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How to find a Food Sales Representative

Food companies make one of the largest trade groups in the United States. Dealing with millions of food products, companies have to meet with wholesalers, food service retailers, retail outlets operators, food chains and other players in the supply chain that deal with food items. 

The wholesalers and retailers don’t get to meet the food manufacturer; the food sales representative serves as the face of the brand and the manufacturer. The person must be able to sell the brand in the best way possible as this can affect the reception of the product by the other players in the supply chain.

Who is a Food Sales Rep?

A food sales rep is a professional who acts as the image or face of a vendor or food manufacturer. The sales rep is basically out to sell the vendor’s or manufacturer’s food products. 

The food sales rep is responsible for meeting clients, maintaining relationships with existing ones, consulting on new products and setting prices. Food sales rep discuss with procurement representatives from other institutions such as restaurants, schools, retail outlets, and government organizations.

Food sales reps must have a thorough understanding of their clients’ needs. Particularly important is the client’s budget, food specialty, goals, and concerns. For instance, if the client is ordering for a conference, the food sales rep must be able to get a clear picture of the audience, variety, and how large the audience might be. The budget is also important as it shows what the client is working with and expecting.

How to Become a Food Sales Rep?

Keep Up with Industry Trends

A food sales rep must keep up with food trends, competitors, and pricing for similar products. The sales rep must be able to paint the picture that her company is ahead of the competition and it has distinct qualities its competitors don’t have. This knowledge will require extensive research, but it is worth it.

Get Sales Skills

It is essential that a sales rep acquire some skills. Several of these are classic sales skills that have proven to be effective for decades. They are:

  • Desire for lead generation and sales
  • Optimism and strong work ethic
  • Efficiency
  • Tenacity
  • Empathy and listening ears
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Relationship building and maintenance skills

Gather Some Field Experience

Due to the complexity that food sales can involve, employers prefer to hire experienced sales rep. Experienced food sales reps know how to get a prospect involved in the company and can keep in touch with them to make them repeat customers. There is a lot that goes into having the needed sales skills. They come with experience. Thus, gain experience. You can intern in a sales department or get involved in a sales program.

Do Customer Research Well

You should be able to anticipate the needs of a customer and know how best to position yourself for that deal. This requires some customer research. 

Final words…

This is an industry that requires a lot of interaction with prospects. Even though the internet has made things easier, the place of interaction with the customer cannot be displaced. 

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