Most inventors need to sell their product through sales reps primarily because they don’t have the market contacts they need to sell the product on their own. Reps are always interested in finding new lines, but that doesn’t mean it is easy to sign them up. Reps are only interested in your line if they will make money from it and your product will add to their reputation. So don’t take it for granted that you will easily land reps. Instead be prepared to create your best opportunity for success.
Whether you develop you own list of reps, (http://onestopinventionshop.net/blog/2011/02/setting-up-a-sales-rep-network/) or buy a rep list (one stop invention shop has a large number of rep lists for sale http://onestopinventionshop.net/books/sales-reps/), you have to start by getting the reps interest. Often, even reps in your area, or reps recommended by retailers in your area will ask for some information prior to talking further with you. The best way to respond is through email. But don’t load the email up with a lot of attachments. Instead put everything in the body of the email, including the pictures. Remember your goal in the first email is not to sell the rep on the idea of carrying the product, the goal is just to get them to talk further with you. I found the short simple email gets you the best results. Try to cut down the file size of all the pictures so that the email opens as quickly as possible.
Your email should include:
Once you have a representative interested start by checking them out to show your professionalism.
Ask the following questions:
If the rep looks promising then you have three options.
As you probably already know, the more steps you take to land a rep the better off you are. Reps can sell a product for you for years and the upfront costs to get them started is very important.
Most of this work can be done over the phone, but if at all possible I recommend you visit your first one or two potential reps in person. You may be doing something wrong, you may have items you have neglected, or there might be steps you could take to improve your chances. All of these items might come out in a personal visit while they might not come out in a phone call. The other reason for a personal visit is that reps are often reluctant to take on a product line where you don’t have any other reps or an established network of retailers. A personal visit gives you a chance to build rapport with reps and that rapport might help you land your first rep.
Be sure to visit the page http://onestopinventionshop.net/books/sales-reps/ to see what types of rep lists are available from One Stop Invention Shop for $24.99 each.