What is a Multi-Line Independent Fastener Manufactures' Sales Rep?
Independent Fastener Manufacturers' representatives are called by many names, but the best way to define one of these firms is to think of it as an outsourced provider of field sales services to multiple fastener manufacturers, master distributors and importers and complementary products.
When a fastener manufacturer, master distributor or a fastener importer determines that an important element of its marketing plan is contacting its customers face-to-face at the customer's location, it has three options:
- Conduct the field sales process with non-sales company executives and managers who sell part-time.
- Hire direct sales employees whose full-time job is to contact customers and service the demands.
- Appoint professional, multiple-line field sales rep firms as strategic partners.
These field sales companies may be known as reps, agents, independent manufacturers' agents or representatives, sales agencies or even brokers. They work primarily on commission and pay their own expenses in return for a contractual agreement to be the "Exclusive Agent" of the manufacturers they represent in a given territory, market or for specific accounts. They profit by leveraging their time so that sales for multiple manufacturers can be made with the same customer, often on the same sales call.
Why sell through professional Multi-Line Independent Fastener Manufacturers Representatives?
- Predictable Sales Costs that Go Up & Down with Sales? The manufacturer and the rep sales agency agree in advance on a set rate of commission and the sales agency pays all selling expenses.
- Lower Sales Costs? It is estimated that today's average industrial fastener factory direct salesperson cost $150,000 a year. Producing $2,000,000 in new sales each year, the cost of sales would be 7.5%. An independent fastener sales rep producing the same sales volume at a 5% commission rate would only cost $100,000.
- Increased Sales? The average fastener factory-direct salesperson is in a territory for approximately two years or less before he or she is promoted, transferred or defects to a competitor for more money. The multi-line independent fastener sales agency has a lifetime commitment to the territory, thus holding better relationships with their customers.
- Immediate Access to the Market Place? Independent fastener sales agencies are an experienced sales team already in the territory. They are familiar with the area and have good prospects ready to consider the new fastener product line. Many agencies have multiple sales personnel and provide much deeper coverage than a single factory direct sales employee. Small, single-person rep agencies can provide excellent coverage in many niche markets!
- FREE consulting services? Most independent fastener sales reps have 15-20 years or more of successful sales and marketing under their belts. Many have held positions in large fastener companies prior to becoming an independent fastener sales rep.
- Cost of Training and Turnover in Sales Personnel is eliminated? A new rep has only to learn your company's products, culture and systems; many agents won't even need product training. All are well-versed in selling skills so you won't have to train them to sell. The average fastener sales agency has been in business in the same territory for over 20 years.
- Highly Experienced, More Aggressive Sales Force? Today's multi-line independent fastener rep is highly educated and trained. Since there is no base salary to rely on, they must sell to live.
- Sales Forecasting is Equal or Superior to a Direct Sales Force? The volume of future sales is no less predictable with sales agents, but it may be better since so many of today's independent fastener sales reps use sales analysis and forecasting methods which are often more sophisticated than those of the manufacturers they represent.
- Broader Sales Context for your Products? Because independent fastener sales reps sell several compatible fastener lines, they call on a wider variety of customers and prospects; often finding applications for products denied the single-line salesperson. The easiest person to sell something to is the customer who is already buying from the independent fastener sales rep!
- Provides Marketing Flexibility at less Cost? Independent fastener sales reps can increase your volume by selling outside your present marketing territory. Fastener reps can also sell a new fastener product line without conflicting with your present sales organization.
- Creates a Systems Approach to Selling? Most fastener buyers today will agree to see and buy from only those salespeople who take problems off their desks and bring opportunities to their attention. The multi-line fastener rep, complementary package of products tends to make sales reps systems oriented rather than a single product oriented. Fastener buyers welcome these consultative sellers.
- Every call is a Relationship Call for your Company? Even when the fastener sales rep doesn't present your product, he or she is cementing the customer relationship which will benefit your company in the future.
- Multi-faceted, Multi-skilled Sales Team? Many multi-line fastener sales reps also have multi-industry experience, some holding professional certifications in a variety of industries.
- Better Market Intelligence? Since many fastener reps carry a mix of fastener products, multi-line agencies have a greater diversity of customers, and often can get wind of industry trends long before a factory-direct salesperson.
- Vested Partner in Manufacturer's Success? Since, as I have mentioned previously, an independent fastener rep must sell to live, their agency is interdependent with your company. Your success is their success!