What questions should I ask a rep before making a hiring decision?

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After industry knowledge, product technology knowledge, understanding that customer face to face interaction And doing the right activity better than the completion and more frequent than the completition is the key. Then finally I focus on CHARACTER. A person of character can learn... so just a question of the starting point to determine is that 6 months, a year or 2+

Well said Chirs Greco!. I agree 100% wit one proviso. A re p like myself has just been changing market focus to go with eco friendly personal care products. So, the product tech knowledge is less important in my opinion than Character and enthusiasm. I think any rep needs at least a commitment of one year for both sides to see if there is a good fit. Remember that agents are, as a rule, entrepreneurs who run their business to make a profit and every hour counts. Great agents are not going to just carry a product that does not produce for them as well as you

I always like to ask what their process is for getting a new brand out to their customers and how they work with their manufacturers. This helps me understand them and see if they align with my expectations. As a manufacturer, I want to know the best way to communicate and work with them so I am informed and they feel supported but not smothered. I want to know what they feel they need from us to do the best job for us and also I like to hear what makes a good manufacturer for them. Not all reps (or manufacturers) operate the same way - it is a 2-way interview. The fit needs to be there from both sides. I also agree that Character and Enthusiasm are key factors for success and they cannot be taught or trained. Best Wishes!

Jamie McNaughton

McNaughton Incorporated

I agree with Chris. One last question that I ask myself (as a rep) is "is this is a product I can get excited to sell? Why?"

As a company owner you want to make sure the character and industry reputation checks out; and you also want to make sure that they are motivated and excited to sell your product.

You would be surprised at the number of reps I know that really do not like the product/vendors they represent.

Has the rep had any experience in your product field? Has he or she called on the target retailers that you have in mind that will buy your product ?
Most important is their past track record - check out his or her references with other suppliers - and possible retail buyers - and with your own interview-
Are they reliable?
Do they tell the truth?
Do they perform?
Do they need direct supervision or can they operate on their own?
How long did they need to accomplish your goals for them?
What motivates them ?
Do they wear well with customers?
What is a fair amount of time to agree on for them to prove themselves with you or you part ways ?
Therefore, determine what equals success or failure for you with them.
Jimmy Golding
Dynamic Marketing Inc.

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