delivery

How to become an independent sales rep

How to Become an Independent Sales Rep

1. Two key questions. If you are interested in becoming an Independent Sales Representative, there are two key questions that you need to ask yourself:

a. Do I have the financial stability to go 2 – 3 months without receiving a commission check? When a principal is looking to outsource their sales functions, they are either looking to enter into other territories or need assistance to service and improve existing client relationships. Question 1 is of particular importance for a new and untapped market. The reality is that there is a sales cycle associated with all products which, most often, span weeks or even months. Principals will rarely pay commissions based on unfulfilled orders. Payment schedules can also typically range from COD up to Net 45 days. Including the time to make the first sale, delivery, payment to principal, and commission check mailed, it can be several months before you receive your first commission check.

b. What Industries Do I Have Experience In? Principals expect prior experience with a certain product range or industry type. This holds true in virtually all industries. To start out successfully, it is important for you to have contacts to make initial presentations. Principals may be willing to give you a line but without experience, it can take a significant amount of time to develop sales.

2. Start Your Business. As an independent rep, you should start your own business (LLC, S-Corp, C-Corp, etc.). There are many advantages ranging from tax benefits to liability protection. It is suggested that you speak with an accountant to determine what the best option is for you. Most accountants or lawyers can help set up the business for you. There are also many online sites that can perform this function (depending on services provided, typical pricing ranges from $100 – $500). Example: www.bizfilings.com

3. Business Plan. Rather than sending out a Resume, principals will be impressed if you have put together a business plan which will detail your goals and objectives. The best thing about being an Independent Sales Rep is that there are only two primary functions: Sales and Customer Service. The principal takes care of all other aspects which include manufacturing, research and development, quotations, invoicing, shipping, and quality control. The business plan doesn’t need to be long but should detail simple points such as:

a. Industries Covered

b. Territories Willing to Cover

c. Revenue Sources

d. Preferred market segment

e. Sales focus (OEM’s, end users, distributors, resellers, etc)

f. Product/Service focus

g. Organization structure – Will you be alone or do you plan on having employees?

h. Facilities
* Will you be a home-based business or will you have an office?
* Will the office have storage for consignment or warehousing?

i. Policies and Procedures

4. Finding Lines Available. With steps 1 – 3 behind you, your objective now is to find product lines. A few sources include:

a. Trade publications and trade web sites.

b. Trade Shows

c. RepHunter.net at http://www.rephunter.net

5. Landing that Line. After you have identified several lines available, it is important to research the company and get a good understanding of their products and needs. Fundamental needs include the following:

a. Principals are looking for reps to help develop a relationship between themselves and the client. The basic focus is building strong relationships.

b. Principals want their reps to be professional and prepared. For new reps, a marketing plan can really be a big advantage.

c. Principals need to know that you will be giving their products time and that you are prepared to cover the required territory.

d. In the absence of an established revenue stream, principals need to know that you are financially stable. The last thing they want to do is spend time and money over several weeks to wind up having their rep drop them for financial reasons. By conveying your goals to meet these needs, you will stand a better chance of landing that line to represent.

6. The Sales Process We break down sales into two primary functions:

a. Getting Appointments. We consider the process of getting good face to face sales time with a new customer as 50 percent of the sales effort. For many businesses, the purchasing power can fall on one of several positions. In a manufacturing facility, for example, purchasing can be the responsibility of Purchasing, Maintenance, Engineering, Plant Managers, Store Room managers, Inventory Control, Office Managers, etc. One of the hardest things to do in a complex business environment is to get the right people to listen to your presentation.

b. The Sales Pitch. At the start, this is an area where the tools available to you become most valuable. For any new rep, the absolute best resource to help you become successful is to bring in your principal’s sales manager. While this method may not be practical for all cases, it should be considered where applicable. Long term, it will be your responsibility to perform sales presentations. For the first few months, however, the principals will be very happy if you can set up sales presentations which will maximize their time and efforts. It serves as an excellent method of training and will show your principal that you have the ability to get to the right people. Having your sales manager make some initial presentations will also help improve closing rates and shrink the overall sales cycle. The other advantage includes credibility.

7. Set up a web site. It’s easy and a great way to promote your new business.

8. Keep your new principals happy. The best way is to make sure they know you are actively promoting their products include:

a. Write Call Reports.

b. Get quotation requests.

c. Ask lots of questions.

d. Request travel time with your sales manager, if applicable.

How does overnight shipping work

How Does Overnight Shipping Work?

Overnight shipping, also called expedited shipping, is a shipment service that guarantees delivery of a package to a destination location. Sometimes this may involve a combination of transportation, such as ground and air.

This service is usually a bit more than normal mail delivery so most people use it to send urgent packages.

Now most of these urgent packages are categorized under lightweight or heavy weight and depending on the nature of the shipment, will be sent via freight or air. Overnight air can also be delivered internationally, but most mail carrier agencies only guarantee next day delivery in the continental US.

Overnight Shipping and Time Sensitivity

There are many reasons why a package may need to be delivered the very next day. A hospital or surgeon could be awaiting medical supplies or important items that can mean life of death fro hundred of people. Businesses may also rise or fall based on a critical shipment that has to be there on time or else.

This is why overnight shipping is such an important aspect of commerce in the modern world, but can this type of courier really get items to the right area when it counts?

Really there the next day

Can parcels that are shipped overnight arrive to its destination the very next day? It can, but it will really depend on the carrier company you use. To ensure that the company you choose has the capabilities necessary to get your package where it is needed, ask about their shipment guarantees.

You should also be aware that the time of drop off may greatly affect whether or not your item will get to the place it needs to be. If it is imperative that your package get t its location the following day try to arrive at the carrier agency by start of business, no later than 10 am, in fact, the earlier the better.

Benefits of overnight shipping and next day air services

There is a multiplicity of reasons why the use of overnight shipping is beneficial to those who want to get urgent packages into the right hands consistently.

- You can often have your packages insured for the full value if something happens to it for less than the usual price.

- The carrier service will utilize several different modes of transportation to makes sure you get the best courier service available.

- You can track your packages online in real time online or via telephone via the use of tracking number.

- With the right company, you can get your service customized, especially if there are special requirements and stipulations on the delivery, like leaving it on the door or only letting the recipient sign for and receive the parcel.

- The ability to set up accounts for multiple shipments where you can receive discounts.

A reputable carrier service will also be available for questions regarding your overnight shipment 24 hours a day seven days a week and can be reached via telephone or online.

Current shipping technology

Courier agencies that want to be on the cutting edge utilize software and computer technology that helps them route packages for maximum efficiency. This will enable the company to get products to business and institutions quicker than in the past, almost guaranteeing next day service. If you want to be sure your overnight package will get to where it is most needed, then go with a leader in the packaging and shipment industry.

This may require a bit of research on your part but it will be well worth it, as you will always know when and where to go to get your urgent items to the proper location, safely and effectively ever single time.

How the cloud is transforming business intelligence

How the Cloud is Transforming Business Intelligence

Business Intelligence has traditionally been delivered as a set of tools that required a complex IT infrastructure of data warehouse and related tools, middleware, ERP integration and professional services and consulting expertise to identify and define appropriate metrics and determine the source of the data lying in the maze of ERP tables. The complexity of the entire business intelligence food chain coupled with the difficulty in creating new metrics and analyzing information from a business perspective has kept the adoption rate for business intelligence low and a top priority for CIOs for the past five years, according to Gartner Research.

Cloud computing enables the delivery of business intelligence as a service with enormous business value. The following are some of the key aspects of the new model for delivering business intelligence and the unmatched customer value:

  1. Simplification of customer IT requirements for business intelligence – no additional software or IT changes needed on premise for BI. The entire BI infrastructure now is in the cloud. Data sources such as ERP may remain on premise or in the cloud and are accessed directly.
  2. Implementation and deployment of business intelligence in production for any customer may be completed in a few hours with access to ERP data and other sources without straining IT resources or requiring professional services.
  3. Customers have immediate access to not just tools but dashboards with pre-packaged, performance metrics, trends and projections based on their ERP data along with powerful analytics tools to customize and collaborate on new metrics.
  4. Improved quality of service with continuous, painless product maintenance and upgrades, scalability combined with a secure, higher level of service backed by a written service level agreement. Improved customer service combined with easy to use, integrated web business intelligence ensures a higher adoption of BI in the enterprise.
  5. All of the above at a far more affordable price point than any on-premise alternative.

To fulfill the needs of the business user, business intelligence solutions must be lightweight (not have a heavy IT footprint), deliver critical information, be easy to use and not extract a heavy price. On premise tools have always been a small part of the large business intelligence puzzle. The cloud brings together more powerful IT capability, combines this with business services at an affordable, subscription price to deliver compelling value.

Industrial packaging companies need to cope with demands

Industrial Packaging Companies Need to Cope With Demands!

Packaging demands are increasing day by day. To meet these packaging demands companies are on their toes trying to serve the customer base with best resources. But one thing the companies should always keep in mind; is to carefully monitor and understand retail or customer trends and requirements. These monitoring will help industrial packaging companies to utilize, direct and prioritize there packaging works as per the market trends and requirements. Considering the Packaging developments in the retail sector, packaging trends are changing now!

The retail market is now heavily dependent on time and fresh delivery of products. This includes an organized industrial packaging standards and planning. Retail markets are now looking for industrial packaging companies which can provide the best packaging solutions and quality of work to be maintained. The Retail market is looking for options which can provide them with the on time packaging & delivery at the tricky situation of “Time crunch”.

Coping up with the current market and competition, industrial packagings companies are creating standards in there own work. Maintaining the company standard in packaging and delivery, each one in the market is providing some added advantage with there services. The necessity to remain in the competition is making these industrial packaging companies to provide quality and timely service to the market.

Understanding the need of the hour and making the most use of retail market demand, these packaging companies knows now how to make clients happy. Since the margin is low for packaging companies due to high input costs, fragmenting marketplace, declining brand loyalty, increasing fuel prices, globalization and investment in new technologies. But still the competitive market and substantial growth in retail packaging industry is driving these packaging companies to provide the quality services.

The growth in packaging industry is not related to one part of geographical distribution. The change in packaging trends is visible all over the world. So companies should gear up with all sorts of developments to provide the market place with most advanced and technological industrial packaging solutions.

How people buy the 4 steps from problem to purchase

How People Buy The 4 Steps From Problem to Purchase

Did you know that every single time we make a purchase we do the same four things? Did you also know that the world’s most successful businesses are now organizing their corporate structures around helping customers with these 4 basic steps? It is no longer enough to just understand the value of your products and services. You must understand the actions people take once they decide to find a solution to their problem to ensure you are not missing out on big opportunities to satisfy your customers, and build customer loyalty.

Let’s assume for the moment that someone knows they have a problem, and they’ve decided they want to solve it. There are 4 steps to finding a solution that people always follow:

1. Search for things that could address the need or want

2. Decide on a solution and set out to get it

3. Take it and get it ready to use

4. Use it

All problem solving can be broken down into these four basic stages. Here’s a more familiar way to look at it:

1. Go shopping

2. Place an order

3. Take delivery

4. Start using it

Let’s look at the four stages in a little more detail.

Go Shopping

Think about the last time you needed something. What did you do first? I was fixing the brakes on my son’s bicycle the other day, and needed an extra hand to pull the brake handle. “Hey Logan, can you come pull the brake handle?” I asked someone around me for help. I wanted a new cell phone plan because I learned that my bill was regularly twice as high as my fianc?s. “Honey, what company do you use again?” Her response: “I think I have a pretty good plan, but why don’t we go the mall and ask someone who actually knows. There are at least 4 cell phone stores there”. So we did.

Searching for solutions generally starts with asking your friends, family or co-workers. If you’re still not sure you seek out an expert for more advice. You may even test-drive, or try on a few things to see what you like best. Finally you pick something you either like, trust or recognize from the suggestions offered.

Place an Order

Placing an order can be as simple as “I’ll take this one”. It can also be a complex series of decisions on options, delivery methods and payment options. When I placed an order for my new cell phone, they wanted to know if I would like to add a case, how I wanted to pay, and if I would like them to transfer my contacts over from my old phone to my new phone.

When I worked with equipment for utilities and industrial plants there were dozens of ordering options for different voltage levels, cabinet types, communications equipment options, system configurations or configuration services, wiring harnesses, the list goes on. The sales people didn’t even know all of the available options. There was a separate orders team to guide customers through the ordering process and ensure they got a solution that fit their needs correctly.

Take Delivery

So after the order has been placed, someone needs to fill your order. With my recent cell phone purchase the same person who sold it to me and took the order then took my old phone, went to the back room, and came out a few minutes later with my new phone. It was all set up complete with all the contacts from my old copied onto it. I have no idea whether he did it himself or handed it to a technician to do. Frankly, I don’t care. I just know my salesman took care of it.

In the industrial world, taking delivery is a little more complicated, but it follows the same basic steps. Instead of going into the back room, the equipment is ordered from a factory, and team of people are engaged in building and configuring the equipment. Shipping is then arranged with the customer including transport and cross-border customs clearing. On first deliveries the customer often comes to the factory to do some tests and provide formal acceptance. Some changes are almost always made at this point. After shipping the first ones to the installation site, an engineer is often deployed to help set it up and ensure everything is working correctly. All part of the delivery process.

Use It

And finally you get to use it. But the story doesn’t end here, there’s more. Remember when you got that brand new PC home? You got it set up, you started using it, and then you tryed to print out that first piece of paper and nothing happened. You tried everything you could think of and still nothing happened. Enter Customer Service.

Even after things are delivered and paid for, people still need help. If you get good help you are happy, and you go back to that store and recommend them to your friends. If you get bad help, or no help, you may never go back there. You will also probably make sure everyone you ever meet looking for something similar knows to stay away from that company because they will cause them nothing but pain. After all, that’s what happened to you.

A pleasant experience with the Customer Service team after you buy something is often the difference between loving and hating the people that sold it to you.

Summary

Whether we realize it or not there are 4 steps we all go through every time we purchase a product or service.

1. Shop for potential solutions

2. Decide and order something

3. Get it

4. Use it

It is not enough to have a great product, or friendly customer support. You must address all four stages of the customer decision making process if you hope to build a long term relationship, and a long term business. Remember all successful businesses help themselves by helping others.

July 2017
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