Multiply your sales 10, 20, or even 30x
by contracting with commission-only SALES REPS!
Eleven EASIEST Methods
(plus how to recruit & manage)
Independent Sales Reps
QUICKLY, in ANY industry!
(and most of these hot tactics
are completely FREE...)
Once you learn HOW TO FIND sales reps,
we will also help you discover how to:
(and decide first if you even want to make an offer...)
Greetings from the sales office of "Gift Rep Sandy"!
You probably already know this, but independent sales reps ARE THE fastest - and least expensive - way to quickly roll out a local, regional, or even NATIONAL sales program.
(... which may explain why you came to my website on "How to Find Sales Reps" in the first place...?)
But, how do you find these sales-generating rascals and rascal-ettes? These silver-tongued, order-taking, market-savvy professionals with hordes of established relationships among - hopefully eager - potential buyers of YOUR product (or service)?
Well, I am excited to offer you a number of well-researched and fleshed out solutions, so you will quickly find the best independent, professional, sales representatives, for YOUR business - in any geography!
And of course, at the same time, we also need to help you solve those additional challenges you will find critical to success with reps. In other words, once you find the warm body of a sales rep standing in front of you (or talking on the phone, or emailing you for particulars ...), what then?
Who is 'Gift Rep Sandy', and why should you care?
My real name is Sandy Dell. I live and work from a home office ten miles out in the country from Lenore, Idaho - unincorporated (although we do have a community center and a Post Office... but no businesses).
We (my husband and I) shop at Orofino, the Clearwater County seat, with a whopping population of 3,000 (except the level drops a bit during the winter when a small population of local snowbirds RV to the south). The "big city" is Lewiston, Idaho, population 31,000... nearly an hour away! Spokane, Washington, the BIG city, with roughly 180,000 residents, is three hours by car.
So, big deal right? And why should you care?
In spite of my relative isolation, I am also a highly successful independent manufacturers' representative in the Idaho gift, personal care, and gourmet food niches. And, I represent the difficulty you face in locating or finding manufacturers' reps, since we often engage in lifestyles as independent and diverse as the hand-crafted, or manufactured (or imported) lines we serve.
But fortunately for you, we reps tend to congregate around services or opportunities which meet either our needs, the needs of our beloved clientele (such as you!), and/or our mutual customers. (By mutual, I mean buyers who are both the rep's customers now, and hopefully your customers in the near future!)
And that tendency to flock around certain situations - both online and offline - is a key to the solution for your current dilemma... or at least the first one: how to find sales reps.
But before I give you a link to the resource I offer to solve your information needs, I also want to mention that...
Gift Rep Sandy is also, 'Sandy the Manufacturer'!
My husband Malcolm, and I, started "repping" in January of 2001.
Then, in the fall of 2002, he branched off into gourmet foods, and later, personal care products. We establishing four successful brands, sold at wholesale to regional retailers and online at retail from various websites. Because he and I are internally constructed of different personalities (with complementary skills), we perform tasks in each other's businesses to this day, to our mutual advantage. So, I am fully immersed and at least somewhat knowledgeable in the development and manufacturing of products, as well as selling.
Anyway, this dual perspective gives me (and now YOU!) insights I would never really discover, if I was ONLY a rep. From the position of two hats (please, this does not mean I have two heads... or even one big one!!), I came to the conclusion there is a lot of confusion about reps by producers, and about producers by reps.
(I won't bore you with my horror stories - either direction - although they do make good conversation over tea or coffee... if you are ever near Orofino. Hah!)
And of course, since I began in this industry as a rep (and quickly learned who my competitors were!), I did not experience any trouble finding reps when we began wholesaling our own goodies. So, you may wonder...
WHY I Wrote this eGuide
on Finding, Recruiting, and Managing Reps!
Over many years of repping, I've received literally hundreds of email and phone enquiries from producers of excellent products (and some not so excellent). As a result, I know that manufacturers (and importers, and distributors, and others) in your situation, experience much anguish in finding, approaching, and speaking effectively with independent sales reps.
(And once contact is made, you must wade through even more difficulty figuring out what exactly to communicate so a rep might make an informed decision on representing your product line. But that is a discussion for a bit further down the page.)
In 2010, I wrote and published a digital classic in the wholesaling field, The Complete eGuide for Selling Wholesale to Gift Shops, which sold hundreds of copies with minimal marketing (and continues to sell very well today, thank you!)
And now (again with my husband's very generous editing assistance), I've written a second landmark eGuide, a valuable resource getting rave reviews in product wholesaling industries: "How to Find, Recruit, and Manage Independent Sales Reps!".
PS Don't forget there is bonus materials that come WITH this valuable resource. More details below...read on!
What Else To Know About Independent Sales Reps...
BEFORE you attempt to hire one!!
Even though you probably came to this page for the purpose of FINDING sales reps, accomplishing THAT task, frankly, is the easy part (or at least easier than additional information you need to know), to turn a prospective rep relationship into a successful one.
After you explore the 11 proven strategies in my eGuide - some time-tested and some completely new (thanks to the internet) - you will also find a wealth of additional information that YOU REALLY SHOULD KNOW, before trying to recruit, hire, or manage those independent sales representatives (including the all-important sales rep contract or agreement!).
First, here's a quick piece of free advice...let's pull out the mantra for successful "human resource management":
Tip: HIRE SLOW, FIRE FAST!
Which means, of course, take the time to choose wisely. But if you make a mistake... cut the cord quickly! Everyone is better off in the long run. I am told that Google, in the process of hiring thousands of employees, requires NINE rounds of interviews, because the cost of hiring mistakes is so high.In your case, let's say you hire a rep, give him or her product information, training, samples, sales materials, perhaps some insider secrets, and any selling hints you know are effective with your line. You now have a VERY large investment of time and money in that person. If he or she doesn't work out (and after all, you really have little control over an "independent" representative), your only alternative is to start over, and go through it all again.
Which is WHY you need the additional information in my eGuide on How to Find, Recruit, and Manage Independent Sales Reps, BEFORE you make contact. Done poorly, you risk a lot of anquish, or even making a really bad hiring choice. Or - most painful of all - turning off a great prospect!
What you will discover in this
How to Find, Manage and Recruit Independent Sales Reps E-Guide!
But before I give you a list of considerations, let me share some "rep relationship" foibles from the standpoint of the sales rep, so you can see what we representatives are up against... which will give you some perspective. (Ooopps! I promised you earlier I would not share any horror stories... oh well, here are a few anyway!)
Vendor HORROR Stories
- I've had vendors that readily sign an agreement, then do everything in their power to cheat me out of my hard-earned commissions, completely ignoring the agreement, and telling me to sue if I don't like it.
- Some vendors view me as a competitor to THEIR SALES, instead of a key partner in THEIR GROWTH.
- I once had a vendor that would call my customers after an order, and tell them to order direct in the future, so they would not need to pay me a commission. (Of course, another violation of the agreement, since the agreement stated all sales to accounts in my territory were commissionable.)
- Often I re-establish old, dead accounts, and am sometimes told those were "house" accounts, and therefore non-commissionable -- even though they were not listed on the client's current house account list.
- I sometimes take courtesy orders for a client, in cases where a buyer is assigned to another rep who, unfortunately, is not doing their job. I generally ask for half of the commission in this case, but often I do not get any. Which is fine, I do this more as a service to my beloved vendors. But I resent competing reps who are less thorough but yet get credit for the sale. (The issue of overlapping territories will be an ongoing management headache for you, by the way...)
- I've also been on the other side of that, where a rep will come into my assigned territory and push the buyer for a sale, then complain about the commission credit (even though I contact all my accounts at least monthly during buying seasons.)
- I had a long-time client assign my VERY BEST accounts to another rep who "only calls on large accounts", as if that was a good excuse. FYI, this will not fly. No self-respecting rep will do "mop up" while you let a competing rep cream the territory.
- Many vendors, who operate with the same cost structure as everyone else, tell me they cannot pay industry standard commission rates. I've accepted a client with a very desirable line a time or two, under these terms, and always regretted it... this is just a sign of MORE problems to come. You cannot dissect the quality of the line, from the business sophistication (or attitude) of the management.
- A common problem is that a vendor increases prices, changes payment terms, discontinues a product, or adds a new one, and FAILS TO TELL ME! Then I write a sale, and after receiving it, the client says, "Oh, by the way...". Problems all the way around.
The GOOD NEWS about Sales Rep - Vendor relationships...
On the other hand, I've had many VERY professional clients who are extremely generous with commissions, who protect my territory, communicate well, appreciate my hard work, and are a delight to work with at every turn of the business. (PS I work harder for these companies!) Sometimes, the best vendors are former reps, or who maybe worked previously in a larger organization that maintained a professional (and expensive) management training program for working with reps.
(Thankfully, after I work with most clients long enough, they evenutally benefit from my repeat communications and "get it"! Their heart is in the right place, they just don't know the "right way" to treat a rep... if they want to keep them, and create an effective relationship.)
PS These experiences were also part of the original impetus for my eGuide, on "How to Find, Recruit, and Manage Independent Sales Reps!". I thought if good people are this clueless about how to treat a sales rep, then the need in the marketplace is quite large. And many people can't afford a $2-5,000 training program.
I could share DOZENS more vendor horror stories, but you get the idea. Now let me tell you some of the eye openers I got when we started hiring reps for our own product lines, or as sub-reps to my "rep group" organization. (I'd made the mistake of thinking all independent reps were like me! Oh, my goodness!)
Sales Representative HORROR Stories
Story #1...We got a call from a guy in Oregon who wanted to rep for us, and asked to meet with us. We drove four hours to a half-way point, loaded him up with sales materials and samples, spent a few hours developing the relationship, and answering questions about product information.
Six months later, and numerous support calls from us...NO SALES. Not one! We knew this guy was part-time, but REALLY?? We executed the 30-day cancellation clause and asked for our samples back. He was incensed that we wanted the samples back. We eventually got them, but... wow!
Story #2... another rep we hired took it upon herself to order FOR customers! (You heard me right!!!) She apparently "knew" what they wanted or needed. She had come with good references (well, only one, actually), and to her credit, did get legitimate orders fairly quickly.
However, we got some orders returned saying "we did not order this!" And we had to pay for shipping, both directions. Other angry buyers just kept the merchandise (or threw it away). Of course, this did not last very long, as we fired the rep post-haste.
We found out later she was famous for what we call "random repping", or just traveling around the countryside, making friends and calling on stores she happened to run across, and rarely calling on anyone more than once a year. She had NO database, NO schedule, nothing that would imply a real sales representative business.
(Oh, and that ONE good reference we got was from a single, divorced male colleague whom we knew and trusted. But the rep he recommended was also single, and attractive, and much younger than he. And as we learned later, they were seen doing late night meals together...)
PS These are just two of dozens of horror stories, YOU can avoid by following the guidance on recruiting and agreements in my eGuide!
Persistence is Key to Hiring Sales Reps Successfully!
A few of these experiences, and we were ready to "round file" expansion by independent sales reps!
Fortunately, we started learning what to watch for, what questions to ask prospective reps, and what clauses needed to be included in a rep contract for our protection AS A VENDOR, not just as sales reps.
And quality happened. We got some good reps, and they helped us grow our business, even adding a juicy decimal point, and more, to our sales.
Anyway, you can now benefit from MY experiences at 'learning things the hard way' (sigh...)! I've written the eGuide I wish I'd had when I started hiring reps.
For just a TINY FRACTION of the cost of a formal sales management training program (and frankly this is more practical, and less theoretical than most training), please invest in a copy of my handiwork:
OK, if you are not quite ready to whip out your valuable credit card for my downloadable eGuide (oh, did I mention my unconditional moneyback guarantee? ;-), let me share a few bullets about the content in this detailed PDF resource, plus bonus materials. I understand completely that you may need more information... I am the same way. (My husband is even worse!!)
In this well-written digital eGuide, on "How to Find, Recruit, and Manage Independent Sales Reps", you will discover (note this is just a sampling):
- How to know if your product line is "Rep Ready" ?!
- What steps you need to take, so sales reps will take you seriously!
- The 10 questions you should ask EVERY rep before making an offer!
- Why reps make good business sense for small, growing companies!
(and some larger ones!
- Manage your expectations: What DOES a rep really do?
- What are REP GROUPS, and when (and why) should you recruit them?
- What is a "gift mart", and why you should care!
- Do you know the difference between reps, brokers, agents, wholesalers, distributors, rack jobbers, gift trade shows, gift marts, and rep groups?
(after reading my eGuide, you will! AND, if they are relevant to you!)
- The FOUR independent sales rep personalities (and which to avoid)!
- Twelve main elements of a sales rep agreement!
- What sales tools your new manufacturer's rep will need from you!
(And who should pay for them!)
- Nine main areas of sales representation NEGOTIATIONS!
- How to manage the interface between treasured house accounts and your new rep!
- How to END a rep agreement, when things go south ... and why you should tread lightly!
- Tactics for motivating sales reps!
- 15 "from the trenches" rep management tips from personal experience!
(some you will never find in a sales management program!)
- 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! (my suggestions may surprise you!)
What COMMISSION RATE should you pay for your industry
- (and the affects of lower or higher rates on sales rep performance)
- Plus, how to address commissions on noncollectable accounts!
- And MUCH, MUCH more!
Oh, and of course, what you were probably looking for, when you arrived on my web site:
- 11 best methods and tactics for how to find sales reps in the first place!
- Includes both online and offline sources!
- You will never guess the one easy way to find the best reps in every territory!
- Some tactics might be obvious, others ... not so much!
- Each explained in enough detail to get results IN YOUR INDUSTRY, an ANY GEOGRAPHY!
PLUS, in a separate BONUS DOCUMENT, I've included a VERY juicy bonus!
- FIVE SAMPLE INDEPENDENT SALES REP AGREEMENTS!
- One (simplest of the five) offered by one of the first vendors I ever repped for!
- One that was offered to me in my travels!
(... very generic, lots of legalese!)
- One a vendor got from his lawyer after showing mine to the attorney!
- One from a vendor who WAS an attorney!
- And the one I now use, after years of trial and error experiences!
(Plus additional paperwork I recommend you give your reps!)
These five agreements vary widely in their legal jargon, but offer a large sampling of clauses, and levels of protection, which you might adapt to your particular situation. Note - I AM NOT AN ATTORNEY, and I highly recommend you use a licensed legal professional to prepare your own agreement.
However, by pulling from these five samples (which come in an editable Word document), and doing a rough draft of what you want - BEFORE heading in for your appointment - it could easily save you $200, $300 or more in legal fees!
And many attorney's like to work off a template, anyway. However, these will give you a more relevant template than your lawyer would probably find available... saving you billable hours (and improving your protection, as virtually every kind of situation or clause is covered in these five samples!).
OTHER BONUS MATERIALS INCLUDE:
- A brief treatment on how to work with distributors, regardless of industry!
- A comprehensive directory of US gift marts (complete with contact info and website links)! (Helpful if you are working the gift industry...)
- A comprehensive article on managing sales reps, written by my husband Malcolm, that some readers said is worth the entire cost of this eGuide!
Gift Rep Sandy's Guarantee!
I guarantee, that if you use the materials in my eGuide on "How to Find, Recruit, and Manage Independent Sales Reps", you will:
- Much more easily find reps in any territory, in any industry!
- Approach reps with complete confidence, including interviews and negotiations!
- Know how to formulate an EXCELLENT sales rep agreement!
(remember... good fences make good neighbors!)
- Know how to develop and grow excellent relationships with your independent sales force!
- Avoid turning off a promising prospect with unprofessional questions or preparation.
- Know how to manage and motivate your independent reps for maxiumum performance!
(And remember these tips are different than for traditional employees!)
OR YOUR MONEY BACK!
So what is the investment in Gift Rep Sandy's E-Guide on Independent Sale Reps?
A colleague who markets online suggested I should price my eGuide at $197. However, I know with all the other expenses involved with growing a business, many people like you, that I am trying to help grow a business, will decline to invest. I finally decided on $67, which I think is within reach of anyone serious about growing a business.
And this IS a great value… asking an attorney to write just ONE of the included bonus sales rep agreements would cost you $500 or more. $67 bucks is an awesome deal!
And available for immediate download... well actually, you get an email that directs you to the download page.
PS You do NOT need to be a member of PayPal to purchase
using ANY of the four credit cards listed below!
Remember, if you successfully recruit and hire just ONE good sales rep, as a result of the information in my E-Guide, you could easily double your company's sales - even if you are already established! And if you roll out a nationwide independent rep program, you can increase sales 10, 20, 30x or MORE!
What ARE your income goals? Can you get there with a program more cost effective than hiring a network of "commission only" independent sales reps?
Your increased effectiveness in finding, recruiting, and managing ONLY THE BEST sales reps, in your industry, in any geography, far exceeds the value of this resource, even at the full $197 price point. The current $130 savings over suggested fair market value, you can pocket to invest in other areas of your business.
Plus, there is tremendous value in the sample sales rep agreements, and other bonus materials!
In fact, I've had lawyers quote me $500 to do ONE agreement, less complex than a sales representation contract! AT THE VERY LEAST, the rep agreement samples should cut $100 (or much more!) off your attorney bill, by reducing his or her billable hours! You get FIVE SAMPLE AGREEMENTS, in editable form!
I tend to under-price my work (since I know how much it costs to start and grow the type of business you are in), so I've priced this resource for YOUR benefit. I hope you will take the time to reward my efforts on your behalf, and use my eGuide to attract a very large personal fortune with your product line (or service)!
Thanks for your time, and for reading about my handiwork! I look forward to hearing about your results, after using my eGuide! Send me your comments, and you just might end up with a link to your website, in the right sidebar of this page, where others have sent appreciative comments!
PS Last thing! We also publish another advanced wholesale marketing eGuide titled, “TRADE SHOW EXHIBITING SECRETS!”
Save when you purchase both resources (including ALL bonus materials for both eGuides)… click below for the Advanced Wholesale Marketing Pack ONLY:
But if you only want the "How to Find, Recruit & Manage Independent Sales Reps!" eGuide... CLICK HERE.
We look forward to seeing you on the inside!
Gift Rep Sandy