Asking the right questions will help find the sales representative that is the perfect fit for you and your company.
If your company is looking to expand, a great way to facilitate this process is to enlist the help of independent sales representatives. These professionals will work on your behalf to introduce your product/services directly to potential buyers or to get your product on the shelves at the appropriate stores. Independent sales reps often handle everything from lead generation to closing the sale and all of the steps in between.
Considering these sales agents generally are paid through commission, having someone else take care the legwork is a very attractive option for busy business owners. However, it is important to remember that choosing a sales representative is a lot like shopping for clothes; if you’re not very particular, it’s quite easy to walk into a store, grab the first thing that catches your eye, estimate the correct size, and make your purchase. However, if you want something that complements your body, fits just right, and is exactly your style, it’s going to take some time and effort. Finding any independent sales rep is simple, but finding the right rep can be a bit of a challenge.
Once you locate a potential independent sales representative, it’s very important that you ask the right questions to ensure he or she is the perfect fit for you and your company.Here are some possible things to consider:
- How much experience does the sales rep have in sales? How much of itis relevant to your particular industry?
2. What is the sales rep’s average monthly sales?
3. What are some of the sales representative’s other lines? Are there any competing or conflicting lines?
4. Does the sales rep have a warehouse to store goods?
5. Does the sales representative have a showroom to display your products?
6. Does the rep have the necessary education or training to effectively sell your product/service?
7. What geographical region does the sales rep operate?
8. Who are some of the rep’s existing or previous clients/accounts?
9. Is the rep looking to sell your products for commission or to buy your products and resell them? If they are looking for commission, how much are they looking for? If they are looking to buy & resell your products, how much will the rep markup your prices?
10. Does the sales rep require a retainer?
11. How will the sales rep communicate with you as well as clients-by phone, via email, or face-to-face? Does he/she have the communication skills and technical knowledge to effectively communicate in these ways?
12. Does this rep have a selling personality? Are they likeable? Do they inspire trust?
13. Is the rep adaptable? Can they respond to unexpected changes or surprises?
14. Can the sales representative negotiate well?
15. How involved do you want to be in the sales reps daily operations? Is the sales rep willing to communication/coordinate with you at level you would like?
By Tony King