There are many “best in class” sales reps who stumble when they change to being independent sales reps whose income is based on commission. They might have been used to working for an employer who provided them with everything from a laptop, a mobile phone, and software that can help them issue quotes to clients or even a sales coordinator who backs them up in office while they are on the road.
When a sales rep decides to go independent, if they are too confident in their ability to execute in all areas, they may underestimate the challenges an independent sales rep faces. Not having an organization or a system to back you up could mean a huge difference in the way you are able to execute things.
Initial Steps to Becoming Independent Sales Reps
If you are employed in an organization, you must first prepare yourself before taking the plunge to becoming an independent sales rep. It’s not as difficult as you think – if you plan your steps carefully.
Make sure that you fix on an industry or a selection of industries. Some manufacturers reps do not have a broad enough client base to fall back on or an ongoing assessment of possible new lines to add. If they lose work with an existing client, it may take them awhile to gear up and find new lines. It isn’t usually profitable to hang on to the old clients in the hope that they will again have lines to rep.
A little research might tell you that your skill sets are not just useful to one industry, but can be applied to sales across a variety of industries. So, why restrict yourself to one? If you think that work has dried up from a client, or if the manufacturer who you represent does not have a good enough product, find a new line and get going immediately.
Understanding the various industries that independent sales reps can potentially represent can also help you plan your revenue. If you would like to be a manufacturers rep, but realize that the industry of your choice has commissions lower than expected, look out for something new. After all, sales skill sets are typically not exclusive to a particular product or industry.
Find a Good Partner
As much as sales is about networking, being an independent sales rep is all about having the right system to help support your networking. Finding a new line is easier with a supporting agency that can make sure that the right skill sets are available for a particular job.
With many businesses cutting costs migrating online these days, you as a sales rep must make sure that your skill sets are visible online – loud and clear for a marketer to see. There are many online platforms that can help achieve this including our own site – RepHunter. When you are able to connect with sales rep opportunities quickly, your confidence in your abilities will see a positive shift.