Join Free! | Login    
   Popular! Books, Stories, Articles, Poetry
Where Authors and Readers come together!


Featured Authors:  Jack Harney, iHank LeGrand, iRonald Yates, iJanet Caldwell, iEdie Batstone, iDavid Hearne, iShoma Mittra, i

  Home > Education/Training > Articles Popular: Books, Stories, Articles, Poetry     

Sandy Dell

· + Follow Me
· Contact Me
· Books
· Articles
· 11 Titles
· Save to My Library
· Share with Friends!
Member Since: Nov, 2010

Sandy Dell, click here to update your pages on AuthorsDen.

Featured Book
Death with Dignity: The Case For Legalizing Physician-Assist
by Robert Orfali

“Orfali approaches this agonizing subject with common sense informed by extensive research and an acute sensitivity to the dilemmas faced by dying patients and their fami..  
BookAds by Silver
Gold and Platinum Members

What is a Manufacturer's Representative?
by Sandy Dell   
Rated "G" by the Author.
Last edited: Friday, November 12, 2010
Posted: Thursday, November 11, 2010

  Print   Save    Follow    Share 

Recent articles by
Sandy Dell

Is Working as a Sales Representative for You?
Setting Up Your Independent Sales Representative Business
Wholesale Sales Rep Gives Tips on Selling to Gift Shops
Where to Find Sales Representatives for Your Gift Products
Who are the Different Entities Involved with Selling to Gift Shops?
Top Ten Reasons Why Gift Store Buyers Might Reject Handcrafted Products
Six Steps to Preparing for a Gift Store Sales Presentation
           >> View all

A Manufacturer’s Representative, also called manufacturer’s agent, manufacturer’s rep, sales representative, or sales rep – or more commonly, just “rep” – is a self-employed salesperson who contracts direct selling and marketing services to one or more related, but normally non-competitive, companies in a particular industry.

The job of a rep is basically to “represent” the manufacturer’s, distributor’s, or importer’s line of products to prospective buyers, who could be retailers, wholesalers, distributors, or service businesses, depending upon the industry and/or product line. As part of that service, they call on and present the client’s products in a positive light (as a way to solve the buyer’s needs), answer questions, offer materials and information, and ask for orders and re-orders in person, or by phone, fax, or email. Increasingly, web sites are a way to service wholesale buyers.

Sales reps sometimes just represent one company, where they might be paid a base plus commission. More often, however, independent reps serve multiple companies who share an interest in marketing to a category of buyers that the rep calls upon regularly. Reps are usually given a specific (and often exclusive) territory, so customers are not confused by multiple competing sales representatives, and to honor the hard work done by a good rep.

In the gift industry, you will find that most rep clients will be manufacturers, but sometimes distributors or importers. Your customers – the businesses you sell to – will be retailers who purchase gift lines for resale to the public. The type of products you sell, and the categories of retailers you sell to, will depend on many factors, and we will discuss those issues as we travel together through this book.

As a gift sales rep, you will spend much time traveling to, and visiting with, prospective buyers and current customers. During those visits, you will show samples and/or catalogs that describe the products, pricing, payment terms, and merchandising suggestions. Often as a sales rep, you have the opportunity to share trade information and help solve specific sales problems for the customers. Sales reps exist that target virtually every size of gift retailer from small mom-and-pop stores to large “big box” retailers, including chains. All these reps want to show and sell the newest, most attractive or innovative products on the market (plus, of course, profitable standbys).  As a rep, you save buyers significant time and expense by showing several lines during your visits, and always, they want to know “what is new”! (You WILL hear this question a lot!)

On the other side of the equation, sales reps probably qualify as the lowest cost option for manufacturers interesting in expanding sales regionally or nationally. Independent reps operate as a contract sales person, or in the case of rep “groups”, as a contract sales force, working on a strictly commission basis, minimizing overhead for a producer. Whereas an in-house sales force could cost a potential manufacturer $75,000 to $100,000 per person, with travel expenses – regardless of sales volume – an independent rep only gets a check when they produce sales for the manufacturer.  Since reps can be found in virtually every geographic area in the US, opportunities for a low cost national roll-out are endless, for those manufacturers who choose to grow in this fashion.

Although selling is your first and main responsibility as a sales rep, associated tasks include processing and tracking orders, keeping running records of your income and expenses (for the IRS, and for your own protection from unscrupulous clients), scheduling travel, and making appointments.  Sales reps often attend trade shows on behalf of clients, to showcase new products and open new accounts. Often you will find yourself as a consultant, making new product recommendations, or product revisions, based on customer feedback. Unfortunately, not every manufacturer uses good business practices. Since you will work with many companies, you often will see what works… and what does not. You will learn tactful ways to suggest companies change procedures or policies that are costing them business.

Sales reps differ from wholesalers or distributors who purchase and take actual possession of products at below wholesale costs, and in larger volume. Reps actually are a representative of the manufacturer or other producer, so are not as clearly a separate “middleman”. We do not pay for product and then resell the product at a higher price. We work purely on a commission on the wholesale invoice value billed to the customer.

As a sales rep, your purpose is to introduce, educate and take orders for product lines and receive a commission as compensation, rather than making your money on the price differential between buying and selling prices.

Sometimes you will also hear the term “inside” versus “outside” sales rep. This merely means that the rep works for wages (which might be base plus commission) for the producer company ONLY, or they are “outside” reps, working outside the payroll of the company, but still representing the company as an independent. Sometimes the terms are also used to differentiate between reps that answer the phone for “inbound” customer sales calls, and reps that travel on the road to make sales calls on site. In the latter case, both the inside and outside salespeople, would be employees of the company, exclusively selling that one line.

(For more information on opportunities and information on this industry, visit the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2006-07 Edition, “Sales Representatives, Wholesale and Manufacturing”, on the Internet at


Web Site: Gift Rep Sandy

Want to review or comment on this article?
Click here to login!

Need a FREE Reader Membership?
Click here for your Membership!

Popular Education/Training Articles
  1. Through the Eyes of a Rapist
  2. 20 Writing Tips for Better Results
  3. Stratagemical Thoughts or 'Playing the Gam
  4. Yellow Journalism
  5. The Astrological Attributes of Peace
  6. Shocking statistics for US student loan de
  7. Germany Offers Free College Tuition to U.S
  8. Did You Know?
  9. Ill-fitting Saddles will Cause your Horses
  10. Beating Writer's Block

The Education Jungle: How To Motivate, Educate and Graduate by Will Clark

Education for our children will never be improved, or really effective, while national education policies maintain its tight grip on our education system. Their education programs ..  
BookAds by Silver, Gold and Platinum Members

Jump Starting Your Inner Novelist: Published! by JE Thompson

Jump Starting Your Inner Novelist is a concise manual that provides inspiration, motivation and practical tools for crafting award-winning novels. ..  
BookAds by Silver, Gold and Platinum Members

Authors alphabetically: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Featured Authors | New to AuthorsDen? | Add AuthorsDen to your Site
Share AD with your friends | Need Help? | About us

Problem with this page?   Report it to AuthorsDen
© AuthorsDen, Inc. All rights reserved.