Our foreign trade consultancy has been selecting and managing networks of multi-portfolio sales agents in France for more than 30 years. Here we give you some of the keys to appropriate selection in order to avoid -among many others things- investing human and economic resources in erroneous decisions.
The following points should be dealt with almost immediately with a potential sales agent in France, as they are the keys to understanding their activity and whether they are a good match for our offer and needs:
- The brands/factories they represent
- The clients they visit
- The geographical area they cover
- The exclusivity they have with these brands
- The salary/commission you work with
As defined in Article L.134-1 of the French Trade Code, a sales agent is a person who works independently and negotiates and executes sales, purchase, rental or service contracts in the name and on behalf of producers, industrialists, traders or other sales agents.
This independence side of it is the key to understanding the relationship between sales agents and the company they represent. It is the duty of the company represented to provide the sales agent with all the necessary tools required for the sale of the product and/or service, as well as to respond to all requests it considers necessary within an agreed timeframe. However, it will not be able to demand the same responsibilities or tasks as a salaried salesperson.
In any case, regardless of their independence, in order to guarantee long-term relationships it is important to identify sales agents that are adapted to the way in which the company works. So in addition to the five aspects mentioned above, we recommend that you consider the following:
- Analyse their professional profile: What experience do they have in the sector? Do they have technical or sales experience? How long have they been a sales agent? Are they used to travelling? If the product has a complex technical aspect to it, the agent will need to have good technical knowledge.
- Find out their personality: It is very important to work with an agent with whom you can communicate easily. Given that they will be working remotely, it is important to be on the same wavelength from the beginning and ensure communication is smooth. If this is not the case, bear in mind that this is unlikely to change during the relationship either. On your side, as the company represented, don’t forget to be professional, proactive, and consistent.
- Agent or agency: Ensure you understand the organisation and agency staff if there is a team.
- Do your sales figures: We advise you to look at the turnover from the last five years at least. You need to know how your business has progressed before starting a new partnership.
how we can help you
At International Team Consulting, we provide you with valuable, industrial sector know-how, just as we have done for more than a hundred Spanish, French, German, English, Italian, Portuguese, American and Moroccan industrial companies in the process of exporting to destinations in international markets since 1995.
Contact our international consulting advisors for more information on our sales and export services for industrial companies in international markets.