Gourmet Sales Representatives

Written by Sandy Mitchell
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Smaller manufacturers of gourmet foods generally use independent gourmet sales representatives to generate sales. Products such as cookie mixes, drink mixes, dips, candy, coffee products, spices and seasonings, and gift baskets are commonly sold via such sales reps. A gourmet sales rep often works part time, based out of her home. She represents her products a home parties, craft shows, fairs and festivals, and to small retailers.

A gourmet sales rep is, most commonly, paid exclusively on commission. Alternately, some reps buy their products at a wholesale rate and resell them within certain price guidelines. It is common for a gourmet sales rep to handle more than one non-competing product line.

Gourmet Sales Representative Skills

As with any product, a successful gourmet sales rep must know his product well and believe in it. It is difficult, if not impossible, to sell something you wouldn't buy yourself. Enjoying working with people is also paramount to being a successful gourmet sales rep. In addition, a gourmet sales rep should be able to manage his time well. Working independently requires that you be able to prioritize tasks and be able to return telephone calls and e-mails in a timely basis.

Although not always required, prior experience with gourmet foods is desirable. Computer skills are also an asset as product information and inventory as well as ordering are accessed by computer. A college degree is a plus, too, particularly one in sales or marketing.

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