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How to Become a Hair Care Sales Representative
Sales representatives in the hair care industry are charged with keeping stylists, colorists and salon owners informed about manufacturers' products and selling those products in quantity. Sales reps can find jobs with a single employer or can become independent sales representatives. The basic training and necessary skills for either type of hair care sales rep is the same. However, independent sales representatives will need to take further action to protect themselves legally and to negotiate new products to sell.
Basic Requirements and Skills
Obtain a college degree. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment opportunities through 2018 for sales representatives are best for those with college degrees. Degrees in business, marketing and communications are helpful, but any type of degree may be accepted by the employer.
Learn to sell. Employers like to hire sales representatives with prior sales experience. Work in retail, wholesale or other selling environments to learn how to sell products and services to all types of people. Expand your sales education by completing courses in sales negotiation, closing sales deals and communicating with customers.
Work in the beauty and hair industry. Employers want to know you understand the customer you will be selling to. Sales positions with local department stores in a cosmetics department or in a salon or spa setting are helpful. Some hair care sales reps have worked as cosmetologists, manicurists or estheticians before selling for a manufacturer. Others may have completed the courses for a license but never completed the remaining requirements.
Understand the hair care industry. Knowledge of hair products, treatments and tools will help you sell hair care products more easily. Learning about the hair care industry by attending trade shows, conferences or by reading and studying the topic will put you in touch with possible employers and fill in missing information if you have worked in the beauty industry and not the hair industry.
Contact product manufacturers and wholesale hair care companies to find open sales positions. Be prepared to complete employment applications by assembling a resume and references focused on your selling history and connection with the hair industry. Some employers may be willing to hire anyone who can sell and then train them about the products they will be representing. Others may want someone who can begin selling immediately without much guidance.
Meet your customers and develop a working relationship. Visit hair salons in your assigned sales territory and find out more about the products and treatments your potential customers use. Attend industry events to connect socially with salon owners and stylists.
Stay informed by reading about trends, products and prominent people in the hair industry. Your knowledge about trends, products and people can become a selling point with stylists, and colorists.
Independent Sales Representatives
Obtain a business license. If you become an independent hair care sales representative, you will need to contact your state government and find out what forms and applications you need to complete to operate as a legal business. Manufacturers may ask for a copy of your business license for their records
Obtain the permission of your manufacturers to sell their products alongside other manufacturers' products. Some manufacturers may require you to sell their products exclusively, while others are fine with a sales rep who sells products from many manufacturers. Obtain signed contracts stating your agreement with the manufacturer to protect your business and your reputation as an independent sales rep.
Find out if you have geographical boundaries when selling a manufacturer's hair care product line. Manufacturers with more than one representative may have restrictions on where you can and cannot sell their products. This may limit the growth potential for selling a product.
Develop an appropriate resume. Manufacturers who hire independent sales reps may want to know details about your sales and business skills. This may include mention of annual sales amounts, awards from manufacturers or recognition from the hair care industry in your resume or marketing materials. Business references and a list of existing customers are other tools that can be valuable when negotiating a sales contract with a manufacturer.
Alex Burke holds a degree in environmental design and a Master of Arts in information management. She's worked as a licensed interior designer, artist, database administrator and nightclub manager. A perpetual student, Burke writes Web content on a variety of topics, including art, interior design, database design, culture, health and business.