Sales Agents: How Can They Facilitate International Trade?

Date: 12/02/2019
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What is a sales agent? 

Sales Agents are independent professionals, who are employed by businesses to sell their products and services on their behalf.

They usually specialise in a specific sector and a good Sales Agent should foster close working relationships with the businesses they work for.

Sales Agents are not salaried employees but independent sellers, and the relationship between the Agent and the Business should be thought of as B2B rather than employee and employer.

What are the advantages of using Sales Agents in foreign markets? 

  • Low cost: there are no hiring costs as they aren’t salaried employees, agents’ commission can be worked in to the selling cost of the product or service.
  • Low management: Sales Agents are essentially self-employed, and require only a few emails a week or phone calls to check-in.
  • Extended customer base: good Sales Agents will already have an extensive portfolio of clients and knowledge of the market. This allows the businesses who employ them to instantly access a wide variety of potential customers.
  • Credibility: Sales Agents should have good business networks and personal connections with the right people in the business to sell to. A professional Sales Agent will have built good relationships over time and understand the companies that they are selling to.
  • Local knowledge: when selling abroad, language and business culture can be the main barriers to selling. However, by using a local Sales Agent, businesses can get around these issues and capitalise on someone who thoroughly knows the market they are working in.

To summarise, Sales Agents can be a great option for businesses who want to avoid the risks and costs of hiring a full-time employee overseas. Local knowledge and contacts can ensure your product is sold to the right people at the right companies for your business.

The Chamber can put you in touch with reputable overseas agents, please email exportbritain@gmchamber.co.uk to find out more.