As an industrial-parts broker, Ronald Delfini enjoys low capital costs, little inventory, and healthy margins. But his letter this month concerns one of the disadvantages he faces: a lack of credibility. He can't sign up independent sales reps. Others seek information on toll-free telephone lines, training personnel, and finding start-up capital.
Is There a There There? My company brokers industrial wire forms, springs, and stamped metal parts. Although we do not manufacture, the expertise of hundreds of vendors keeps our quality and pricing competitive. We'd like to hire some independent reps, but most are skeptical about representing a company that doesn't manufacture. How do we combat this? Are there better ways to expand our customer base?
Ronald P. Delfini
Engineering Specialties International
New Haven, Conn.
Teacher, Teacher Our company trains teachers for schools and universities, and we often hire schoolteachers as salespeople and trainers. Our geographic market is expanding beyond driving distance from our offices. How can we identify, screen, and recruit job candidates in unfamiliar territory?
The Resource Network
Telephone Tag Where can I get accurate information on toll-free lines, WATTS lines, and direct-dial rates? I've spent four months trying to determine the best service for our company. Can anyone help us through the deregulation maze?
Special Drivers Agency
Adopt-a-Cop After 16 years in law enforcement, I decided to start my own executive-protection agency. There are no large competitors, there's a pool of experienced workers available, and nearby Atlanta will be hosting the 1996 Olympics, attracting many VIPs to the area. But no one wants to fund an entrepreneur whose only track record is with a federal agency. Has anyone ever arranged a sort of adoption by a large client company?