At its heart sales is about understanding people, what they desire and what value they put on it. People in sales need to be good with people, but the kind of interactions you will have can vary greatly. Business sales involves building ongoing relationships with counterparts in other businesses, whereas telesales will mean dealing daily with many people over the phone. It is a sector where you will face pressure from sales targets and deadlines. But for goal orientated people it will be rewarding, as your sales give you a tangible sense of your achievements.


    sales & marketing, communication, teamwork, leadership, time management, adaptability, active listening, attention to detail, negotiation, decision making, persuasion, developing relationships, initiative, independence, prioritising work,

Key Facts

of consumers value sales assistants with deep product knowledge
of Irish shoppers shop in stores daily/weekly, up
from 46% last year
of inside sales companies have increased headcount
of consumers use click and collect, merging e-business and physical stores

Labour Market Information

At the end of 2017 there were 221,800 people working in retail, with another 57,000 in wholesale, ensuring retail locations are stocked. The motor trade accounted for a further 29,300 employees, making the total amount employed in Wholesale and Retail 308,100, representing 13.8% of national employment.

Employment in upper management positions in retail and wholesale has risen in line with the overall recovery of the wholesale/retail sector; those employed are equally likely to have a third level qualification as a higher secondary/FET education with a wide variety of entry routes.

With 130,000 sales assistances employed, this occupation will continue to offer job opportunities due to replacement demand alone. Half of those working are in part-time roles and job churn is a significant factor. Approx. 6,000 job ready job seekers previously worked in this occupation.

The SOLAS Vacancy Overview 2018 found that many entry level job openings exist for retail sales assistants and sales representatives. However the total number employed hasn't grown significantly, meaning the number of job openings indicates a high level of staff turnover in the sector.

Advice from Experts...

If you want to know more about working in the in the sector, hear what the experts have to say.

Hardware Industry

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