Pros and Cons of sales reps

Hello everyone!

I recently searched the archives of this forum for information
regarding the use and hiring of sales reps. The last posting on this
topic (that I could find) was 5 years ago. Since the economy has
changed so much from then to now, I wondered what the current
thinking is on this topic. I design and create wholesale hand blown
glass jewelry. I have a few dedicated clients and need to branch
out. Making cold calls hasn’t been very successful as most retailers
are still cautious about purchasing an “unknown”. I don’t have the
financial resources to travel to wholesale gift shows, and I’ve been
advised by many not to consign and have my inventory tied up for a
potential sale.

I’ve been approached by a reputable sales rep who takes a 15%
commission. We havn’t made any agreements as we are still waiting to
read her contract. I thought while I’m waiting for her to send it, I
would ask for advice regarding the pros and cons of hiring a sales
rep. If you’ve had experience with one, what is your advice? If
you’ve looked into it and decided against hiring one, what was behind
your choice and how did you market your work?

Many thanks to you all!

Tisha Abrahamsen
Andre Glass


I went to an MJSA seminar a couple of years ago and they cautioned
about contracts with sales agents, especially fine print details.
There was an incident in the past where a sales agent contract stated
that if sales increased XX percent that the sales agent would be
entitled to ownership shares in the company. Sorry I can’t remember
the details.

We have used sales reps over the years and have found the smaller
and shorter the written contract the better the relationship. You
might want to take a look at this article, although it says nothing
about contracts you may find it helpful in making your rep. decision.

Stephen Guyot