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What Does a Route Sales Representative Do?

Nick Mann
Nick Mann

A career as a route sales representative is perfect for someone who enjoys consistently traveling and interacting with customers. While those in this career may deal with a wide range of products, the fundamental job duties they perform are similar. These include acquiring new customers and maintaining relationships with existing customers, inspecting outgoing products, delivering products, recording financial transactions and communicating with supervisors.

Some of the most important aspects of being a route sales representative are acquiring new customers and maintaining relationships with existing customers. This job in large part revolves around interacting with others and understanding customer needs. A person in this position must be knowledgeable about the products he sells and able to explain the benefits of those products. Consequently, an individual must possess considerable interpersonal skills and be able to build rapport with customers.

Woman posing
Woman posing

Another part of the job that's sometimes overlooked — but nonetheless important — is inspecting outgoing products. For example, if a route sales representative is delivering bread to a grocery store, he will need to check the dates of the loaves to ensure that they aren't stale. In order to maintain a positive reputation with customers and the public, it's important for this person to have an eye for detail and ensure the quality of products.

Delivering the correct products to customers on time is also extremely important. If this job duty is not performed efficiently, a company's customer base is likely to suffer. Consequently, it's critical for a route sales representative to be punctual and accurate when delivering products. In some cases, he will need to go over inventory with a customer to ensure that all products are accounted for.

Recording all financial transactions between the business and customers is another common duty. Since people working in this position often handle large sums of money on a daily basis, it's critical that they keep track of it. Some businesses use computers or other electrical devices for this and others maintain paper files. Regardless of the method, it's important for a route sales representative to have at least basic mathematical skills and be well organized.

In addition, it's necessary to continually communicate with company supervisors. Since a route sales representative is typically a subordinate, it's his duty to follow orders from his supervisor and perform those actions correctly. In many cases, he will communicate with his supervisor prior to the beginning of each work day and at the end of each day. This practice helps keep everyone on the same page.

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