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Sales Rep, waste of money? or money maker?

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moody glasgowSales Rep, waste of money? or money maker?
by on Dec 5, 2008 at 7:55:08 pm

Just wanted to get everyone's opinion on hiring a Sales Rep. Honestly, we've never had one (or needed one, as some think), but I'm curious if they are worthwhile at bringing in business. What kind of experiences have you had with them? I don't think I've heard one good story about a sales rep... :)


moody glasgow

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Timothy J. AllenRe: Sales Rep, waste of money? or money maker?
by on Dec 7, 2008 at 2:15:47 am

There was a thread a few month back that debated the value of a sales rep versus an administrative assistant.

Opinions vary, but if you bring a sales rep on board, I'd advise that:
A) You make sure they understand your business' value proposition and what you can and can't deliver
B) They work on straight commission for a period of time before you enter a longer term agreement.

Most of the seasoned folks on this board would tell you not to spend money on your business unless it's going to bring more money back. Rent until you can prove that it's cheaper to own, and ALWAYS get your agreements in writing. Bringing someone in is a lot easier than parting ways, so just make sure expectations are clearly spelled out.

If you aren't comfortable selling yourself or you figure out that from a financial standpoint your time is better spent doing other things, a professional sales rep just might be the right choice for you.

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Chris BlairRe: Sales Rep, waste of money? or money maker?
by on Dec 7, 2008 at 3:38:11 am

Over the past year we've had some experience with sales reps. In 2004 we decided to move from just being a production company to a full-blown communications company that does print, buys media etc.

The clients we bought media for were beginning to take up just about all of my partner's time, and he found he didn't have time to run the company. So we decided to hire an account rep. The first guy we tried was right out of college, very bright, nice looking, and personable. The agreement was he'd immediately get an existing car dealer group account (4 dealers) with a base salary plus a modest commission off the media placed for them; but, he had to bring in other work if he wanted to make more money and keep working for us.

We tried it for 9 months and it just didn't work. He didn't bring in a single piece of additional billable work, and while he did a decent job on the existing account, we couldn't justify his salary vs. the revenue that was coming in on just that one account. He was a nice guy but just didn't have enough initiative.

Problem was, we still needed someone to handle these accounts. So now we're using a person who used to be a marketing director for a large retail company. We pay her commission only on what she handles. She has another part-time small business now and handles the dealer group account from home. She has brought in a couple of new jobs, but it's not like there's been a boon of new business. But...I believe this is the way to go if you're going to add an account person. We're not outlaying much for the services, and she gets paid for only for the work she does with the dealer or what she brings in.

I do believe an experienced, savvy salesperson could easily sell our services and make a very nice living. But finding that person and convincing them to come to work for you is a tough sell.

Chris Blair
Magnetic Image, Inc.
Evansville, IN

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James BradyRe: Sales Rep, waste of money? or money maker?
by on Dec 8, 2008 at 3:22:43 am

I have wanted to hire a sales rep for years. Seems every body wants to get paid, but no body wants to work.

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