Job Title: Sales Rep For A Packaging Company
Type of Company: My company are design manufacturers and distributors of packaging products.
Education: BA, Science MA, Zoology
Previous Experience: I did research at the Harvard Primate Center, but after getting my masters took a job in furniture sales. After that, I became a warehouse worker for a packaging house and finally went on the road selling packaging.
Job Tasks: My chief responsibility as a sales rep is to sell our packaging, which means to locate key accounts, sit with company purchasing agents or company officers and discuss their packaging needs. Once I've learned what their requirements are, I develop a packaging program and recommend products that will meet their specifications. To give you an idea: one company I worked with needed to transport crystal modulators, small wafer-like items similar to onion skin but sturdier. We developed a pack for them, made from vacuum-formed plastic, that was the mirror image of the carrier that was placed in their industrial ovens when they were firing the silicon. When the package was placed over the carrier and inverted, the wafers would fall into predetermined slots and it was then a simple matter to place a cover over the lot and send them off to a customer.
A typical day for me is to get up a 6AM, take my list of appointments and go out on the road. I make sure I have enough brochures for that day's appointments. I return home about 5 PM and work on the results of my day. I usually call in any request for quotes from the road to my office and they will e-mail me the results. In that way I can work on my customer quotes when I get home at night. I usually set up a week's worth of appointments on Fridays so I have my following week planned.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: Best part of the job is meeting new people and wresting with their packaging needs. You are in contact with mill representatives and bring yourself up to date on new products.
The worst part of the job is the response time from mills and manufacturers and meeting quotas. Sales meeting can be boring, but you can gain a lot of knowledge from them even so. They can be the key to your successful career.
1. Be persistent but not obnoxious.
2. Make sure you cover all your bases. Re-check measurements, make sure your customer signs off on products.
3. Research your items to make sure you are giving your customer the best value for his dollar.
4. Make sure that you know all about the products you're presenting, because there's nothing more embarrassing than being caught without an answer.
Additional Thoughts: The most surprising thing about the job is how much money you can make. Because most purchasing people do not want to do the leg work to research products, and that's where you come in.
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