If you are an independent sales rep, the most important thing to your ability to make money is having enough lines to buffer any economic or market shifts. No kidding, right? But you can’t just go and rep new lines overnight, you have to be ready. And possibly more importantly, you have to look like you’re ready. Now, whether or not you already have existing lines, the most important thing to your ability to do business is having relationships with buyers.
The main benefit of an independent sales rep to any company outsourcing its sales is that you can immediately access a client base to sell their lines. If you can’t do that for them, you don’t have the competitive edge over their existing in-house sales force. This core functionality of a commission only sales rep is the main selling point of independent sales profession. So if you want to start picking up great lines, you need the companies seeking repsto see that you have an existing relationship with potential buyers for their lines.
Having a Visible Online Sales Rep Profile
You want to make sure you have a visible online sales rep profile on websites heavily trafficked by manufacturers and sales companies lookgin to find reps. Plus, any online sales rep directory, should give you the ability to find those companies actively seeking to hire independent reps.
Try searching for “independent sales reps jobs” or “sales rep opportunities” on Google and see what you can find. There are lots of great tools out there to help you find lines, and to help principals find YOU.
Make sure that you have a great profile – be specific about the clients and the type of industries for which you want to rep new lines. You want to attract and pre-qualify the companies who want to contact you, so you need to make sure you don’t skimp on the important information. It is important to note that finding lines is a NUMBERS GAME! The majority of the principals you talk to probably will not be a match, so it is extremely important to get out there and talk to as many as you can to make sure you find the best lines for you!
The key thing is for you to make yourself look professional. Just as a company that sells a product needs to appear high quality and polished, so do you. When looking for new lines, YOU are a product and you’re selling yourself. One of the most important things to being professional as a sales rep is that you are able to communicate. This is really simple. You need to be able to be contacted! Issues arise all the time in business, and often a principal will need to contact you. The biggest factor leading to the failure of an independent rep is lack of communication. Again, to be professional, you must be able to communicate.
Now, the most important question: can you produce? No, really. Can you? This is crucial! You need to make sure the answer is a definite “yes.” As a commission-only sales rep, your livelihood depends on your ability to make sales and move lines. If you can’t do this, you need to become able to, or you won’t make money, and principals won’t be satisfied with your performance. This is not meant to discourage, it is simply THAT important. It is an unfortunate fact that a good rep is hard to find, and you need to put forth the effort to BE that good rep.
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