How Do I Become a Field Sales Representative?

Kristeen Moore

In order to become a field sales representative, you must first evaluate whether you possess the personality skills required for this type of job. Sales experience, whether it is in-house or outside of the company, is also a common requirement for the industry. Depending on what it is you are selling, you might need a specific degree before getting hired. It is also important to consider general fields of study that can benefit your career, such as marketing and finance. Making yourself stand out among the competition is imperative when you become a field sales representative.

Successful sales representatives often have outstanding people and communication skills.
Successful sales representatives often have outstanding people and communication skills.

Before you decide to start a career as a sales rep, it is important that you have the right personality. Field sales representatives work with customers to sell items or services outside of the office. This kind of job requires you be a self-starter in order to meet your quotas without constant supervision. Also, you must be personable and have outstanding people skills in order for your clients to be receptive to what you are selling. It is also important to take rejection well, and to realize that not everyone will want to purchase your products or services.

When you decide to become a field sales representative, you should already have some sort of selling experience beforehand. Since selling items out in the field is much more complex than traditional cold-call sales done from an office, many companies prefer that you have already have experience. Selling products or raising money for charitable organizations can also qualify as sales experience.

Many salespeople have specialized bachelor’s degrees, especially when they work as field representatives. This kind of job encompasses specialized skills, so most companies generally prefer that their employees also have a degree based on the field. For example, some pharmaceutical field representatives have degrees in healthcare, and many computer sales agents have undergone formal education in information technology.

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There are other important areas of higher education that you should consider before you become a field sales representative. Since you will manage your own leads, sales, and accounting paperwork, it is often beneficial to take courses in marketing, business, and finance. Although a company might not necessarily require these courses before hiring you, having the right knowledge can better ensure your success in this career.

Selling products and services is a particularly competitive career, so you must be prepared to make yourself stand out when you become a field sales representative. In order to secure an interview with a prospective employer, you must sell your skills and education to them, just as you would do the same presentation to your field clients. Also, you must consistently evaluate yourself compared to others in your field, and see what methods are working or not. A solid resume highlighting your skills and experience and a cover letter geared toward the specific job for which you are applying are essential.

Discussion Comments


I agree that it is important to be able to sell your skills and knowledge. Being modest is not the right way.

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