Salespeople sell products to the public. They must have a thorough knowledge of the products being sold to be able to answer the customer's questions about the products and demonstrate how they work and how they should be used.

Salespeople show various models and colours of the products and make suggestions in line with the customer’s requirements.  They make out sales slips and invoices, take cash payments and return change and receipts. Sometimes salespeople fill out hire purchase documents and have them duly signed. They might also be required to handle product returns or exchanges and trade-ins, and places orders for items not in stock.

  • Some satisfying aspects of this career include:
  • good employment opportunities
  • company discounts
  • working with people
  • working without constant supervision

Some demanding aspects may include:

  • being on your feet most of the day
  • being paid on a commission basis
  • dealing with difficult customers
  • having to cope with very slow or busy periods

Personal Requirements

  • enjoy working with people
  • tactful and courteous
  • pleasant personality
  • able to communicate well, preferably in different languages
  • neat appearance
  • honest in dealings
  • assertive
  • good health and stamina
  • clear speech, to be easily understood

How to Enter

Schooling & School Subjects

  • Grade 10 Certificate
  • National Senior Certificate is recommended

What to Study

Although no specific training course is required for this occupation, the science and art of selling today has become so finely developed that a truly good salesperson deserves the description “professional”.

Entry requirements, like the nature of the work, depend on the type of product offered by the firm.
A salesperson usually starts the career as a clerk, shop assistant, cashier or learner and later undergoes in-service training.


  • large or small retail shops
  • wholesale establishments

Further Information

Any of the wide range of firms employing salespeople

Getting Started

  • volunteer to help out at church and community functions, such as jumble sales
  • try to get vacation work as a shop assistant
  • speak to salespeople about this type of career and ask to observe them at work

Programmes by Study Institutions

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