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Hi, has anyone here ever hired an outside salesperson? I'm considering it on commission only. Any idea what the normal percentage is for this industry? I have no idea what is an acceptable percentage

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This is a really good question and I too would love to hear from other members, especially those with sales experience. I wonder what kind of arrangement sales people are looking for? If sales people are open to commission only what percentage makes it worth theie time? If sales people need some type of base payment, I would really like to know what they require? what kind of arrangement keeps a sales person motivated to sell?

A good way to decide is to figure out A) if sales for you is their only gig, and B) if so, what would be a decent monthly "salary" to make it worth it for them.  From there, figure out what % of your sales gets them to that point.  For example, if the sales person wanted to make $5000 a month, and you offered 10%, they'd need to sell $50,000 a month.  If they have other sources of income, then less might be acceptable to them.  It will also depend on how much responsibility you want to give them and what your production capacity is (if you can't produce $50,000 worth of chocolate, then recalculate based on what you can make). 

Ultimately you will have to just put an offer out there and negotiate based on individual needs.

Thanks for responding. I was more just wondering if there was an industry average percentage that a rep would be expecting and if I could even come close to.

Industry Average

    Broker 2-5%

    Distributor 15-15%

As far as a salesperson is concerned, unless you have a well established mix of product/pricing/historicals, it will be difficult to obtain a qualified person, even if on a part time basis.

Thank you for taking the time to reply. Its helpful & appreciated

Hi Krista,

Not sure where you are located but I have used brokers in the NY metro area.  The average is 10-15%

You can get a list of Brokers from Specialty Food Association, if you are a member.  if not a member, I am not sure if the list is available but you could always try to google it


Thanks, I'm in oregon. I'm not a member but maybe ill try searching.


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