Selling your product is more than half of the business game. In almost every case, sales make or break a company. The only problem is that hiring a full sales staff is really expensive. Staff members come with lots of additional things to pay like medical and other benefits. Independent sales reps, on the other hand, tend to work on commission, and came be really useful if you are bootstrapped. Before hiring a sales rep to showcase your work at a trade show or sell your product elsewhere, take a look at these essential hiring tips.
1. Find a good match – or a few good matches. Most sales reps that work on a contract commission basis have more than one client at a time. That means that you may not get a ton of sales out of just one rep (unless you have an exclusivity contract, and that means that your commission rate will go up). Consider hiring a few different reps to spread out across various territories for maximum coverage.
2. Negotiate the commission rate. Typically, 5-25 percent is the going rate that sales reps want to make. Commission is the single most important thing to a sales rep, and going with a lower rate might mean that the rep you hire won’t be as dedicated to yoru project as they might be to another (higher paying) project. Negotiating a rate somewhere in the middle is a good idea.
3. A no-competition clause. A savvy sales rep will pit your company against another company in your industry – usually, a direct competitor. Why? Because the sales rep in question can make more money that way, and they already know the product inside and out. Make sure that the rep you hire sings a non-compete contract. Otherwise, your rep could be selling your secrets to a competitor for a few extra commission bucks.
4. Quota agreement. In the contract that you draw up (and you shouldn’t work with any contractor without an agreement), add a sales quota to the list. Give your reps a sales goal to work towards, and a time-frame to complete that goal in. In most cases, 30-60 days is a good time-frame to work with (just make sure that the quota set is reasonable).
5. Offer incentives. If you want the best sales reps in the business, you have to prove to those people that your company is worth it. How? Consider offering your best reps a chance to become part of you full-time staff once your company gets going. Or, offer up a percentage of your company to any rep that proves his or her worth.
6. Don’t get stuck on gender. Both males and females can make excellent sales reps. Far too often, companies want either a male or female rep and won’t consider the other sex. For every female rep that can attract trade show customers, there are a handful of male reps that can just as effectively sell your product – and vice versa. Look at a rep’s resume over all else.
7. Train your reps extensively. If the people selling your product don’t understand your product, that’s not a good thing. Train and retrain your reps to selling your product, and to know how your product works inside and out.
8. Send your reps to trade shows. Hiring someone that can clearly demonstrate what you do or what you’re selling is the best way to get into the minds of potential clients. Be certain that the person you’re working with can show other people what you are selling by way of demonstration.
9. Get the right trade show booths. You can hire the best rep in the world, but that person can’t sell a product that isn’t backed by an amazing looking trade show display. Working with Blazer, we can help you build the trade show booth that will draw people to your company’s location on the trade show floor, so that your new rep can sign the deal.
Spend some time going over resumes, interviewing reps, and making sure that all reps you consider are what you’re looking for. Call Blazer today to get the display booth that you want set up!