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Career profile Direct Sales Representative

Also known as Direct Sales Coach, Door-to-Door Sales Trainer, Independent Beauty Consultant, Independent Distributor, Independent Sales Associate, Independent Sales Representative, Sales Representative, Street Vendor

Direct Sales Representative

Also known as Direct Sales Coach, Door-to-Door Sales Trainer, Independent Beauty Consultant

Interests Profile
  • Enterprising
  • Conventional
  • Realistic
Pay Range
$20,170 - $63,290 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Speaking
  • Persuasion
  • Social Perceptiveness
Knowledge Areas
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Administrative
Core tasks
  • Explain products or services and prices and demonstrate use of products.
  • Develop prospect lists.
  • Deliver merchandise and collect payment.
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What does a Direct Sales Representative do?

Direct Sales Representatives sell goods or services door-to-door or on the street.

What kind of tasks does a Direct Sales Representative perform regularly?

Direct Sales Representatives are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Explain products or services and prices and demonstrate use of products.
  • Develop prospect lists.
  • Deliver merchandise and collect payment.
  • Write and record orders for merchandise or enter orders into computers.
  • Arrange buying parties and solicit sponsorship of such parties to sell merchandise.
  • Answer questions about product features and benefits.
  • Distribute product samples or literature that details products or services.
  • Circulate among potential customers or travel by foot, truck, automobile, or bicycle to deliver or sell merchandise or services.
  • Persuade customers to purchase merchandise or services.
  • Set up and display sample merchandise at parties or stands.
  • Order or purchase supplies.

The above responsibilities are specific to Direct Sales Representatives. More generally, Direct Sales Representatives are involved in several broader types of activities:

Selling or Influencing Others
Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.
Performing for or Working Directly with the Public
Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Communicating with People Outside the 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.
Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

What is a Direct Sales Representative salary?

The median salary for a Direct Sales Representative is $29,730, and the average salary is $36,740. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Direct Sales Representative salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Direct Sales Representatives earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Direct Sales Representatives earn less than $20,170 per year, 25% earn less than $24,180, 75% earn less than $41,440, and 90% earn less than $63,290.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Direct Sales Representatives is expected to change by -24.1%, and there should be roughly 4,700 open positions for Direct Sales Representatives every year.

Median annual salary
$29,730
Typical salary range
$20,170 - $63,290
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
-24.1%

What personality traits are common among Direct Sales Representatives?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Direct Sales Representative are usually higher in their Enterprising and Conventional interests.

Direct Sales Representatives typically have very strong Enterprising interests. Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

Also, Direct Sales Representatives typically have moderate Conventional interests. Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Direct Sales Representative tend to value Relationships, Achievement, and Independence.

Most importantly, Direct Sales Representatives strongly value Relationships. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Second, Direct Sales Representatives moderately value Achievement. Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

Lastly, Direct Sales Representatives moderately value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Direct Sales Representatives must consistently demonstrate qualities such as integrity, initiative, and dependability.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Direct Sales Representatives, ranked by importance:

Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Initiative
Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Persistence
Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
Independence
Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.

What education and training do Direct Sales Representatives need?

Working as a Direct Sales Representative may require a high school diploma or GED certificate.

Direct Sales Representatives need anywhere from a few days to a few months of training. Usually, an experienced worker could show you how to do the job.

Educational degrees among Direct Sales Representatives

  • 12.5% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 29.8% completed high school or secondary school
  • 23.6% completed some college coursework
  • 8.1% earned a Associate's degree
  • 19.8% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 5.3% earned a Master's degree
  • 1.0% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Direct Sales Representatives

Direct Sales Representatives may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as customer and personal service, sales and marketing, or administrative knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Direct Sales Representatives might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

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.
Administrative
Knowledge of administrative and office procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and workplace terminology.
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.
Education and Training
Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

Important Abilities needed by Direct Sales Representatives

Direct Sales Representatives must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Direct Sales Representatives need abilities such as oral expression, oral comprehension, and speech recognition in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Direct Sales Representatives, ranked by their relative importance.

Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Speech Recognition
The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
Speech Clarity
The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
Written Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.

Critical Skills needed by Direct Sales Representatives

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Direct Sales Representatives frequently use skills like speaking, persuasion, and social perceptiveness to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Direct Sales Representatives, ranked by their relative importance.

Speaking
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Persuasion
Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
Social Perceptiveness
Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Service Orientation
Actively looking for ways to help people.
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.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this information, please send a message.