How to Hire a Sales Representative

For many brands that sell wholesale, utilizing independent reps and rep firms is a key part of their sales strategy. For some, it’s not cost-effective to employ in-house reps, or they simply need to get feet on the ground quickly without having to put resources into establishing a salaried team. Others recognize the depth of the existing networks and relationships an independent rep may provide, which can open up new business opportunities in existing markets, and provide access to new territories. Whatever the reason, wholesalers often look to hiring independent sales representatives, also called manufacturer’s reps, as an alternative to way to build a sales force. These independent reps usually have their own companies or work for a rep firm that employs a group of salespeople. They work as independent contractors on commission only (generally resulting in higher commissions on each sale) and may represent other brands, but hiring an independent rep requires no up-front risk. If you’re thinking of hiring independent reps but aren’t sure where to start, here’s a quick overview.

How to Hire Independent Sales Reps to Represent Your Brand

So you’ve decided that you want independent reps to at least be part of your sales force. How do you find a rep that’s in the territory you want, with the domain experience needed to sell your product? Here are a few ways:

1. FIND INDEPENDENT REPS AT TRADE SHOWS:

Trade shows can be great networking opportunities, not just for finding new customers, but also for finding sales representation. By attending high-traffic trade shows in your industry, you may come across independent reps or firms representing other brands at the show and/or looking for new lines to represent. Try to branch out at trade shows to develop relationships with these kinds of contacts.

2. USE A REP-MATCHING SERVICE OR DATABASE:

Services like RepHunter.net or RepRight.com specialize in helping to match independent sales representatives with wholesalers, manufacturers, and distributors who need their services. Sales reps go to these sites looking for new product lines to represent, while companies seek commission-only sales representation.

3. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF LINKEDIN:

Social Media can also help. Try finding independent reps in your industry by joining relevant LinkedIn groups or conducting a quick search for independent reps working in the industry/territory you’re looking for.

4. ASK EXISTING RETAIL CUSTOMERS FOR RECOMMENDATIONS:

If you already have an existing list of customers, try asking them to recommend independent sales reps that they’ve met or worked with before. As retail buyers, they have likely worked with many independent reps over the years, and this method can be a great way to find independent sales reps that retailers already enjoy working with.

5. POST THE POSITION ON ONLINE JOB SEARCH SITES:

While this kind of approach may not yield many targeted results, it can’t hurt to make it part of your search strategy. At the very least, doing this kind of exercise will force you to create a concrete job description that outlines the key qualifications you’re looking for.

6. PLACE AN AD OR REQUEST IN A TRADE PUBLICATION OR RELEVANT SALES ASSOCIATION PUBLICATION/WEBSITE:

This is a more targeted approach than the point listed above, as publications or websites dedicated to your industry or to the independent sales rep community will more likely get you connected with exactly the kind of people you’re looking for. Note, however, that there are many organizations geared toward specific industries, so be sure to do your research. Of course, in any of these scenarios, remember that despite the fact that these reps aren’t working on a salaried basis, they’re still going to be representing your brand to customers. Be sure to conduct a thorough interview process, get a good idea of their experience in the industry and the quality of their relationships with their existing customers, and seek referrals to validate what they’ve told you.

Patrice & Associates makes finding sales reps easy

Back

What Clients Say About Patrice & Associates

  • Amy is genuine, honest and has a passion for what she does.

    Amy contacted me in a time where I was unhappy where I was but wasn’t doing anything to change it. She was very informative and if she didn’t have the information at hand, she got it. She revamped an old resume making it more about achievements than responsibilities. She coached me on interview tactics before multiple interviews and was there to talk about them afterwards. Every conversation we had felt more like a friendship than business. She is genuine, honest and has a passion for what she does. She also helped boost my confidence through the entire interview progress. Whatever she is doing, she must be doing it right because I got the job! Thanks Amy for a life changing experience.
    Sincerely,
    Shawn Ware
    Amy is genuine, honest and has a passion for what she does.
  • I really appreciate Tim for all his handwork and consistency.

    He saw a lot of potential in me which allowed me to apply for a higher position than I had first intended. Although the process wasn't easy he was still very honest and trustworthy. I am very grateful to have received his guidance. I really appreciate Tim for all his handwork and consistency.
  • I want to thank Tim...

    ...for all the time he spent helping me acquire my new career. He has helped by assisting me with redesigning my resume and keeping in contact with me throughout the entire process.  His actions showed that he really cared and wanted the best for me. Thanks again, Dominic Almanza I want to thank Tim
  • I would 100% recommend Ross

    I cannot begin to thank Ross and Karen enough! without the two of them I wouldn't have even known about the position! The interview process was quick, easy and simple. After only a short week I was in a position I knew I was going to love forever and it was all thanks to them! Ross has been so good about following up with me even after being hired, asking how my experience has been, what hours I'm working etc. and to top it all off Ross even sent me a gift card thanking me for working with him. I would 100% recommend Ross to anyone looking for a career in the industry!
    Cheers,
    Bayley Ferreira
    I would 100% recommend Ross
  • I had the pleasure of working with Doug Lockwood

    Doug was extremely professional and was very easy to work with. He was quick to respond, made himself available anytime I had a question, and was always checking in through the entire process. He coached me through the interview process by sending over necessary documents to read over on my own time, giving pointers on the phone, and talking through details. You can tell Doug cares for each person he works with. Even after getting the job, he is still checking in to see how things are going and making sure all is going well. I would recommend Doug to anyone when looking to start their career or looking for a career change. He was a great resource to have when needed.
    Thanks,
    Tony
    I had the pleasure of working with Doug Lockwood