Field sales representatives, also called sales reps, are salespeople who work in the field for certain companies. They sell everything from office supplies and medical equipment to vacuum cleaners and magazines. Many people love the idea of working in one of these position because they think it entails spending a lot of time outside and selling to friendly people. Before you start looking for manufacturers looking for reps to work in the field though, there are some things you should consider about these jobs.
Commission vs. Salary
Many sales positions in the world today pay a set salary or an hourly rate. When you receive an hourly rate, you get a set amount based on the hours that you work every day. Salaried positions pay you a set amount and may require that you put in a certain amount of hours. Commission jobs pay you a rate based on the number of sales that you make. Some companies pay you a percentage of whatever you sell, but others will pay you an hourly wage or set salary plus commission, which can help you earn hundreds every day.
One thing many people will not tell you about working as a field rep is that you will encounter some unhappy customers along the way. When you sell supplies and equipment to companies, you may come across managers who do not have time to meet with you or those who refuse to meet with you because they already have a supplier. If you sell directly to customers in their homes, you’ll likely encounter people who do not have the cash to buy anything and busy parents who don’t have time to listen to your sales pitch.
Time on the Road
Working as a field sales representative is best for those who can handle being alone for long hours. Though some jobs will pair you with one other person or a small group, many jobs require that you go out on your own. You might spend 40 hours or more making sales and driving to appointments every week on your own. Some positions will require that you come in for weekly minutes or call in and report your sales while working in the field. Learning more about working as a sales rep can help you decide whether you prefer working in a retail shop or in the field.