If you are seeking to offer your services as a representative agent to promote or sell a business' product or service, the first step is to draft a letter. This letter is your first communication with the business and it needs to catch the business owner's attention and impress him right away; if it doesn't, it may be the only communication you ever have with him. Because businesses often get dozens of letters like this, it is critical to stand out from the crowd by emphasizing your skills and experience right from the beginning.
Do Your Research
As a representative agent, you will likely be paid only in commissions, so don't waste time learning how to promote a product or service in a totally new industry when you already have experience in another area. In order to ensure that you and the business will benefit one another, do your research before deciding what company to contact.
Once you know the company you'd like to work with, find the contact information for the right person. In a smaller business this will likely be the owner, and in a larger corporation, you might need to find an outside sales representative hiring manager or sales force manager. Don't just address the letter to "owner" or "hiring manager" by default; find the right person's name, or, at the very least, the person's specific title.
Sell Yourself Without Hyperbole
Once you've addressed the letter to the right person, describe yourself and your experience in no more than four lines. This first paragraph expresses what makes you different from the competition. Don't just say: "I am the best." Provide specific examples of how you've been successful in that specific industry. Include any achievements, impressive sales figures or awards you may have earned as a representative agent. Don't list any jobs you may have had over 15 years ago unless they are particularly impressive – what you accomplished in the last year or so matters a lot more than what you did 20 years ago.
If you have previously met or talked to the person you are addressing the letter to, be sure to remind them in the first line of how you know one another. For example: "We met at the Exploratory Summit last year during the second night mixer."
Explain How You Can Help
Describe how your experience could be used to boost their business if you were chosen as representative agent. Set realistic goals you could meet. Demonstrate a working knowledge of the company's products or service as well as your knowledge of the industry at large. A good way to do this is to explain that you understand how their product or service is superior to their competitor's.
Close Your Pitch
Finish off the letter with your contact information. State that you look forward to receiving a call or that you will call him to schedule a meeting to discuss the position. Always thank him for his time and consideration. You may also want to direct him to your website, LinkedIn or other professional site.
What to Leave Out
In general, this type of letter should be short. Business owners and managers receive a lot of them and don't want to read page after page about how you could help their business. Don't bog down the letter with too much information, like all of your past jobs or every business you've ever worked with, unless you're fairly new to the work. Attach a resume or curriculum vitae to detail this information instead.
Representative agents are not generally paid a salary or benefits and operate on commission. Because this rate is so negotiable and may even include factors like travel or temporary living expenses, it is best to wait until you speak with the owner before you discuss your commission rate, so leave this out of the letter as well.
- As a representative agent you receive a commission on sales and may not be paid a salary or benefits. However, you may be able to negotiate fringe benefits or travel and living expenses depending on your sales strengths and the budget of the business. Therefore, you may want to avoid discussing commission details in your letter. When negotiating keep in mind that your commission should cover the costs that you are expected to cover and still be able to have enough left over for take-home income. (See Reference 1)
Jill Harness is a blogger with experience researching and writing on all types of subjects including business topics. She specializes in writing SEO content for private clients, particularly attorneys. You can find out more about Jill's experience and learn how to contact her through her website, www.jillharness.com.