an independent sales rep is a great way to
increase sales and really grow your business.
When I started my business, hiring a New York
sales rep doubled my business in a season. With
their access and connections to stores, buyers
and others in the industry they can increase
your business and make your line a success. Once
you have selected the rep you want to hire, you
must establish certain criteria ahead of the
final hiring process:
Define the Territory:
Find out the general territory the sales rep
usually represents. Ask what states or
geographic location is included. Do you
already have another rep in one of those
states or location? If there is a conflict
you must discuss it and make some resolution
as to which rep will receive commission for
a sale. If your rep has a booth at a trade
show establish what your policy is for out
of territory commission. Let the rep know in
writing of any established House Accounts.
Establish the Commission
reps generally ask for anywhere from 7% to
20%.It is best to consider what the sales
rep can do for you and try a test out for a
season. If the rep is well established the
commission rate may be on the high end. And
if the rep is willing to "pioneer" your line
and help you to become an established brand
then it is well worth the commission rate.
Do be sure you have this built into your
When is the commission due?
You will want establish payment terms.
Ideally you will want to pay out commission
when you are paid by your customer. However,
most reps want to be paid within 15 days of
the when the goods are shipped. They have
done their job and deserve to be paid. They
will in general require commission on a
minimum of 85% of any order that is credit
approved. So in case you are unable to ship
an order they still get commission because
they have done the work.
Are there any showroom or
Depending on whether you hire a showroom rep
or road rep, most all charge monthly fees on
top of commission. These will depend upon
the rep, showroom, how much real estate they
need for your line and other considerations.
Who pays for the samples?
Obviously a sales rep needs to have samples
and marketing materials so she can show your
line. Establish in advance who pays for
these. You can have them returned at the end
of the season or offer a significant
discount off wholesale to the rep which can
be subtracted from commissions.
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