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How to find a sales rep for your product business


Are 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 reps

1. Online

Check out websites like www.findfashionrep.com, www.rephunter.net, 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 your category, you can contact them and see if they are taking on new lines. A few places to start with are New York Now, 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 is an example – http://www.live-inspired.com/retailpartners.cfm

4. Other entrepreneurs

Join entrepreneur networking organizations (like SavorTheSuccess.com or LadiesWhoLaunch.com) 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 reps.

I 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.


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

    1. I am looking for independent reps who call on home health agencies . Our product is unique and needed by every senior in making their bathtub slip free . Can be sold anywhere in the country .

    2. I would like to find one to help me expand my brand, I have a children’s clothing line MLDGirls, I work with Peruvian Pima cotton, baby alpaca wool, cotton Drill, Chambray Cotton, and all of them are made in Peru. If you could please provide me information about agencies, would be great.
      Thank you

        1. Hi Jennifer 🙂

          I’ve also been looking for new reps! I have a successful children’s swimwear line but am looking to expand even more. Everything is made here in the USA. Where are you located exactly?

    3. I’m glad you left that comment! I just requested to join. We are looking to hire a full-time in-house sales rep!

  2. 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.
    Craig

  3. 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.

  4. I just started selling my collections of fashion watches under my own brand 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!

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

    1. Sending samples is a must. Our line is on the more expensive side but the good news is they return the samples after market

  6. 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!

    1. Usually, not if the store won’t become a retailer. If they become a retailer, they will give you their contact info.

    2. Only if you need it to ship your products to the store. Sales Rep lists are very well guarded as their main asset in their business.

  7. Our company is looking for a good rep for a consumer sporting goods product we are planning to get into the retail market. We have been doing well on the internet sales and ready for the next step. Ralph

  8. Hello, I am looking for a good rep to present my beautiful plaid footstools to the USA. I have been asked by my customers in the USA when will I send someone out as the feel my products will be very well received in the USA.

    I look forward to any help or tips you can give me.

    Many many thanks

    Tracey

  9. Great article. I have a small t-shirt biz that I have been looking tremendously for help to grow it. This is great information moving forward

  10. Thank you Susan, While I’ve just started looking for a rep your website has provided very useful information. All best wishes, Noel

  11. Hiring sales reps can be a long and often frustrating process if you are looking for the very best. We recommend finding salespeople that have the perfect balance between previous experience and the skills and personality to match your brand. With proper assessment, interview planning, and a deep look into past behavior, we believe you can find top salespeople to help you build a successful company.

  12. I am a artist currently painting seaglass and seashell jewelry. I main subject is usually horses. I feel it is time to investigate the option of having a sales rep and this is the first site that made any sense at all! Thank you!

    1. Sandee,
      Did you find a rep to represent your seaglass work? I do seaglass jewelry. Have been doing shows for years but find that I need to get off the road. Would love to find someone to sell my work.

  13. I am looking for a rep in the garden and protective ware industry to promote my goatskin leather gauntlet and utility work gloves. Is there a particular area that I need to search in?

  14. Our company makes and sells custom popsicle sticks in the United States. Unlike most of our competitors, we do not use ink. I am looking for sales representatives to help sell our product to the self-employed vendors and large companies. I would love to share information to the right sales representative regarding our high tech process and how we are self sustained. For every tree we use, we plant four more.

  15. I’m searching for a sales rep in the holistic category for a deck of manifesting cards, based on the “angel card” deck style. The holistic category is a hard nut to crack. Has anyone had success with a sales rep?

  16. Looking for rep for my fashion accessory that covers the upper arms and is a shawl in the back. Used for women that hate showing their arms. Shows the shoulders so one can wear sleeveless and strapless outfits and look fabulous! Perfect for brides!

  17. I am looking for an agent to market my product in shopper drug mart and other major drug chain stores across Canada. How can I look for a right company or candidate?

  18. I am new to all of this…I have a product that just does not seem to fit any category. It is so unique and yet so useful it can be sold in many different methods. It is a novelty item, yet a sports item, along with being a functional protection item. It could fit in a gift shop, novelty shop, sports shop, gun shop, specialty shop, and it’s endless. But, because of it’s uniqueness, I can’t find a rep to help me get it out there. Any suggestions ?

  19. Hey there,

    I have a luxury beach towel company. We produce unique products in terms of material and design sense. And we want to sell it to Harvey Nichols, Neiman Marcus, Farfetch and so on..

    So, is there any chance to find a rep who is dedicated to this field specifically. Or should I look for one who sales beachwear mostly.

    Any recommendations will be very welcomed.

  20. Hello. I just read the above information but have not looked into any of the websites yet as to where to find reps. But I have a couple questions.

    I have a new brand I need help selling to brick and mortar stores in Canada and the U.S. The brand is geared to the surf/skate/snowboard cultures and I would like reps help me bring it to market as I am just ther person with the idea. The brand is currently trademarked for both Canada and the U.S. but again I really need someone to help me get my idea promoted and into stores.

    The brand is not currently sold any wear.

    I am in Vancouver, Canada, and would value any help you may have.

    Thank you very much for you time .

    Rob

  21. Cool post! We have just been funded through Kickstarter and are now looking for representation. Our product is a crazy innovative Running Pack to carry small personal items during short runs. Our users love FITLY WITH A PASSION.

  22. I am looking for high energy sales reps for our restoration pain line “Little Billy Goat”. We have showed our products at the world trade centers in Dallas, Atlanta, and Las Vegas. It has been very successful but we are always looking to expand our brand. We are currently in a few hundred stores across the US and Canada. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks Allie

  23. Please help me clarify the costs and commission. What is an average standard discount to a retailer for a baby item? In my example, I will use 50%. Example: Retail price is $100 and the rep sells an item on my behalf to a retailer at wholesale for $50. Sales Rep commission is 20%. Is the commission then $10 (20% of wholesale)? Thank you!

    1. I HOPE you are not paying 20% commission! I know it is not “my lane” (we make artisan jewelry) but that seems so high!

      1. Hi C Stanford, not so much as in the old days, Now very good lines are opening w/20% or are negotiable to 20%, as you know everything is much more expensive on the road now, I have 4 long term lines,I started at 15%, now are all up to 20%, hope this helped, Best regards.

  24. Does anyone have a sales rep contract template they can share please? I have never worked with any sales rep. What are the best practices around hiring and working with a sales rep? What are some important contract terms should I keep in mind when writing up a contract? What happens in case of returns or a bad account? Please share your experiences and your suggestions for newcomers like myself. Thank you in advance.

  25. Hello,

    I am the brand manager for a CBD Brand and would love to work with a sales rep. If you are one that is familiar with CBD, please feel free to reach out to me.

  26. A very nice article on what qualities a sales rep should have. Thanks and keep sharing such nice articles.

  27. Good day, we have created a line of crystal infused essential oil products. Natural aromatherapy air fresheners, aromatherapy pillows, personal empowerment sprays, Himalayan Salt scrubs, etc more sold in health food stores of like. Any suggestions on a rep?

    1. Hi Helen. I just came across this page and wondered if you have found someone to represent your product line yet? We sell in the natural marketplace and I would be interested in learning more about your products and needs.

  28. I am looking for some sale rep teams to take upon my line of toys & games , Stem Items And new interesting interlocking system puzzles. I would love if you can recommend me a few companies that can help me with that.

  29. Hi C Stanford, not so much as in the old days, Now very good lines are opening w/20% or are negotiable to 20%, as you know everything is much more expensive on the road now, I have 4 long term lines,I started at 15%, now are all up to 20%, hope this helped, Best regards.

  30. I am launching our very successful accessory and kids gifting range internationally and would like to break into the online and boutique market. We are currently pitching for the big retailers but I would love an agent to assist us with the smaller retailers and online category. Does anyone have advice on how to go about this?

  31. I would like to find a rep to sell my line of products to showrooms in home decor and náutica / coastal line of sea stars and decor .

  32. I’m looking into Sales reps and agencies to increase sales internationally, for a zero waste fashion brand DaRousso with unique selling points. I guess pandemic made things a bit more challenging, still hard to navigate even though our designs are mostly one-size for our ArtWear line. Maybe the niche is too narrow?

  33. Hello

    I am looking for a sale rep to help get my home decor into shops. I make wood and resin beach themed pieces. Lazy Susan’s serving trays wine butlers wine bottle stopper bottle openers wine glasses floating shelves etc. I am just starting to look for a rep so any help would be appreciated.

    Thank you
    Margery

  34. I am an award-winning author of children’s picture books. The books are educational and humorous and have received many awards. One picture book received five awards and comes with plush characters. I am looking for a sales rep that can help me launch them. Some books are bilingual (Spanish/English).

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