The Benefits of Working With a Sales Rep


Hire Your First Sales Rep


Lesson Info

The Benefits of Working With a Sales Rep

I want to start off this program by talking about the benefits of working with the sales drop you're going to hear. We talk a lot about how your sales reps are a member of your team, and I really want you to constantly think about it from that perspective. Yes, they're technically an employee or an independent contractor most of time, an independent contractor, but they're part of your team. And so by helping to give them the sales tools, thie information and all the different things that they need to do the best job possible, you're going to see better results out of them, just like an employee in your shop that's doing other work. So you know again, you want to equip your sales reps with tools and information to do the best job possible, and you really want to work in tandem with your rep to provide them with the information that especially things like new releases, because the more information they have about the timing of those releases, they can set their appointments up strategic...

ally to really maximize the the profits on that. So let's talk in the online chat room they were talking about this types of sales rep, so let's go over that first there is an in house. Sales associate that you could hire and that's essentially somebody that's working inside your business there probably an employee or even just an independent contractor but they they're a little bit more closely tied to you it's somebody that's like underneath your company umbrella little more clothes flee on dh those people could you know, go out just in a local geographic area those tend to be more localized to where you're your business is based independent wraps in road wraps are the majority of what are smaller businesses start working with that's kind of the first platform the first step and road reps are independent sales reps is usually one person or could be a small collective of reps that will proactively go out to the stores so they have their own geographic area and they have stores in their territory that they will go visit and they'll bring your product it and they'll show your line and they'll write orders and then they will send orders back to you. So for example, I'm based in los angeles and I had a rep in massachusetts one in connecticut I had them in different territories where I didn't have a lot of accounts already because I felt like they were filling up a void for me they're on dh helping to kind of create relationships where I wasn't necessarily going to fly to boston or you know and you do those sales calls so a road map is a little bit more proactive and that they go to the store, strike the orders and bring the product to the retail shops. Shura wraps. They have road wraps, oftentimes underneath them. But it's, a bigger showroom. Reps are bigger group. They have a dedicated space where retailers come to them. So there's companies that have sure in space at, you know, atlanta mart, the l, a gift show there. I'm sorry. Lm art there's places all over the u, s and even internationally that have these places for these show rooms and a grab group, a showroom rap group will set up shop in one of those places, and it'll look like a boutique store. It'll look like a retail shop, but it's all for wholesale buyers, and so the buyers go to the showrooms. Now again, a lot of these show rooms will have independent reps that work for them that will go out on their other individualized territory. So even though they have this half of the show room, they may have large groups of independent reps that air in their own little territories. Does that make sense? Okay, so, again, most people start with independent rebs, independent road grabs and, most of time, there's, independent reps or just the individual person. Sometimes, like in the case of karina murray from crone canary, she has five reps that worked for her, so they're six that work and they all have different geographic territories, but it is common for these independent reps to be just one or two people most does anyone have any questions about the difference between road wraps or showroom reps? Know, and also I should clarify that road rob's independent rubs on dh the the showroom wraps, those are not people that are technically part of your company, they have their own businesses and your contract id to them, so they again provide a service and you pay them for that service, and we'll talk more about the logistics of the payment later. But now I want to talk about logistics in terms of work flow of the process of working with sales reps. So once you've talked, I'm skipping a few steps here. I'm skipping the like interview phase, and I'm skipping the contract face, which we will discuss it in a little while. But just so you can kind of see the work flow of how a rep sells your goods and what what you're responsible for in the process and what they're responsible for in the process so you as a designer are going to provide your sales reps with your sales tools, and that includes, you know, a full I said, well, it depends on your product line too, but you want to provide them with sample products in the case of you know, greeting cards and smaller gift items you want to provide them with one of everything in your line if you have higher and items luxury items you probably would just provide them with a few samples and they would sell more so from a catalog so it really depends on your industry and the types of products that you're offering but for some of the I guess it's mostly about transportacion too you know something like a greeting card is much easier to transport than if you had a big ceramic pot or something, so but you want to provide them with information to show the buyers to sell your product so again sample products your catalogs they'll typically use their own order forms you don't typically need to provide that if they ask for it go ahead and give it to them but a sales rep we usually want to sign on with them they'll kind of tell you what what they need and if they don't ask, just tell them you know what can I provide you with so you give them all that information you've got you're probably and squared away everything's good you've got your pricing locked in all that you give him all the information they go out and work with the end consumer and in this case and consumers, the wholesale markets so it's the retail stores and they go and meet with the buyers is they write the orders, and then they will send the orders back to you to fill. And then we had over two step three, where you are going to fill the orders, you'll pack up the orders. You'll shipped orders based on the requested ship date during our catalog know beginner's class for wholesale. We talked about order forms and how retailers will designate what date they want, products shipped on, sometimes it's asap, sometimes it's on a further out date, so you'll just want to note that when the orders come in on dso, you'll request it or sorry, you'll ship on the requested ship date and that's when you'll process payment from the storm and you pay your sales rep typically at that end process, we'll talk a little bit more about the payment. In a little while. Does anyone have questions about the work flow? No, pretty simple right in in the scheme of things, eh? So what are some benefits to hiring wraps? You know, we talked about this a little bit in the intro, but really it's the exposure to a wider audience, you can't be everywhere at one time. Right, so if you have these people working for you and they already have relationships with these retail shops, you're saving yourself time and money of having to build those relationships yourself, and you're reaching a wider audience because they're already there. So think about that you have more income coming in my sales grew quite a bit when I started working with sales reps because again they're out there doing the work well, I'm working on creating more inventory or doing my marketing, so it does allow for more income to come in. It allows you to focus on other aspects of your business is tied to the income thing. You can then be building more product and focusing on revenue generating items for your business. Things that that are going toe helped build it in other ways it has additional members of your team out in the field again, I want to talk about how these reps are your partners in your business, they so you do want to make sure that you're partnering with the right people who are going to represent your brand well and really understand your industry as well. So and then too there's also sometimes opportunities to participate in trade shows with your rent. This is something that's very individualized based on the rep and based on their experiences and their shows, like certain reps may get a booth at a trade show, like new york now or one of the others. And they may allow lines in there that they carry to exhibit with them in like, a collective type booth. So not everybody offers that, and again, that's, mostly for independent wraps, because showroom reps have their share. Um, um. But. But it is an additional opportunity where you'd be able to have the exposure of being at a show at a lower cost.

Class Description

Bringing sales representatives on board can be an extremely effective way to grow a wholesale business, but the process of adding reps -- from recruiting to managing to creating a commission structure -- can be overwhelming, and even a little scary.

In this class, you’ll learn how to manage both road and showroom reps so you can spend less time on selling and more time on managing your business and designing new work. You’ll learn:

  • How to start, maintain, and end working relationships with reps 
  • What reps look for when scouting lines and ways to pitch effectively 
  • How much reps cost and when they’re paid 
  • How to frame contracts, structure agreements, and keep good records 
  • Ways to communicate clearly and effectively with your reps 
This class will give you a clear view of what a wholesale business looks like with sales representatives in the picture, and the tools you need to bring reps aboard and ensure a positive working relationship. 


Heather Bublick

Katie is so knowledgeable​!!! Everything in the class is so helpful and the workbook is amazing! This is beyond worth the price!

Tracy Clarke

Going into this class I knew nothing about sales reps. I now know that my business isn't ready for a sales rep. However, that is so useful in itself. Plus, now I know just when I'll be ready to expand and hire a rep. And when that time comes, I know about how the relationship will work. So great to learn all these things ahead of time.

Katy Casey

Loved the class and the interview with a sales rep. I'm not even at the point where I would consider hiring one yet, but it was still so valuable to hear the insights and start planning for the future.