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Our aim is to not only be a source of new selling opportunities, but a place of interest with articles, sales industry news, legal advice and information, blogs, training, tips on selling, recommendations of books, help and advice, sales guru’s to follow and an exclusive and closed forum for you to chat to other like-minded sales professionals that are already selling as sales agents, or are looking to become one.

New August 2018: You can now choose to be visible to principals looking for sales agents, so you have a head start on finding the best opportunities. We’ll promote the best agent profiles to over 500 companies/principals. We’ll not share your contact information – only the “pitch” you summit in the form below – and we’ll let you know when a company wants to talk to you.

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What is a sales agent?

A sales agent is a sales person that works on a self-employed basis receiving payment in the form of commissions only for the sales they make.

Who does a sales agent work for?

Sales agents work for themselves. They are responsible for paying their own taxes, national insurance and expenses, and for invoicing the commission they are due to receive.

So who pays the commissions?

The companies that sales agent sell for are called Principles. Principles pay the sales agent commissions at an agreed rate

What commissions can sales agents expect to receive?

Commission rates range from company to company and can even vary within a company for varying products and services. Generally speaking, the commission paid depends on what you are selling and the margins available for a company to give.

As a guide, if you are selling high value items and you have to wait for the sale to go through long processes then 20% – 30% is reasonable. Bear in mind you may have to wait longer for your commission.

If you are selling products or services that have a quick turnover, high volume and even repeat orders then you can expect around 5-20% but you should expect to see the commission sooner.

There may be instances where you are paid for the initial sale and are also paid a % on future orders too. This is a good way to build up a monthly income. Check to see if you are expected to encourage future sales or account manage for this monthly commissions.

What qualifications do I need?

None! You need sales experience. If you know you are a good sales person, you will succeed at being a sales agent. So long as you are self-motivated, plan well and have the right agency.

What is an agency?

An agency is a contract between you and the Principle, where you agree to sell for the Principle and the Principle agrees to pay you commissions for what you sell.

Who should provide the agency agreement?

The Principles will supply the agency agreement, but you must read this carefully and ensure you are happy with the terms and conditions.

What should I look out for in the agreement?

The EU Commercial Agent Directive 1993 was created to protect the sales agent and give them more rights. Agency agreements should take these points into consideration. For a summary of the agreement (not the official document, please see here).

What else should I check before signing an agreement?

  • Ensure that the agreement covers the points mentioned in the EU directive for Commercial Agents 1993
  • Are the products still selling?
  • How many sales agents they currently have?
  • What results are they seeing from current agent’s sales?
  • Could you speak with 1 or 2 of them?
  • When is a sale, classed as a sale?
  • When are you expected to receive payment and how much? Check this is written in the contract.
  • If the contract finishes for how long are you expected to receive commissions for?

What types of opportunities should I steer clear of?

If you want to receive commissions based on the sales ‘you’ make, rather than the sales team you will recruit make, you would be wise to steer clear of pyramid schemes or network marketing schemes. You will work very hard on recruiting and maintaining a sales team, and you will depend on the sales ‘they’ make or the teams ‘they’ build. This is really hard work.

A Company that wants you to ‘buy’ your stock or pay to work for them should be carefully considered. Are you buying into a franchise? Have they offered you a car? Anything that seems too good to be true, generally is.

Is ‘sub-agency’ the same as pyramid schemes or multi-level networking/network marketing?

Only in that you have created another level between the sale and the Principle, which also means you are diluting your commissions per sale. However, you may make more sales this way and make up for diluting your commissions.

What if the Principles are new to using sales agents or has a ‘new to the market’ product/service to sell?

Whether you take on these agencies is completely down to you. Ask what market research has been done to test the saleability of the product? If none, it would be advisable to test the product/service to your current customer base or just give it a trial run on a temporary basis to ensure it is saleable (make sure have a letter/temp contract to coves you before you do this so you still get paid if you sell). You may wish to ensure you are paid on your first sales before you carry on at full throttle with more sales, just to be safe. Your contract should protect you though. All you need to decide is if you can sell their product or service. If you think or know you can, then go for it! If you’re cautious give it a trail run.

What are the advantages of being a sales agent?

  • You’re your own boss
  • Flexibility
  • Choose who you sell for
  • Choose what you sell
  • Decide how much you want to earn
  • Have more than one agency if you wish
  • No-one can make you redundant
  • You are paid on your sales

What are the disadvantages of being a sales agent?

  • You will need to work more independently and cannot depend on help and support from a sales manager.
  • You will not have a fixed salary – but over time you can get recurring income which will serve the same purpose.
  • You will need to do your own accounting

What opportunities are out there and where do I find them?

There are many types on sales opportunities such as product sales and service sales, solution sales and repeat sales, national and international sales…. the opportunities are endless!

At ‘Salesagents.uk‘ we publish new opportunities all the time on our website!

What can I claim for?

We advise that you employ a qualified accountant to advise you on this. Generally speaking, if you use something or have to purchase something to do your job, you can claim it. Although some things have requirements or options, such as vehicles and fuel, so please check with your accountant.

Who should I turn to for legal advice?

You should at least have a solicitor on hand that specialises in employment law or self-employment should you ever need them.