How do I Become an Independent Sales Representative?

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  • Written By: Tess C. Taylor
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 01 November 2018
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If you want to become a direct or independent sales representative, there are many opportunities to do so in this continually growing market. Independent sales representative jobs are among the leading careers for those who have the desire to be entrepreneurs and build their own businesses, even when other industries are struggling. In addition, independent sales jobs provide flexibility and higher than average earnings. There are many ways in which you can become an independent sales representative.

In order to become an independent sales representative, the first step is to decide what interests you have that may translate to an actual company that sells services or products in this area. Start by evaluating companies that offer opportunities in direct sales in the areas you feel most passionate about, such as selling housewares, gifts, books, clothing, pharmaceuticals or services. You can find this information in regional business directories, industry associations and on the Internet both in community forums and by doing general industry searches.

Once you have identified several companies that provide entry level independent sales opportunities, it’s time to make contact to determine if there are actually independent sales representatives in your region who you can talk to about the company. Make contact via telephone or by email and await a response. Then start asking questions about what requirements are needed to become an independent sales representative and what benefits and earnings you can expect from this role.


While you are waiting for a career opportunity to be presented, you will want to take a long look at the required skills and experience needed to become an independent sales representative. This will help you to decide if direct sales is the right career for you. The most successful independent sales representatives generally have above-average interpersonal skills, superior written and verbal communication ability and the strong sense to persevere when faced with rejection. Having a sales or marketing background and being very organized is also helpful.

A good way to become an independent sales representative is to select a company that offers direct sales, party plan sales or multi-level marketing opportunities and then making a very small investment in a kit or website to get started. Be careful when signing up for these types of programs, however, and never invest more than you can earn back quickly with your first few sales or sign-ups. There are many reputable direct sales and party plans available which can be verified with regional business associations to make sure they are not scams.


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Post 5

@Mutsy - I wanted to add that book companies especially in the educational market often look for independent sales agents in order to market their books to schools all over.

Some of these jobs only require that you have a resume but they usually pay on a strictly commission base only so if you are not comfortable selling then you won’t make any money.

You do get provided a list of potential leads on schools that have been called on before and these early appointments are easy to start with but maintaining the pace depends on your drive.

I personally would rather work in medical sales for a company and not be an independent sales rep. The reason is simple. The training is extraordinary and the pay for these sales positions are also very high.

Post 4

@Bhutan - I agree there is a lot of information there. You can also be an independent sales rep as a travel agent and in order to do that you just have to take some courses at a local community college and you could work for an existing travel agency as an independent sales rep or strike out on your own.

Although your title would be that of a travel agent, the function is the same as an independent sales agent.

Post 3

@Suntan12 - I think that most sales careers require a certain amount of initiative because you really have to make a lot of calls in order to have appointments so that you can offer your sales presentation.

Becoming an independent sales rep requires the acceptance of a certain level of rejection as well as proper planning.

For example, if you understand that for every ten calls that you make you will likely get a single appointment then you realize that the rejection is not personal.

Once you get past the rejection the next step really involves your marketing plan. How are you going to advertise and where will you network in order to get sales leads is something to consider.

Becoming a sales rep for a direct sales company is easy. If you research the companies on the direct selling association website they will give you a list of member companies that you might want to start with.

Post 2

I think that there are many industries that lend it to becoming an independent sales agent. For example, those in the insurance and real estate fields fall into these categories.

A real estate agent is not referred to as an independent sales representative but their function is exactly the same. They have to pay for their training and work independently although many could still work in an office with others.

They have to structure their day on their own and determine what they need to do to make their revenue goals happen much like any other independent sales rep.

In order to become an insurance or real estate agent you have to pass a series of licensing exams and that is it.

Post 1

thank you so much and more power and God bless you!

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