MY GARAGE IS FULL! I need to SELL SELL SELL!
Once you have built your idea into a living breathing product, tested the marketplace and are ready for the next step, it’s often good to think about working with a sales broker to learn the retail ropes. Over time, when sales increase and your finances can support it, you can consider taking your accounts back in house for servicing, but nothing will be more valuable than having a broker or rep around to coach you through the first few years. Many are open to negotiation on their fees and the duration of their commission. As long as you are rewarding their upfront risk, it will be one of the best relationships you have.
Here are a few things to think about when hiring a sales rep:
1. Find a Niche – Look for someone who knows your industry and represents other similar products. They will know the buyers and departments better and have a good idea on margins, competition, packaging requirements etc….
2. Be Retail Ready -Understand all the things you need to have in place to service big accounts (edi, barcodes, logistics, insurance, product testing, slotting fees etc..)
3. Be Available – You will not succeed if you just hire a rep and walk away! Be there to respond to their needs and questions quickly and efficiently. When they have a buyer interested they need your full support to close the deal. Its also best to attend meetings with them when you can and build your own relationships with accounts along side them. Buyers love to meet the inventor and final decision maker.
4. Drive Demand – Your rep will be twice as successful with the right amount of marketing support to show retailers. They want to know what your plan is for driving traffic into their store. Have that support in place.
5. Be Flexible – Not all accounts or brokers are created equal. Its ok to negotiate on things and even sometimes say NO. Maybe you agree to a retailers request for a lower everyday price if they will take in a display or commit to a higher volume. Each location will have different objectives in how they service their own customers. Its a great thing to give your rep some wiggle room in closing the deal. Know where your lines but be ready to allow some creative thinking to happen so everyone comes out smiling and making money!
WHO I SUGGEST?
I’m working on more inventions of my own and also helping my clients secure distribution and have developed some great relationships. THAT BEING SAID…. I really suggest you try to do 2 big things first before you approach any of these people: 1: BUILD A KILLER SALE PRESENTATION – 2: TRY TO SELL YOUR PRODUCT YOURSELF FIRST (you make more money and you learn SO much)
Here are a few places you can name drop me and see if you get a bite for representation. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t hear back right away from these cool people (or anyone). It may mean your product is not a good fit or they just are not taking any new accounts on right now. Keep trusting your product, pivoting to find your best formula for success and living each day in front of you to the very best potential!
1. Michelle Tucker
2. Jim DeBetta
3. Rick Valderrama
813.867.7500 ext 101
Skype – rick_valderrama
Simply Sales Solutions
5. Romy Taormina