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Old July 19th, 2009, 11:21 AM   #1 (permalink)
ingeneren ingeneren is offline
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Talking sales reps

anyone using outside sales reps services? I have found that I like to focus on quality embroidery and can't do it all. I researched MANA, Replocator and several other sales rep organizations but found that they really don't service the embroidery niche that I want to expand on.

What are your thoughts???
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Old July 20th, 2009, 03:36 PM   #2 (permalink)
Eric Eric is offline
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Default Re: sales reps

I use outside sales rep's ... I found all mine off of places like Craigslist or other various industry boards. You can also try RepLocate.com try some of the screen printing guild websites, the reps there typically know how to sell embroidery.

I would rather my Rep's NOT have experience selling embroidery, that way you can train and "mold" them the way you want to. I have about 35 rep's working for me across the US.
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Old July 21st, 2009, 09:08 AM   #3 (permalink)
Earl Smith Earl Smith is offline
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Default Re: sales reps

An interesting post.
You are a mine of useful information , Eric. Once you have found your "Rep" how do they work? Are they paid a percentage or do they get a set fee? Must you pay a fee regardless of them bringing in work?
I am asking these questions as I am looking at ways to expand my business but dont want to commit to too many extra costs.

Earl.
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Old July 22nd, 2009, 10:03 PM   #4 (permalink)
Eric Eric is offline
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Default Re: sales reps

My rep's are paid a commission percentage... I pay them 12% straight commission, on an order that they write personally for the customer. If their customer calls the order into our office then the rep gets paid 5%, I do this because it makes sure the reps keep on top of the customers needs.

I also pay bonuses to my rep's. I pay a $100 bonus to any rep that gets a new customer, I pay an additional $100 bonus if that new customer spends over $2,500 within the first year of opening their account.

Also, at the end of the calendar year, I pay my reps a bonus of $2,500 for every $1 million in sales.

Every February, we have an annual "sales meeting" in Las Vegas for a long weekend, which I pay for, to go over the year in review, discuss new products and trends. Share sales tactics, and all that other crap for a day. lol, then they have the rest of the weekend to party and relax, or do whatever.

Of course ... start small. Find one rep, start with someone that is typically outside your clientele "range" but still close enough to you, so you can meet with them for a little coaching and what not. Then slowly grow outward.
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Old July 22nd, 2009, 10:25 PM   #5 (permalink)
Tyrko Tyrko is offline
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Default Re: sales reps

- Can I come work for you ????

If you don't mind me asking, how long have you been in biz? How old are you?

You have single people that sell over $1m worth of stuff for you in a single year!?!?

I'm just blown away, I'm gonna PM you ........ we need to talk. lol
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Old July 22nd, 2009, 10:53 PM   #6 (permalink)
Eric Eric is offline
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Default Re: sales reps

LOL ... I'm looking for an Alaska rep, Lots of tourists. They need hoodies, its cold there!

I'm 27, and most people give me the OMG, you're only 27. So I'll explain, the business is mine, I built it from scratch. I was originally going to school at Culinary Institute where we have to wear our chef's jackets to every class, well, as people either lost them, ruined them, or just wanted extra cause they didn't want to do laundry, the school store would charge us like $60 bucks for a plain ol' Dickies jacket, with our name and class embroidered on the Left chest.

I thought it was totally ridiculous, SO, I used to tell my friends to go to work n' gear and buy the SAME jacket for $20, give me $5 and I'll put your name on it with my grandmother's viking. Then, one thing lead to another, and here I am.

Yes, however, you must realize in addition to custom embroidery for other businesses, I also have a full wholesale merchandise line that I wholesale to other retailers. Its already made, they just buy the items with the designs already on them and put them in their store.

I am working on a retail web site as we speak for direct to consumer. Should be online just in time for Christmas.
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Old July 23rd, 2009, 02:24 PM   #7 (permalink)
Earl Smith Earl Smith is offline
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Default Re: sales reps

Thanks Eric, certainly gives me food for thought.
How many machines did you have before you enrolled your first rep?
I am stuck in my shop, cannot go out, here from early til late 6 days a week. Enough work to keep me busy but not enough to live on. Life here is more expensive than the US* and we cannot ask for so much for our work. Maximum 30$ per hour per head. Another machine would half my machine time but I still need time for digitising and seeing to customers.
Need to find some way to bring in more business , a rep seems a good idea. Thanks....
Earl.

* Petrol cost 5$ a US gallon.
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Old July 24th, 2009, 04:25 AM   #8 (permalink)
Earl Smith Earl Smith is offline
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Default Re: sales reps

Hi, another thought. Once you have found your rep what do you give them? Do you give them samples of your work (embroidery and print), a set range of stock to sell ( ie ; you only work with Gildan or Hanes), a catalogue from your supplier or tell them to get the customer in direct contact with you? How do you do it?
Sorry, I am being nosey but Im very interested and Id like to know how its done and can see it as a good way to expand my business.
Earl.
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Old July 25th, 2009, 11:10 PM   #9 (permalink)
Eric Eric is offline
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Default Re: sales reps

I do give them an entire sample "kit" which includes brochures, color cards, and they get samples of all kinds of stuff, like, a few different kinds of caps, t-shirts, polos, hoodies, bag's etc ...

They work primarily with the rep's ... they give the reps the artwork, the order, etc. Then the rep sends it in to us. usually by e-mail. Then we send the rep the sample (if the customer asks for a sample) then the rep goes back with the sample, and we make adjustments if necessary.
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Old September 30th, 2009, 03:53 AM   #10 (permalink)
ingeneren ingeneren is offline
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Default Re: sales reps

sorry it has taken so long to reply-- thank you for all the very useful information everyone- I will be using some of your suggestions. I also like the incentive idea-- it is so important to keep your reps motivated.

Thank you everyone.
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