How to find a sales rep for your product business

How to find a sales repAre you wondering how to find a sales rep because you know that working with a sales rep can be a great way to grow your business? Many entrepreneurs have been able to grow their product line from 100 stores to 1000 stores – all with the help of a sales rep.

But before working with a sales rep, there are a few things you need to keep in mind:

Sales reps work on commission – for an apparel business it’s usually 15% of any sales that they make; for bath and beauty products or accessories, for example, it can be 20%. The average commission is 10-20% for most industries (if you decide to work with sales reps, make sure to build this into your pricing structure).

– Sales reps need free samples, marketing materials and anything else to help them sell your products – before working with a sales rep, you need to make sure that you have budgeted for free samples and have created marketing materials to send them to support them during their sales efforts. So you’ll need to make a bit of an investment before deciding to work with a sales rep.

– You need to constantly communicate with and check in with your sales reps – from my experience with running my t-shirt business and selling through sales reps, the more I kept in touch with and communicated with my sales reps, the better they performed and the more sales they brought in. You might want to schedule it in your calendar to follow up with them every week or every two weeks or once a month, depending on your needs and schedule.

Where do you find a sales rep?

  1. Online – check out websites like,,, or We Connect Fashion.
  2. Trade shows and showrooms – you can either ‘walk the show’ or visit their website for a listing of showrooms and sales reps. Once you find a showroom in you category, you can contact them and see if they are taking on new lines. A few places to start with are the New York International Gift Fair, the Dallas Market Center, California Market Center or Chicago Merchandise Mart.
  3. Other companies’ websites – if you sell inspirational apparel, for example, you might want to check out an inspirational jewelry line’s website and see if they work with any sales reps. Often you will find a listing of these under the WHOLESALE section of their site. Here are a few examples –, or 
  4. Other entrepreneurs – join entrepreneur networking organizations (like or and share resources with existing members. Ask for sales rep recommendations and even for contacts at stores that they sell their products to.

Also, before you decide to hire a sales rep, make sure you contact some of the other vendors they represent and see how they like working with them, what kind of sales volume they are bringing in and if they recommend that particular sales rep.

If you are looking for an amazing e-guide on how to find a sales rep, check out Sandy Dell’s How to Find, Recruit and Manage Sales Reps. Here are some of the things you’ll discover in Sandy’s guide:  How to know if your product line is “Rep Ready,” the 10 questions you should ask EVERY rep before making an offer, twelve main elements of a sales rep agreement, tactics for motivating sales reps, what commission rate should you pay for your industry, 11 online and offline resources for finding sales reps, a comprehensive directory of US gift marts (believe me, you’ll need this one!) and a lot more.

I highly recommend Sandy’s How to Find, Recruit and Manage Sales Reps – Get your copy right here and get instant access to a goldmine of information on finding a sales rep!

Would love to hear about your experience with how to find a sales rep! Leave a comment below and let me know how you found a sales rep or if you have any questions about finding one.

15 Comments. Leave new

[…] Do you have a sales rep? – If not, here’s how to find one […]


[…] even talk to a consumer. If you aren’t a naturally outgoing, confident, charismatic person hire someone who is to deal with the sales side of your […]


There is one more site which is a job site for sales rep-

This website is also useful.


There is also A free professional network dedicated to connecting sales reps, distributors and manufacturers.


[…] Additional reading: Startup Nation offers tips for finding sales reps. Andreea Ayers has a post up, also, with numerous tips about locating a sales rep. […]


There is also Sales Agent Stats. It focuses exclusively on sales agents and ranks them according to ability. Also, connections with agents are unlimited.


There is also Apparel Sales Reps and Designers Group on LinkedIn.

It has over 8,500 members (and growing) and is FREE!


Hi Andreea,
I watched the podcast with Steve and I came over to your site. I like the articles. Finding any type of sales rep can be hard but you have alot of sites here. Thank you we will try them out.


Hiring sales reps can be time consuming and frustrating. This is a great list to help prepare for a sales interview before you even have the candidates lined up. And the list to find candidates is really helpful. Great sites in the other comments as well – making for a comprehensive go-to list.

Something else to consider adding to your interview process is a sales aptitude test. It helps filter out the candidates with the most/least amount of drive and potential, so you don’t waste any more precious time on candidates that are less likely to meet (or exceed) your desired revenue.


I just started selling my collections of fashion watches under my own brand Lizi n. Klipzi in my own online store and I have been looking for ways to expand my sales network. The information and suggestions given in this article are very useful. I will follow it and hope to be lucky enough to get connected with the right sales reps that can build up a long term partnership. Thanks again! Love you!


Very Helpful I now have a list of contacts to try out. Thank you


The free samples part worries me, do they always expect free samples? What if your product is rather expensive?


Thanks for this! I appreciate all the references. I’ve only just begun my research for reps and your article is a very helpful place to start!


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