Business

Are You Ready for a Sales Rep?

Are you ready for a sales repThink you are ready for a Sales Rep?

The reality is stark: before sales representatives will even consider perusing your line sheet, you must first establish a robust presence in the market. This entails cultivating relationships with retailers, generating buzz through strategic marketing initiatives, getting some media placements, and, above all, delivering a product that transcends expectations.

Bottom line, the journey from product conception to market success is rife with challenges and uncertainties. Yet, amidst the turbulence of the retail landscape, one principle remains steadfast: before others will sell for you, you must first sell yourself. 

By showcasing the value and desirability of your product through strategic self-promotion and widespread distribution, you pave the way for others to champion your cause. 

So, roll up your sleeves, embrace the grind, and prove to the world why your product is worthy of attention.

BUT… if you must hire a rep and are already in 50+ stores you might have a chance at landing one.

Before you dive in headfirst with a sales rep, here are five key things you need to know to ensure you’re making the best move for your business—and your bottom line.

  1. Sample Requests Are Standard: Don’t be surprised when your sales rep asks for you to supply free samples. It’s par for the course in this game. Think of it as an investment; providing samples gives them the ammunition they need to effectively sell your product. So, go ahead and pack up those samples—they’re your foot in the door.
  2. Catalogs and Linesheets Are a Must: Your sales rep will need materials to showcase your product to potential buyers. That means you’ve got to have catalogs and linesheets ready to go. And no, they won’t do the legwork for you; it’s on you to get those materials printed and sent over. Pro tip: ask them to email linesheets whenever possible—it’s quicker and more efficient.
  3. Trade Shows Could Be on the Table: Brace yourself; some reps may push for participation in trade shows. While it can be a significant investment, don’t write it off entirely. Negotiate where you can, perhaps committing to a select few shows instead of all of them. 
  4. Beware of Showroom Fees: Here’s the kicker: some reps might slap you with showroom fees on top of their commission. Before you get too excited, be sure to ask about this. And remember, everything’s negotiable. If you’re dealing with a road rep, though, they should be sticking to commission only—no extra fees.
  5. Commission Payments 101: When it comes to paying commission, never jump the gun. Only cough up the cash for invoices that you’ve actually been paid for. To keep things organized, use a sample commission form to track those paid invoices. Send it over monthly with your rep’s payment—keeps everyone on the same page.

Alright, there you have it—a crash course in hiring sales reps like a boss. Remember, knowledge is power, so arm yourself with these savvy tips before diving into any contracts.

Book a call with me and let’s chat about your business: https://sarahshawconsulting.com/sarahshaw/apply-case-study/schedule-strategy-session/

 

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Written by Sarah Shaw

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