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?
- What type of commission arrangement do you work by?
- Straight commission?
- At what percent? (Of net or gross page rate?)
- Draw against commission?
- What are the basic terms of the contract you work by?
- Length of contract?
- Exclusive sales representative?