How to Become a Cosmetology Sales Representative

Find out how to become a cosmetology sales representative. Research the education and training requirements, and learn about the experience you need to advance your career in cosmetology sales.

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Do I Want to Be a Cosmetology Sales Representative?

Cosmetology sales representatives who work for beauty supply manufacturers and distributors are responsible for selling beauty products and educating clients about product features and benefits. They may also demonstrate how beauty products should be used. Cosmetology sales representatives are often responsible for promotional efforts and may have to attend trade shows to both showcase products and keep current with the rest of the industry. Work in sales is often competitive, and representatives may be urged to meet sales quotas. However, workers have the flexibility to work around their home or life schedules.

Job Requirements

Although it is not always a necessary job requirement, prospective cosmetology sales representatives commonly complete a postsecondary cosmetology program or associate's degree to expand their knowledge in the field. Certificates or degrees in sales or marketing might also be helpful to sales representatives. After gaining experience in both retail sales and the beauty industry, individuals may then be hired as cosmetology sales representatives for beauty supply distributors or private brands. The following table contains the main requirements that employers listed in Monster.com and CareerBuilder.com job postings for cosmetology sales representatives in December 2012:

Common Requirements
Degree Level Associate's degree usually preferred
Degree Field Not specific; certificates or degrees in sales and/or cosmetology are applicable
Certification Not required, though organizations like the National Association of Sales Professionals offer relevant certification
Experience 2+ years of experience in sales; beauty-related sales experience preferred
Key Skills Strong people, communication and selling skills, self-motivation
Computer Skills Microsoft Office programs, including Excel
Additional Requirements Valid driver's license

Step 1: Complete a Certificate or Degree Program

Aspiring cosmetology sales representatives can expand their knowledge of the beauty field by completing a postsecondary cosmetology program. Many community colleges and beauty schools offer cosmetology certificate and associate's degree programs. Certificate programs generally last less than a year, while associate's degree programs last 1-2 years. Common coursework includes scalp and hair care, skin care, chemical treatments, hair cutting and hair coloring. Alternatively, many schools offer sales and marketing programs, which also provide future sales representatives with the background and sales skills necessary for employment in the field.

Step 2: Accrue Beauty Industry Experience

Employers typically prefer candidates who have experience working as a cosmetologist or in a customer service position within the beauty industry. An entry-level retail sales position in a salon or beauty store can bring familiarity with current products and provide the experience necessary for a sales position with a beauty product company.

Success Tip:

  • Consider becoming a licensed cosmetologist. Individuals who have completed a cosmetology program are typically eligible to apply for their state's cosmetology license. Although not required, licensure may give sales representatives an upper hand when seeking employment. Licensee examinations test basic cosmetology principles and procedures and may include a practical test.

Step 3: Gain Sales Experience

Most employers looking to hire cosmetology sales representatives prefer candidates to have prior sales experience. Some companies provide on-the-job training for new sales representatives; however, experience or additional training as a product representative can be advantageous to job applicants. Entry-level sales representatives can perform market research and make introductory product presentations to clients within a specific area, gaining essential experience interacting with customers, while more experienced representatives follow up to close the deal.

Step 4: Get Certified

Certification programs provided by professional associations can help aspiring sales representatives learn about negotiation, relationship-building tactics and other sales techniques. The Manufacturers' Representatives Educational Research Foundation offers a Certified Sales Professional (CSP) training program that, if successfully completed, results in the CSP designation. The National Association of Sales Professionals also offers training programs for both new and experienced sales representatives that result in certification. Possessing credentials from such professional organizations may increase a sales representative's chances of finding employment. Individuals should keep in mind that continuing education may be required to maintain these credentials.

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