QUESTION ON How To Find Sales Reps For Greeting Cards Business
Where can I find reps to carry my unique Pregnancy Announcement Cards? I have already designed the cards, but I need help in distributing my greeting card line and getting them on the shelves of the retailers.
Advice by Tammy Harrison
Find them right in front of your nose! Who is your target audience? Looks like people who are expecting, or people who expect to be expecting! Am sure you have a database of your customers — put a nice note together and mail it to them, see if there’s interest in them working with you. How fun to have a pregnant woman walk around showing others how they can enjoy your cards! I work with a lot of moms, and women who want to work from home. Most don’t want “jobs”, they want something to do that brings them an income, but still allows them to be with their children. Were it me, I’d create a new promotion of some type — the “Make Mommy Friends” marketing campaign (or something like that).
Plan it out, from what you will offer for compensation, to how the product will be ordered (giving the rep credit) and how the product will be shipped. Plan your marketing materials in the same way, step by step. Talk to women who have ordered and love your product, and see what it would take for them (if they were interested) to work with you. I have found that the most important thing women want, when working from home, is the trust that they are completely supported by the company they work with. You must plan to “be there” if they need help with orders, motivation to get sales, etc.
The biggest disappointment to most home-based salespeople is that their sales dry up when the excitement wears off — so, getting leads to them is another issue, as well as showing them how to sell, where to sell, what it takes to be successful, etc. You really become a “mom” to your representatives! Also, be sure you plan promotions, a sliding commission scale, etc. That is a huge factor to getting and keeping motivated representatives — and territories, oh, yes, that’s a big one! You don’t want two of the same diner’s on the same block, and the same goes for folks working from home.
Take some time to look at how other companies set up their businesses. Although, one may be inclined to just “hire a rep”, there is so much preparation that must be done to make sure the offer is worth taking — on both sides! Though you’ll see a lot of MLMs, you won’t have to set yours up in the same way — but you can certainly see what looks the “best” to you and what is right for your business.
If you’re willing to invest in a little money (which will be tax-deductible as part of your business expenses), the Greeting Card Association sells a Greeting Card Representatives Directory for $95 for non-members, and $50 for members. If you are really intent in moving your greeting card business, I suggest you join the Greeting Card Association http://www.greetingcard.org, which is the trade association in the United States of the greeting card and stationary industry. They run an annual GCA Convention where you’ll meet the movers and shakers in the industry and expand your contacts.
Wishing you the best!
Recommended Resources on How To Find Sales Reps For Greeting Cards
- Pushing the Envelope: The Small Greeting Card Manufacturer’s Guide to Working with Sales Reps
- Shooting & Selling Your Photos: The Complete Guide to Making Money with Your Photography
- Discover Your Sales Strengths: How the World’s Greatest Salespeople Develop Winning Careers
- Topgrading for Sales: World-Class Methods to Interview, Hire, and Coach Top SalesRepresentatives
Article originally published in December 2001. Updated March 3, 2012Tammy Harrison is a successful home-based working mom for over five years. She holds a degree from Mizzou in Consumer Economics. Her business focuses on Marketing and Creativity for Small Businesses as well as numerous other small businesses.