How to enter
Ask your candidate to answer the following six questions, and send them to us by post or email. Please include a letter of endorsement (350 words max) from the store owner or manager summing up the great work the candidate does, and a recent photo of them. And don't forget to include their name, store name and address, and which category they are entering. For further information call 01293 610354 or visit 

1. List your five most important responsibilities in your store (e.g deputising for manager, banking, ordering, supervising a section etc) 
2. What aspects of your work in the store are you most proud of and why? 
3. Describe a crisis or challenging incident that occurred in your store recently, and how you helped to resolve it. 
4. When you are asked for cigarettes or alcohol by someone you believe to be under the legal age to purchase these goods, what do you do? 
5. Describe an idea you have introduced recently to improve customer service in your store. 
6. Which was the most successful new product in your store in the past year. In your opinion, why was it so popular? 

Post your entries to Sales Assistant of the Year Awards 2011, William Reed Business Media, FREEPOST (RCC1797), Broadfield Park, Crawley, West Sussex, RH11 9RT. Entries can also be emailed to 

What you can win 
We're looking for entries by August 19, 2011 in the following categories: 
Independent supported by Mars Chocolate UK £500 Independent Symbol supported by JTI £500 
Multiple Symbol supported by P&G £500 
Forecourt supported by Coca-Cola Enterprises £500 
Co-operative and Multiple £500 

From these the judges will select: 
Sales Assistant of the Year £500 
With additional awards for: 
Community Hero £250 
Overall winner's store manager £250

November 15 could be the date to save as it's day the industry comes together to acknowledge the unsung heroes of c-store retailing and give the best sales assistant in the country their time in the spotlight they so rightly deserve. And here's another date to take note of August 19 as that's when we need your entries by. There's still time to enter, so get your forms in fast.

Of course, your nominated sales supremo must be super at shifting stock, but we're looking for those employees who are cool in a crisis, whether it's a first-aid drama or diffusing a difficult situation with an angry customer. They should also be able to think on their feet. Has your sales superstar been able to react quickly when a supplier failed to turn up in order to ensure that shelves didn't end up empty?

While excellent customer service is a key skill that all sales assistants must possess, our awards are looking for more than just a smiley face. We want someone who is thinking not just about the customer in front of them, but the business as a whole. Are your employees also involved in ordering products, or managing customer forums? We want to meet the staff who view convenience retail as a career and who want to make the business better by contributing their own ideas, as well as passing on customer feedback.

As the store owner or manager, it's up to you to put forward your best staff. We're not just looking for cashiers, we also encourage supervisors and shopfloor staff to enter - anyone who works under you can be nominated. To give your employee the best chance of winning we want you to describe their best traits. We want to know exactly why the candidate deserves to be considered for an award. So take the time to pinpoint all the good work they do that makes your store great, and get writing!