Learning how to become an agent in selling guitar accessories involves knowledge of sales promotion, knowledge of the accessories themselves, as well as a deep understanding of the company, or the companies, making the accessories. While a business degree isn't required, some basic classes or training in sales techniques and business practices helps in this career field.
All manufacturing representatives need some basic equipment, including:
- cell phone
- computer with mobile Internet access
- reliable transportation
- printed order forms
- business cards
- maps or mapping system
- fliers and commercial material for companies
- Establish your manufacturing representative office. How to become an agent in selling guitar accessories involves opening a professional office. You can work out of your house, but you must have all the appropriate business operating licenses for your location. You'll also need a post office box address, a business checking account and insurance for the car you'll drive in your rep job. A professional-looking web site for your company is also a good idea.
- Learn the ropes of a rep. Even though you may not be shadowing a guitar accessories representative, some basic advice from a rep helps in figuring out some potential pitfalls of the job. It also is a good experience to plan your point of sales attack. How to become an agent in selling guitar accessories involves shadowing several reps during a typical week.
- Research guitar accessory companies. Do your due diligence in picking out great companies to represent. Problems in how to become an agent in selling guitar accessories may include loving items that are already represented by another agent in your geographic region. You have two options; move to a new geographic region or wait until the old rep quits or moves up in the company. Not great choices, but there is a third option. Work for a company you like, but don't love in representing and selling accessories. This provides the experience to move into your choice rep job when it opens up.
- Decide on commission rate. Figure out your business costs and what you need to net from a commission. Some companies have so much business that reps work only for one company but most reps have a variety of complimentary companies that require travel to the same stores. For instance, a guitar accessory salesperson might rep strings for one company, straps for another and cases and shells from a third company. The rep offerings for new companies may not be so simple. Your company might need to represent guitar strings, drum thrones and guitar amps to put together enough products to make a living. Don't count on a one company gig. Those jobs usually go to experienced representatives.
- Approach guitar accessory companies. Once you've identified your target guitar accessories and have some experience in the field, approach the target company. Send a letter of introduction, with a resume, and then follow up with a personal call. Expect to start at the bottom, especially if you've never worked full time as a rep before.
- Hit the road as a representative. Becoming an agent in selling guitar accessories involves flexibility and constant adaptation. In poor economic times, you may need to expand your territory to cover more stores, reduce your commission or work out of a trade mart far from home for part of the year. Re-evaluate your goals every year to make sure your rep business is not a labor of love and continues to make enough to live on each year.