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Career profile Wholesale Sales Representative

Also known as Account Representative, Customer Account Technician, Inside Sales Person, Outside Sales Representative, Route Sales Representative, Sales Consultant, Sales Professional, Sales Representative (Sales Rep), Salesman, Salesperson

Wholesale Sales Representative

Also known as Account Representative, Customer Account Technician, Inside Sales Person

Interests Profile
  • Conventional
  • Enterprising
  • Realistic
Pay Range
$31,950 - $129,200 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Active Listening
  • Speaking
  • Social Perceptiveness
Knowledge Areas
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Mathematics
Core tasks
  • Plan, assemble, and stock product displays in retail stores, or make recommendations to retailers regarding product displays, promotional programs, and advertising.
  • Check stock levels and reorder merchandise as necessary.
  • Negotiate with retail merchants to improve product exposure, such as shelf positioning and advertising.
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What does a Wholesale Sales Representative do?

Wholesale Sales Representatives sell goods for wholesalers or manufacturers to businesses or groups of individuals.

In addition, Wholesale Sales Representatives work requires substantial knowledge of items sold.

What kind of tasks does a Wholesale Sales Representative perform regularly?

Wholesale Sales Representatives are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Answer customers' questions about products, prices, availability, product uses, and credit terms.
  • Estimate or quote prices, credit or contract terms, warranties, and delivery dates.
  • Recommend products to customers, based on customers' needs and interests.
  • Consult with clients after sales or contract signings to resolve problems and to provide ongoing support.
  • Provide customers with product samples and catalogs.
  • Prepare sales contracts and order forms.
  • Monitor market conditions, product innovations, and competitors' products, prices, and sales.
  • Perform administrative duties, such as preparing sales budgets and reports, keeping sales records, and filing expense account reports.
  • Contact regular and prospective customers to demonstrate products, explain product features, and solicit orders.
  • Identify prospective customers by using business directories, following leads from existing clients, participating in organizations and clubs, and attending trade shows and conferences.

The above responsibilities are specific to Wholesale Sales Representatives. More generally, Wholesale Sales Representatives are involved in several broader types of activities:

Selling or Influencing Others
Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.
Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems
Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

What is a Wholesale Sales Representative salary?

The median salary for a Wholesale Sales Representative is $62,070, and the average salary is $73,500. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Wholesale Sales Representative salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Wholesale Sales Representatives earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Wholesale Sales Representatives earn less than $31,950 per year, 25% earn less than $43,580, 75% earn less than $89,030, and 90% earn less than $129,200.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Wholesale Sales Representatives is expected to change by 4.5%, and there should be roughly 137,800 open positions for Wholesale Sales Representatives every year.

Median annual salary
Typical salary range
$31,950 - $129,200
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)

What personality traits are common among Wholesale Sales Representatives?


Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Wholesale Sales Representative are usually higher in their Conventional and Enterprising interests.

Wholesale Sales Representatives typically have very strong Conventional interests. Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Also, Wholesale Sales Representatives typically have very strong Enterprising interests. Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.


People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Wholesale Sales Representative tend to value Relationships, Achievement, and Working Conditions.

Most importantly, Wholesale Sales Representatives strongly value Relationships. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Second, Wholesale Sales Representatives moderately value Achievement. Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

Lastly, Wholesale Sales Representatives moderately value Working Conditions. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Wholesale Sales Representatives must consistently demonstrate qualities such as analytical thinking, initiative, and dependability.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Wholesale Sales Representatives, ranked by importance:

Analytical Thinking
Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Stress Tolerance
Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.

What education and training do Wholesale Sales Representatives need?

Many Wholesale Sales Representatives will have a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.

Wholesale Sales Representatives usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

Educational degrees among Wholesale Sales Representatives

  • 2.9% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 17.0% completed high school or secondary school
  • 22.5% completed some college coursework
  • 8.8% earned a Associate's degree
  • 40.6% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 7.4% earned a Master's degree
  • 0.9% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Wholesale Sales Representatives

Wholesale Sales Representatives may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as sales and marketing, customer and personal service, or mathematics knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Wholesale Sales Representatives might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Sales and Marketing
Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
Computers and Electronics
Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

Important Abilities needed by Wholesale Sales Representatives

Wholesale Sales Representatives must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Wholesale Sales Representatives need abilities such as oral expression, oral comprehension, and speech clarity in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Wholesale Sales Representatives, ranked by their relative importance.

Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Speech Clarity
The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
Written Comprehension
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Speech Recognition
The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.

Critical Skills needed by Wholesale Sales Representatives

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Wholesale Sales Representatives frequently use skills like active listening, speaking, and social perceptiveness to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Wholesale Sales Representatives, ranked by their relative importance.

Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Social Perceptiveness
Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this information, please send a message.