Hiring your first sales rep can be fun and exciting. Watching your business grow beyond your own efforts is a big step for most producers and professional crafters. But it is an important step if you plan to grow at all.
The first step before hiring a sales rep is have all of your systems already in place (see my article: Six Steps to Preparing for a Store Sales Presentation):
- Wholesale/Retail Pricing Structure
- Payment Terms
- Sales Ordering Materials
- Shipping/Delivery Options
- Bookkeeping and Database Systems
And if you have some wholesale accounts already set up, it will be easier to work with a sales rep.
Although, geared towards hiring in-house reps, Small Biz Trends featured an article with some very good tips on hiring a sales rep:
Write Out a Job Description
Write down the activities the sales rep is expected to do …. consider such issues as whether the rep is required to generate leads… Will you sales person have to enter orders into your system … or do you have other staff to do those activities…
What’s a Good Commission Rate?
Start with a commission percentage in line with that is common in your industry … you may want to consider adding a … bonus down the road.
Decide Where to Recruit
- ….use websites, including LinkedIn as well as sites like Monster or Dice (for tech products)…
- Getting a referral to someone can be one of the best ways to gain a salesperson …
Go for Skills or Experience?
…find someone with a particular skill set that includes the ability to build relationships quickly.
Check Background with These Questions
You’ll want to know what sales they’ve closed. … if they were leaders or followers … if they’re going to be taking risks. (do they) act fast? Do they return messages within X number of hours?
Look for Willingness to Use Reporting Tools
Hire a person willing and able to use your software programs or learn them…. the salesperson (should) report his or her progress on a weekly basis
If hiring sales reps is the next step in your business, you might want to check out my best selling eguide: “How to Find, Recruit, and Manage Independent Sales Reps“,
In this well-written digital eGuide, you will discover (note this is just a sampling):
- How to know if your product line is “Rep Ready” ?!
- The 10 questions you should ask EVERY rep before making an offer!
- Why reps make good business sense for small, growing companies!
- Manage your expectations: What DOES a rep really do?
- What are REP GROUPS, and when (and why) should you recruit them
- Do you know the difference between reps, brokers, agents, wholesalers, distributors, rack jobbers, gift trade shows, gift marts, and rep groups?
- Twelve main elements of a sales rep agreement!
- What sales tools your new manufacturer’s rep will need from you!
- Nine main areas of sales representation NEGOTIATIONS!
- How to manage the interface between treasured house accounts and your new rep!
- Tactics for motivating sales reps!
- 15 “from the trenches” rep management tips from personal experience!
- The proper perspective to hold in your mind when approaching a rep!
- Developing a “free samples” policy for your rep, and for the reps customers!
- What COMMISSION RATE should you pay for your industry?
- And MUCH, MUCH more!