Approaching Sales Representatives

Once again, Don Debelak, has posted an informative article on approaching sales representative to sell your products.  Don works mostly with inventors of consumer products, but most of information he shares is basic to any group of products.

A couple points concerning the gift market that is different from his market:Interview 1

  •  A sales rep certainly wants to make money on your products, but don’t stress about the $10,000 a year figure he gives.  If you have a good product or line that is unique and fits in with their other lines, a sales rep will take a chance on it.
  • Typical commission rates for the gift industry is 15% — which is a bit higher than the percentages he quoted.

 Most inventors need to sell their product through sales reps primarily because they don’t have the market contacts they need to sell the product on their own.  Reps are always interested in finding new lines, but that doesn’t mean it is easy to sign them up. Reps are only interested in your line if they will make money from it and your product will add to their reputation. So don’t take it for granted that you will easily land reps.  Instead be prepared to create your best opportunity for success.

Points to Know About Reps

  • They want to be sure they can make at least $10,000 a year off your product
  • They will want an exclusive agreement in their territory for the markets they serve
  • For most consumer products they will want a commission of 10 to 12%
  • Reps consider their customers to be the keys to their business, so you must realize that the reps will take the customers side on most issues
  • If reps aren’t being successful with your product they won’t spend time on it.  You need to be prepared to change reps when they don’t produce revenue for you

Also, don’t miss the links at the bottom of his post concerning his sales rep lists!

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