skills play a key role.

Be comfortable with numbers

When ordering, taking inventories or when he is at the cash desk, this sales professional must handle numbers with ease.

Good presentation

Impeccable dress and a smile on the lips are essential to inspire confidence and give a good image to customers.

Perfect product knowledge

Specialized in a department or sector (food, household appliances, cosmetics, etc.), the seller must know all the characteristics of the items he is selling. He is also constantly informed about new developments.


A salesperson must be available since it is common to work weekends and holidays and to work overtime especially during sales or during the holiday season in distribution.


Essentially in small structures, the salesperson must be versatile in carrying out several missions: carrying out stock inventory, placing replenishment orders, collecting payments and posting the receipt at the end of the day.

Language skills

Knowledge of a foreign language is an advantage especially in tourist areas.

Training to become a salesperson

Even if sales often appeal to people with little or no qualifications, initial training is recommended to access the profession of salesperson. A professional baccalaureate makes it easier to achieve this and a BTS allows you to progress more quickly to management functions.

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It should also be noted that many companies provide product and company specific training when hiring candidates.

Initial training

CAP level

  • CAP specialized sales employee, food products option, current equipment products option, customer service option, bookstore-stationery-press products option
  • CAP multispecialty sales employee
  • CAP storekeeper in spare parts and automotive equipment
  • MC salesperson specializing in food

Baccalaureate standard

  • Bac pro trades in commerce and sales option animation and management of commercial space (ex graduate pro commerce, graduate pro sales)
  • Bac pro technician consulting
  • Bac pro reception professions (ex graduate pro ARCU – reception, customer and user relations)
  • BT music professions
  • Home appliance and multimedia salesman
  • Sales consultant (Négoventis CCI school)

Licence level

  • BTS MCO – operational business management (ex BTS MUC – management of business units)
  • BTS NDRC – negotiation and digitization of the relationship (ex BTS NRC – negotiation and customer relationship)
  • DUT marketing techniques

Continuing education

The salesperson profession is also accessible through continuing education for adults by preparing for a professional title in-store sales advisor (Centers approved by the Ministry of Employment).

Possible developments of the seller

Trade is an area where there are many possibilities for development.

After several years of experience, a salesperson can move fairly quickly to the position of team leader and then possibly store manager.

In large-scale distribution, he can become a department manager and then a department manager, or even a store manager or manager.

He can also orient himself towards the trade of commercial attaché or demonstrator.

Finally, he can also engage in direct sales online.

Salary of a salesperson

A novice salesperson is generally paid at the minimum wage. To this can be added, depending on the brands, bonuses or a profit-sharing system.

By becoming a sales team leader in a chain of stores, his salary can reach $ 1,800 gross per month.

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