Have you probably been approached by sales agents? They often arrive by car, and show up at your office to display a product catalogue or, more rarely, a product on quote. You are probably less familiar with the MODERN TIMES SALES AGENT: he surfs the Internet and is a fan of networking, he maintains a commercial relationship with you, this time remotely.

He is just as friendly as the former and you trust him just as much. These two people provide you with practical information on your markets and exchange good practices with you; they often have good tips for you, and it is also a win-win relationship, because you too are trying to make yourself known in order to develop your activities… The sales agent, whoever he may be, knows how to find the right tone of voice with interlocutors who are very different from each other: receptionists, technicians, buyers, managers. Some speak with reserve, others are rarely available, but there is also one who charms you with his sense of humour without losing his seriousness.

Historically, the sales agent made appointments on the spot, at the customer’s premises. The modern-day sales agent, on the other hand, come with you to the point by phone or in a virtual meeting. The former collected business cards, the latter manages contacts on social media. The former had to pay more attention to his non-verbal communication and understand the body language of his client. The modern-day salesperson, on the other hand, easily negotiate via new communication tools and capitalizes on his or her carefully maintained network.

And the fact of being close, not to customer, but to supplier, allows the MODERN TIMES SALES AGENT to better understand product technical characteristics and, above all, to assess how reliable is the manufacturer or supplier promoted. He/she is more and more international minded, whether he is a French agent working on behalf of a European principal, or whether he is registered in another Member State and has been commissioned by a manufacturer in his country of registration. By the way, please remember that a European directive dating from 1986 provides a framework for the profession of commercial agent in each Member State.

In short, whether he is trained in the old school and used to the historical practices of the profession, or whether he tries to take advantage of the Internet revolution, both respond to a code of conduct and a certain professional ethics. Both meet the criteria of friendliness and trust. So think about using them, especially since the agent’s main remuneration is the commission on the sales generated on your behalf…

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