Independent sales professional, is this an option?
We are throwing around ideas of engaging an independent sales professional to support a new project. Has anyone has any exposure to this or has an awesome referral?
Hi Steve, Sorry, no referral, however we did have a client that engaged us after purchasing a business that had taken this route before him.
It was a nightmare - the sales person was bringing in 50% of the sales.
Managing him was hard (due to his independence) and to just 'get rid of him' meant an instant loss of 50% of the business.
The new business owner was constantly in fear that his 'best' salesperson was going to leave. Along with this his 'best' salesperson often didn't show for appointments where he had to drive too far etc. Basically, he was not switched on to the outcomes of the business - only making the sale so he could earn the commission (which was huge by the way).
He burnt a lot of customers in the process too. It is everything you don't want to deal with as a business owner.
All that said, I know of another business where I went in to do some sales training for them and it worked very well. It was selling a lifestyle product to seniors and the business owner had independent 'sales people' in every state. I suspect they were more like distributors - the way they were given leads (via telemarketers in this case) was very different too.
Not much help I am afraid, however food for thought!
Like anything it is trial and error to find the right one, and when you do it can be tough to retain them as well. The best sales professionals are already are in good work, so can be hard to come by at rate you can budget for. It is best to start with a clear plan on how you will hire and manage them before going to look. Any experience recruiter or HR professional can advise further.
Then exercise all your networks to put the word out.
Great question with no single right answer.
Some will suggest that it is impossible to have an 'outsider' come in and perform sales in a similar fashion to what an external OHS consultant or Business Coach might do.
Others will argue the other way.
There are organisations and individuals who offer the type of solution you have posed in your question and that others have expanded on.
I would be more than happy to have a conversation with you around some strategies that might be of interest to you, at the very least give you a couple of more options.