I need to hire independent sales reps. Where do I begin?
Sales mentor Pat Cavanaugh responds to the following question from an inc.com user:
I am starting a business but since I am on a limited budget I need to contract out for independent sales reps and pay by commission only. Can you give me advice on the best ways to find them? My business offers business services.
Pat Cavanaugh's response:This is a very good question, and one that needs to be addressed differently depending on the industry involved. Business services might range from consulting, to temporary help, to copy services, to a wide range of services. As a result, my recommendation is to do three things.
First, work your tail off to obtain new clients, large or small. This will help get the business off the ground, and, more importantly, it will show potential independent sales reps that success is achievable and that people need your services.
Second, look for similar or complementary industries or businesses in which reps would either have established relationships with decision-makers or be able to direct you to the right person. These people are probably independent sales reps, and if they can call on the same company for multiple services they will be more valuable to the end-user. These reps could be networked through trade shows, local associations, competitors or sales agencies that have many, many reps to represent different companies and their products and services.
Third, develop an incentive plan or referral plan for reps you hire to reward them for bringing on new reps -- some type of structured plan for them to be compensated for multiple sales opportunities. This way you'll be able to grow exponentially.