I am in a start up with very limited financial liquidity (less than $10,000)
I reached a stage where my online store is taking shape, I have a stock of product now and enough to start a sales team. I advertised on kijiji and crags-list for a freelance sales person and got few replies. At this time I am preparing documentation and sales introductions, etc etc... So would love to get someone to do the sales for me + I hate sales...
One of the resumes was way above my requirement but I thought of meeting this person and see if there is any ideas. We agreed that she will come up with a consultancy program to generate contracts for me but she wants hourly bases + perhaps commission on sales..... She expects things will take perhaps three months to really kick in. (I personally think sales could start any time. Mentioned this because my product is a simple product to order so please do not judge that this person is buying time. My question is different because it will take time to order and deliver, etc, etc, etc.
My question is...
Turn around to delivery is approximately 5 weeks.
If new design is required delivery is approximately 8 weeks.
The product is a useful +promotional item.
Cost approx $2, whole sales hoping to be $3-3.5.... Retail approx 7-8$
Item is small so handing is nice and cheap.
There is no standard agreed upon rate. It is based on:
-the consultant's experience
-the consultant's perceived risk
-the associated marketing investment
-the brand equity
-the market and brand foot print of your competitors
I could go on. . . . All of these determine the" price" -in the end it is what you can pay and what the consultant will work for.
Selling is one to one. Marketing is one to many.
Leverage and see better results by marketing. You can set up a website which showcases your product/service. Optimize the website SEO to get a good page rank if you have to, but pay close attention on traffic behavior. Are they buying or not?
From this perspective, you can hire someone to manage the marketing aspect of your website. This person will monitor site metrics -- how much traffic are you getting, where are they coming from, bounce rate, etc.
If budget is a constraint (as it always is), outsource this job. You can get a marketing assistant for as low as US$3/hour, plus, you can put a cap as to how many hours they need to work on your project each week. For marketing experts/gurus, you will have to shell out US$10 or more per hour. There's a lot of talent on odesk that can help you with almmost every aspect of your business, and at an affordable price.
You should base your answer on the capital that is available to you, as of right now. You always have to predict the "what if" the business doesn't work as well as you expected it to. First of, I don't see why you have to hire anyone as of right now. Try selling it by yourself, I am sure you can present the product better that any sales person would. BTW, you should give a bit more info, on what it is you're selling, and judging by the way you protect your product, you should invest into purchasing copyrights for it (if you have invented it).
On topic now, how many sales do you expect to have? Hundreds, thousands? Also, if she is a freelancer, its better to keep her on a commission only. Explain it as a probation period, say, for a month or two. Then, see how the sales go. In my opinion sales people work best when they are on commission only. Also, how do you plan on selling your product? door to door? cold calling...?
P.S. Most of the time you have to get your hands dirty if you want your business to prosper. Meaning, "+I hate sales" won't do. You have to prepare yourself for the worst case scenario and work for the best ;)