Reps vs. Factory Direct: The Debate Continues…

by | Aug 24, 2010

The current economic conditions have managers looking for marketing options that they may have not considered in the past.

The decision whether to use a direct sales force or an independent rep to call on distributors so often is one based primarily on control and not necessarily effectiveness.

I asked Bill Via, President of CSV Marketing, a leading independent rep firm for his thoughts. Here they are:

Everyone understands that utilizing an independent rep is a fixed cost of sale, but in my opinion that should not be the most important factor.

What is important is that an independent rep gets you access to those customers that have already said no to your direct man, fact is that they are probably already selling them products and the day will come when the opportunity for your products presents itself, will your direct guy be there when that happens?

Sure you do lose a certain amount of direct control and accountability and maybe you’re of the opinion that a focused “direct” guy brings your product an elevated perception of creditability.

One would argue that if you invest the time and energy into product and market training, your independent can bring the same level of professionalism to your product, and most importantly, you get that critical access.

What are your thoughts on this…Direct or Independent?


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