Although the exact qualifications you will need to become a wholesale sales representative vary from industry to industry, you will need a proven sales track record, and extensive product knowledge, at minimum. Many wholesale companies have an in-house training programme that sales reps complete; learning every facet of the business through a combination of classroom and on-the-job instruction.
What You Will Need: Sales training; Bachelor’s degree (recommended)
Get the Education
1 Take business and economics classes in high school, and foster your leadership and verbal communication skills; through extracurricular activities and oral in-class presentations.
2 Get a 4-year college degree: In the past, proven sales experience (which can be attained without college training) usually sufficed to get you in the door at a wholesale company. However, with product lines becoming more technical and complex, a relevant Bachelor’s degree is becoming more helpful.
3 Supplement your college education by taking training seminars for aspiring sales reps; offered through business schools and professional organisations. A thorough understanding of marketing and communications, is also essential if you want to become a wholesale sales representative.
Train to Be a Wholesale Sales Representative
1 Find a sales trainee position with a well-established company, after you complete your education. By browsing online job sites, and attending sales and business career fairs, you should have no problem lining up the opportunities. Don’t worry at this point whether or not the company’s business is wholesale, since you are still trying to acquire the professional experience needed, to land your preferred job.
2 Work through the trainee programme, and into the sales work force for a period of 1 to 2 years. Work hard to improve your skills, and learn all you can from successful sales reps above you. Of course, if you can land your first job with a wholesaler, so much the better.
3 Understand that many people who want to become sales reps, are trained by accompanying experienced personnel on sales calls. As your knowledge of a company’s clients and business builds, so your job responsibility usually increases: Eventually, you will probably be given your own sales territory.
4 Consider acquiring one or more of the advanced professional designations available to sales representatives: As a wholesale sales representative, you are most likely to go after the Certified Professional Manufacturers’ Representative (CPMR) or the Certified Sales Professional (CSP) certification. These designations signal your commitment to professional improvement, and can open the doors to a world of wholesale sales rep jobs.
You will be at an added advantage, if you have foreign language capabilities; Employers look for sales representatives who can help raise their visibility in overseas markets. You must be prepared to find that sales is an extremely competitive field.