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:

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. at

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.

Human relations employment

Human Relations Employment

It is important to know the job descriptions of the positions that are available in a particular company. As an applicant it is through job descriptions that you know the kinds of things that are expected of you by a prospective employer. Employers are able to relay the qualifications that they are looking for through the job description.

The job description is usually included in a job posting in the newspaper or on the Internet for people to fill vacant positions. The best thing to do if the job position isn’t included in the job posting is to call the company to ask what the job position is. Conducting an online search for job descriptions of a position that is similar to the position that you are looking for may also be accomplished although the preferred method is to call the company.

Jobs in the human resource (HR) department are highly desirable. Today, there are 3 possible positions that are available in companies when it comes to the HR department. These positions include the HR manager, the HR person, or a position looking for a career in the human resources.

An HR person is responsible for coordinating people for special events or projects and the activities within the numerous departments in a company. This coordination also includes ensuring that the activities or events are accomplished with the best possible quality and that they remain strict about following a schedule that is set by the company. The HR person is responsible for the supervision of the other department employees to ensure that they are following the procedures and policies of the company. HR representatives are also responsible for the evaluation of each department and making recommendations for changes to make sure the employees follow the company policies among other things.

Two of the primary responsibilities of the HR representative are to interview and hire employees. The HR representative has one of the most important jobs in the company because the people that are hired will determine the performance and productivity of the company. Therefore, the HR representative must be able to assess the efficiency of an individual through a series of tests or interviews that should be conducted. In order to completely fulfill his duties, the HR representative must learn how to analyze the types of people that the company needs.

Finally, any career in the human resources department is about interfacing between the employees and the company to help ensure a good relationship between the two and also achieve a working environment that is successful. The main responsibility of someone who works in the HR department includes training and recruitment of the employees in order to meet the company’s objectives and goals.

How to write a business plan made easy

How To Write A Business Plan Made Easy

A business plan is a very important document, both for new
business and existing ones. While many people think of business
plans as important only for newly created startup companies, the
truth is that a quality business plan will also be very
important to obtain financing to expand the business and help it

The typical business plan will help a new business look ahead
and prepare for success, and it will help an existing business
assess their past and plan their future.

A well prepared business plan can help the owner and managers of
the business properly allocate precious resources, focus on the
key issues facing the business, and prepare for future
challenges and opportunities.

== A Business Plan Is Vital In Order To Get A New Startup Or
Existing Company Off Of The Ground And Moving Forward==

Of course a business plan is also vital in order to get a new
startup company off the ground.

At a minimum, a properly prepared startup business plan will
include a summary of what the company does, the mission
statement, a thorough market analysis, the key challenges and
opportunities facing the sector in general and the company in
particular, and a quality break-even analysis.

== A Business Plan Can Help Attract Lenders, Investors And
Potential Business Partners To Help Finance Your Company==

It is vital for the startup company to have a quality business
plan in order to attract lenders, investors and potential
business partners.

That is because no investor will agree to invest in the business
without having first reviewed and verified the information
contained in the startup business plan.

All business plans, both those for startup companies, and those
for existing organizations, will need to include such components
as a description of the company and what it does, the products
it manufactures or the services it provides, the outlook for the
market, company forecasts, a detailed financial analysis of the
company, and resumes of its key personnel.

While the actual format used for a business plan will vary quite
a bit, all good business plans will contain at least this basic

== A Description Of Your Management Team Is A Vital Part Of The
Business Plan ==

The description of the management team is a vital part of the
business plan, as the management of the company is a key
component of its success.

Also important are things like the cash flow of the company, its
debt to revenue ratio, and other financial data.

In addition, if financing is being sought for a specific
purpose, it is important that the business plan include
information on how the proposed equipment will be used, and how
it will benefit the company and help it grow

Identifying and analyzing key performance indicators

Identifying and Analyzing Key Performance Indicators

Over the years businesses have developed and implemented many approaches to gathering and analyzing key performance indicators. Obviously, the most basic of these would be net sales and net profits but the problem with these two key performance indicators is that they are on the tail end of the process.

The Sooner the Better

Sure, they are helpful to an extent but ideally a business would like to be able to acquire and use key performance indicators that are much closer up front, so to speak. The quest for this data has kept managers busy trying to make sense of relevant data that they have gathered in the hopes of coming up with key performance indicators that will allow them new earlier insight into business operations.

New Solutions for Old Problems

The endless quest for more subtle and earlier available key performance indicators has in turn led to the development of new performance and recording software. Another offshoot of this growing need for business intelligence of this sort is online reporting software, which in turn has progressed even further to real time online reporting software.

Subtle Hidden Key Performance Indicators

What these on line services do is take complex data that a business generates and gathers on a day to day basis, process and refine it then returns it to its source as needed in a far more comprehensible format. The result, is that subtle new key performance indicators that would have otherwise gone unnoticed can be made available to be used as needed.

Real Time Key Performance Indicator Analysis

Lessons learned: building on success with marketing post-project reviews

Lessons Learned: Building On Success With Marketing Post-Project Reviews

In business as in life, learning from our mistakes and successes is the best way to improve. As marketing consultants, the most informative feedback comes from our clients. That’s why formal project reviews are one of the best ways for marketing consultants to get better at what they do.

Post-project reviews (PPRs) also give your clients an opportunity to share their perspectives on what went right and what went wrong over the course of a project. Every client wants to be heard, and a client who knows that you value his or her feedback is more likely to appreciate your professionalism and recommend you to peers.

While it’s important to hear from your clients, you’ll also want to take an objective, internal look at your own performance and that of your team members. It may be hard to step back and objectively evaluate your own work, but doing so provides valuable lessons you can use to provide even better service on your next job.

Get Your Client’s Perceptions

Plan ahead for your project assessment by including it as the last step on your initial project timeline. Letting your clients know that they’ll have a chance to provide feedback once a job is complete gives them a chance to think through their feedback ahead of time, and demonstrates how strongly you value your client’s opinion of your work.

Once you’ve delivered your marketing product, set up a formal assessment meeting with your client. Be sure to invite all the key stakeholders in the project, such as the project manager and account manager who were involved in the job.

Your first goal is to evaluate your client’s overall level of satisfaction of your performance. Have both general and specific questions prepared, such as:

- Did you meet the client’s marketing or project goals?

- What did the client think of your process overall?

- Did you communicate effectively with the client? (Drill down to details by asking how they felt about your weekly status e-mails, meetings, the approval process, and other process specifics.)

- Is there anything the client would ask you to do differently if he or she had a chance to start over?

Next, hone in on your client’s perceptions of you and your team. Specifically, find out if the client felt that:

- His questions were answered completely

- Your team members responded to his requests in a timely manner

- Problems were resolved fully and to his satisfaction

- The quality of your work met his expectations

- There were any areas where your team fell down on the job

Ask for specific recommendations on how to improve upon your deliverables, processes or the customer service you provide. And be sure to take these suggestions to heart when it’s time to begin your next engagement.

Afterward, thank the client with an e-mail, note or gift, depending on the depth of your relationship and the size of the project. Let the client know how much you appreciate working with him and value his honest opinion.
Take a Look Inward

While your client’s feedback is extremely valuable, your own internal assessment of your work is equally important. After the wrap-up meeting with your client, take some time to meet with your own team to conduct a project review. Talk about what went right and wrong, with a goal of learning from this project and ensure 100 percent client satisfaction on your next job.

First, take a look at how you handled the financial side of the job. Did you go over the budget in any areas? If so, why? How accurate were your estimates? Did parts of the project require re-work, and if so, what was the financial impact? What could you do differently next time to ensure that your estimates more closely align with project realities?

Assess how the project grew and evolved from start to finish. Did the scope of the initiative change? If so, were you able to capture, track and bill for the additional time spent? How can you predict or account for similar scope changes when estimating for future projects?

Next, it’s time to get personal and examine the performance and service levels provided by yourself and your team. Ask your team members to help you list three things that went right with this engagement, as well as three things the team could do better on next time.

Think about what you’ve learned about project management. Were you able to book resources at the right times? Did you keep the project on schedule and deliver by deadline? If not, why? Were these factors within your control? When scheduling the next project, how can you build in extra time to address similar setbacks that might arise?

Your internal project evaluation is also a good time to spruce up any standardized template documents you consistently use. Think about the lessons you’ve learned from this engagement, and try to incorporate any new information into these documents that might help you better manage client expectations or improve your performance next time.

Finally, conclude the meeting by reviewing your client’s post-project feedback. Honestly evaluate the outcomes, both positives and negatives, and share ideas for how to avoid making the same mistakes twice. But be sure to also talk about the successes, and congratulate your team – and yourself – for a job well-done.

September 2017
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