Know Thyself

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As your business grows, you'll need help with sales. In most cases, the best way to handle this is by hiring a sales representative. Following are some ways to make that task a little easier:

  • Know the difference between dedicated salespeople and representatives. A dedicated salesperson is someone who works for you or your company to sell your products. A representative is someone who represents your line of products or services but is an independent contractor who works for other companies as well. Keep that difference in mind while you're interviewing.
  • Find out what other companies the representative sells for. Know what products and services he or she is selling along with yours, and make sure you're comfortable with them selling those products or services. In addition, make sure they're not overextended.
  • Select an individual who needs very little supervision. Because the person doesn't work directly for you, find a salesperson whom you feel you don't have to monitor closely.
  • Look for enthusiasm for your product. All salespeople should be upbeat. Your representative, however, must be especially enthusiastic about your product or service because he or she will be representing other companies, too.
  • Ask for references, and check his or her background. The biggest mistake sales managers make when hiring someone for any sales position is trusting their gut instincts. Check the individual out thoroughly. Remember, he or she will be representing you and your company.

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