[ seylz-pur-suhn ]
/ ˈseɪlzˌpɜr sən /
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See synonyms for: salesperson / salespeople on Thesaurus.com

a person who sells goods, services, etc.
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Origin of salesperson

First recorded in 1915–20; sales + person

usage note for salesperson

See -person.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


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.

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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.



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