How to find a Contract Manufacturer (CM) Sales Representative
Many manufacturers don’t set out to produce a particular brand of product. They contract with a firm for outsourced manufacturing jobs. It could be packaging or the full manufacturing of a brand’s products. By this business model, the contract manufacturer will quote the parts based on the processes, labor, tooling, and material costs.
However, contract manufacturers (CM) have to bid, most times, for these contracts. Apart from bidding, the companies send their sales reps to the field to network with companies and organizations. The sales reps take catalogs along to pitch to the prospect.
CM sales reps have to be skilled in pitching as it requires a lot of convincing to get a prospect’s commitment to the business relationship.
In a CM company, sales reps are very vital. They bring in the jobs. Thus, they work under a lot of pressure to bring in as many jobs as possible. They are paid according to the jobs they bring in.
Who is a Contract Manufacturing (CM) Sales Rep?
A CM sales rep is a professional that networks with organizations to bring in manufacturing businesses. Many times, agencies and companies want to produce items for sale or souvenirs. They send out invitations to bid to CMs. However, a sales rep who has done enough networking can circumvent this process with good relationships.
How to Become a Contract Manufacturing Sales Rep
Get Some Field Experience
The continual survival of a contract manufacturing company may be dependent on the business brought in by sales reps. This means that well trained sales reps are sent to the field. A greenhorn in sales may not be considered as the job requires some experience and tenacity.
If you are new, you can gain experience from sales programs, internship in a sales department, or a previous job in sales.
This cannot be overemphasized. You need to put in a lot of salesmanship into the job. You must understand how to place your company above the competition, work at meeting new clients, establishing relationships with existing ones, and constantly redefining the brand image to suit present circumstances. Here are some vital sales skills:
- Excellent communication skills
- Rapport building skills
- Relationship building skills
- Active listening skills and empathy
Be Qualified Educationally
Though this is not a job that requires a degree, but some employers may want to employ those with a certification or who have attained an educational level. This is because the caliber of people the sales rep will meet are executives and confidence is a vital part of the sales game. Having a college degree gives the sales rep an edge that other sales rep may not have.
When it comes to sales, a sales rep may be as good as her ability to build relationships. The sales rep must be able to sustain business relationships long after the contract has expired. Little things like holiday greeting cards can be very helpful.
A CM sales rep is a very important person in the lifeline of the contract manufacturer. If contracts don’t come in, the company may go out of business. Thus, high premium is placed on sales reps.