usage note for salesperson
Words nearby salesperson
MORE ABOUT SALESPERSON
What does salesperson mean?
A salesperson is a person whose job is to sell products or services.
Another term for salesperson is sales rep (or sales representative). The terms salesman and saleswoman are still commonly used, but salesperson and sales rep are often used in their place. The plural of salesperson can be salespeople or salespersons.
A salesperson is often said to “work in sales”—in which sales refers to the type of occupation or the division or department within the company.
A salesperson can sell directly to customers or to other businesses or organizations. Sometimes, salespersons sell things in person, such as at a retail store or dealership. They also commonly sell things over the phone or by communicating with people online. In the past, it was common for some salespersons to travel door-to-door to make sales to people at home.
A salesperson who has to travel as part of their job can be called a traveling salesperson.
The word salesperson is sometimes used in a somewhat figurative way to refer to someone who’s skilled at persuading people, especially in a business or professional setting, as if they are selling them a product.
Example: The salesperson told me that this was the best deal he could give me.
Where does salesperson come from?
The first records of the word salesperson come from around 1920. It’s formed with the gender-neutral ending -person, which is often used in terms that traditionally ended in –man, such as businessperson and chairperson.
The job of a salesperson is to sell, and to sell they have to convince the customer to buy. For this reason, salespersons have a reputation for sometimes being aggressive or putting pressure on the customer, especially in retail settings, like furniture or electronics stores. Also contributing to this reputation is the fact that some salespeople are at least partly paid on commission—a percentage of sales that goes into their pay. Of course, this reputation isn’t always warranted—a lot of salespersons genuinely want to help you find the right product.
Still, a lot of people try to avoid salespersons when shopping due to feeling pressured. Relatedly, the term used car salesman is sometimes used in a figurative way to refer to someone considered a smooth-talking swindler.
Did you know ... ?
What are some other forms related to salesperson?
- salespersons (plural)
- salespeople (plural)
What are some synonyms for salesperson?
What are some words that share a root or word element with salesperson?
What are some words that often get used in discussing salesperson?
How is salesperson used in real life?
Salesperson is a neutral term, but salespeople may be viewed positively or negatively, based on a person’s experience with them.
went to go buy my first pair of red bottoms (technically not my first, I do own a pair of sneakers), & found THE perfect pumps, but the salesperson’s attitude was YUCK. I took em off and said NOPE! who else will walk away from a BOMB purchase if the mood ain’t right?! 🙋🏾♀️
— Naira Banks (@jackieaina) April 2, 2018
I worked as a salesperson in a posh children's Wear boutique in San Juan for three years. I learned a lot about wealth, power and patriarchy while there…
— Dr Marian Toledo (@malcolmcanmore) May 1, 2019
I act pretty confident for a girl who has anxiety whenever I walk into a store and make eye contact with the salesperson.
— Hannah Berner (@beingbernz) May 19, 2019
Try using salesperson!
True or False?
Salesperson only refers to a person who sells directly to retail customers.
How to use salesperson in a sentence
Our salespeople in Florida, they’re beginning to see Californians in Florida.Toll Brothers CEO Doug Yearley on Where Americans Are Moving During the Pandemic|Eben Shapiro|January 10, 2021|Time
B-to-B campaigns are a different story, and I believe that salespeople are highly relevant to that equation — provided they bring industry knowledge and creative solutions to the table.‘No is not an option’: Confessions of a sales executive|jim cooper|December 29, 2020|Digiday
If there’s a lesson in San Diego so far, it’s that smart technologies aren’t as cost-effective and sophisticated as salespeople often claim and not as useful as officials had hoped.The Port of San Diego Had Its Own Smart Streetlight Program|Jesse Marx|December 21, 2020|Voice of San Diego
A successful salesperson working in one of these stores, especially before large chains came to dominate the sector, could make a career of their role, providing for their family, no college degree needed.The death of the department store and the American middle class|Jason Del Rey|November 30, 2020|Vox
In electronic equities trading we are five-to-one engineers to salespeople.COVID put electronic trading to the test. It’s never buckled, Goldman Sachs says|Bernhard Warner|November 22, 2020|Fortune
Likewise, the basics of being a good salesperson are surprisingly basic: people who make more calls make more money.
Double entendre... And, I'm told, SOMEONE (salesperson on the floor, I think—not certain) got the whole thing on video.
The transaction between a customer and salesperson is not just so much money changing hands for a certain article.The Beaver, Vol. I, No. 4, January 1921|Hudson's Bay Company
This knowledge is a fundamental part of each salesperson's equipment.The Romance of a Great Store|Edward Hungerford