Questions to Ask

Question: What are you, the publisher, looking for in a sales representative firm?

Answers: (A) Advertising space sales. (B) Ability to work together. (C) Confidence that the representative can and will do the job for you – devote the time and energy necessary. Following is an outline of five subject areas of discussion, with recommended questions, that you should ask a prospective sales representative firm that you are considering for your publication.

1. Sales Representative Firm’s Experience

  • Classifications of advertisers you solicit?
  • Specific examples of advertisers that you are pitching and/or have sold.
  • Types of publications you sell and have sold.

2. How the Sales Representative Firm Works Day-to-Day

  • Do you call on advertisers and ad agencies?
  • Personal sales calls?
  • Telephone sales calls?
  • What is your reporting system for communicating with a publisher?
  • Call reports, memo, fax, telephone, E-mail?
  • Frequency of reporting – weekly, monthly?
  • What does a typical call report contain?
  • What sales materials can/do you develop to supplement your sales efforts.
  • What sales materials would you need from me?

3. Territory Coverage

  • What is the territory you normally cover?
  • How do you cover that territory?

4. Compensation

  • What type of commission arrangement do you work by?
  • Straight commission?
  • At what percent? (Of net or gross page rate?)
  • Draw against commission?
  • Retainer?


  • What are the basic terms of the contract you work by?
  • Length of contract?
  • Exclusive sales representative?