How do you interview for a Company Representative?
July 18, 2013 1:14 PM   Subscribe

I have a meeting with an overseas company, to discuss their need for an east coast representative. They are expanding. It is a high-end, energy efficient product. I have some knowledge in the area, and the product, but more as a consumer, never as a rep, (with ANYONE) We have worked together a bit, but this would be a new role, relationship. I need some clues on how this might go; how might it be structured? what will they expect? how is compensation figured? I am inclined toward keeping my mouth shut, listening, and asking a few relevant questions. Interview hints 101.
posted by ebesan to Work & Money (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Other than general good interview preparation (research the company and the product, read the job description carefully and be able to relate your experience to the key points etc), as a company rep, the most important thing they'll probably want to know is what relationships do you already have that you can leverage in representing their product. For instance if you know that the company has been trying to sell to [Large Target Customer], who do you already know at [Large Target Customer] that would be in a position to help your new company sell to that customer, or if you don't have a pre-existing relationship, what strategy would you employ to get their product in there.
posted by TwoWordReview at 1:31 PM on July 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

It sounds like it's basically a sales job. So they will want to know what relationships you bring to the table, what experience you have selling to the customers they want to reach, what sales experience you have in general, etc. In general, they need to be convinced you can create revenue for them.

Will you be an employee or a independent rep? An employee will probably get some sort of base plus commission set up, and independent rep will almost certainly be 100% commission.
posted by COD at 2:46 PM on July 18, 2013

I think it's correct to mostly listen. But here are some topics that at some point should be discussed:

- Make sure it's clear whether you get credit (commission) for all sales in the territory so there are no misunderstandings if they make some direct sales in the territory that you are not handling

- Will you get a base salary or a "draw" against commissions

- Will you have a sales quota or target, and will your commission be on any kind of a scale

- What expenses will they cover (car, gas/mileage, phone, internet, hotel, etc.)

- Will you have a contract so they can't just dump you as soon as you land some good customers

- What's their long term plan - for example, do they want to set up their own sales office eventually?

- What kind of communication do they expect to have with you (frequency, method, time of day/night, etc.) and what kind of reporting about your activity do they want from you

- What kind of training and support (marketing, technical, etc.) will they provide to you as part of your sales efforts

- What kind of support will they provide to the customers that you develop, what kind of warranty policy, service system, etc.

- How will the logistics of shipping/delivering products work, cargo insurance, etc.

- What kind of product liability (and maybe recall) insurance will they have

- Will they indemnify you against any legal claims that customers might want to bring against you thinking you are an easier target since you are in-country

- How will they handle collecting payment from customers and the problems that sometimes develop with accounts receivable
posted by Dansaman at 5:30 PM on July 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

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