Sales drive most business. As companies try to obtain massive customer bases, they usually strive to provide a product that is appealing and in demand. In their effort to sell to people, they take different routes. Often a website flourishes with online product of many different mediums. Sometimes companies substantiate their merchandise and product sector with a quality service. It is even common to see people hold true to the roots of sales, and venture local and niche routes to obtain an audience that may still be relatively untapped. Yet, as sales evolve, these routes take different forms and change following trends. One sales methodology is direct, as manufacturers find independent sellers to sell their product based on a commission. Manufacturers can provide product to retailers, and sell at wholesale, and these will likely remain viable outlets. But it is often direct sales and the path of manufacturer representations that offers a unique perspective and even more original opportunities.
As an independent seller, or manufacturer representative, you are not paid on a salary. Starting a business in this realm is comfortable because individuals already working this industry are already more than aware of the structure. As an inspiring small business owner, consistency is not something you come to expect. Manufacturer’s reps are already blatantly aware of this attribute, and are often further motivated because of it.
To understand the manufacturing rep angle, you need to grasp the reasons for a business hiring one in the first place. The reason they are successful is because a business is not always apt to hire an entire team to assist in sales. Doing so comes at a greater cost, but it also may be excessive. A quality manufacturing rep already has the connections and established clients who are interested. For example, a business may create soap. They sell all sorts of soap varieties, and pride themselves in their soap products. They manufacture their own soap, and want to find a means to make more sales in new markets. They then begin seeking a manufacturer rep. A manufacture rep usually is selling between 5-15 products or services at any single time. The soap business now finds a rep that matches them. They look at their demographic and they look at what other products the rep is selling. The soap company may want to find a rep that is productive with areas that have lots of families, but they may not want a rep who is already selling soap from another company. The soap company provides their chosen rep with product, and the product is paid a certain percent of each product they sell.
At its core, this is the business of manufacturer representation.
Though the business example seems silly, it is a great representation of what typically occurs while working with a business as a manufacturer rep. Of course, this is all easier said than done. Tackling the industry is a momentous task. It may take years before you settle in with enough products to justify a client working with you. As a new rep, you may find yourself only dealing with flustering companies that either may have just begun their trajectory to success or may be falling down fast. As you accumulate product, always keep in mind that the product may not be available forever.
As you begin your business, don’t expect to sell to retailers. In all actuality, never expect to sell to retailers. Though logic may dictate that retailers will make up a large portion of your selling power, as they would often buy in bulk and often, this is a fallacy. Retailers are apt to order directly from manufacturers cutting out the middle man. You may have luck exploring independent retailers and small-scale or niche stores. They may be more prone to purchase your products, particularly if they are unique and generally unobtainable through a manufacturing. Be wary that retail stores are more than aware that you are getting the product from a manufacturing yourself. They may want to simply bypass you entirely, so explore this route with caution.
It is important you network yourself appropriately and be willing to cold call. Customers will not be knocking on your door begging for product. You have to be willing to find customers daily and actively, exploring demographics and localized areas for possible customers. You are likely working solely on commission. Do not be de-motivated when you are not making money, because it will take a lot of time and trail-and-error to establish your grounding as a salesman. You may have the product, but without the means to sell it, you will not be successful. This also creates a paradox. How can you practice making sales when no one wants to provide you with product because you haven’t made sales?
Businesses want to work with reps who can sell. Before you sell, you must have product. Getting over this initial disturbance is possibly the most difficult aspect of being a manufacturer rep. Try selling your own product to help hone your skills. This could be a potential branching off business is successful, and will allow you an opportunity to flex your skills with product sales.
Many direct sale companies already have concrete networks. Consider finding networks that you can learn from and potentially connect with. Be wary of pyramid schemes that are likely to devalue your business path. But finding excellent direct sales companies, and learning from them, you can take that knowledge to your own small business. You may also meet some really great people, and maybe even recruit them!
The Manufacturer’s Agents National Association is your prime source of knowledge. Take advantage of the knowledge on their website to obtain a greater basis to expand from. Use this resource to find strategies and network properly. It is an excellent place for growth and assistance in paving out your methods early on.
Manufacturer’s rep’s is one of the fastest growing sales sectors in business. As more people get tuned into the possibilities, competition rises. The hardest aspect is finding a way to sell product while simultaneously finding businesses to provide product. Once you find your niche and your style, the potential is limitless. Be self-aware enough to know if you are charismatic enough to justify this business path. It takes a special type of person to sell product. If you are that person, than find the product for you and build a fantastic business future of sales, respect, and individuality.