Help! ” Looking for Agents desperately “

Par Virginie Tomaka

Which manufacturer or designer has not gone mad looking for the rare pearl? The one who would implant their collections on new markets?

Very often, we hear manufacturers or designer tell us, “I want to penetrate into such country, but I have to find an agent, do you know a nice person? ”

Others tell us: “my agent retired, impossible to find someone to replace him, I am obliged to stop developing this country. ”

At WAT, we found the solution: Jean-François Ferrando, founder of the company DirComExT, recruits sales agents or commercialize your collections by managing teams of agents directly in Europe; it is called agents’ outsourcing.

A base of 42000 agents in the world confers him a real power and especially an expertise of the business. An interview was imperative so that he explains his job.
You can find him once a month on WAT and on the trade show Paris Bridal Fair from 16 till 18 April 2016.

WAT: why is it so difficult to find an agent?
Jean-François Ferrando: 1, because they are not listed 2, because they are little or badly referenced by the system APE and NACE ( INSEE ) 3, when they are (directory of the sales agents) bases are not commercialized…

WAT: what changed these last years?
J-F: agents look for innovative products, products that tell a beautiful story, with tools to increase sales. In brief, a strategy of commercialization seriously studied and implemented. To buy only, does not interest them any more. Indeed, today, with Internet whoever can buy at the other end of the world…

WAT: in what is agent’s recruitment via your care interesting for companies? It is an investment you know, how can they pay off?
J-F: we are not any more only for the simple recruitment, but for the global solution in this particular case. The mix between an office of commercial representation and a sales force outsourced, completely managed by ourselves.
So the interest is multiple:
1. Mitigate the lack of proficiency of agents in foreign languages; indeed only 17 % of them declare to master another language than French…
2. The famous directory mentioned in the first question, belongs to us (smile),
3. A legal expertise in the specific contractualisation according to the status of agent in France, (break, indemnity, expenses, …)
4. Marketing tools: CRM, EMailer, for owner
5. The management and the administration of sales

An investment? Yes, of course, but it is the equivalent of the cost of only one junior employee in France (2500/3500 euros/month), for the whole service, plus, commissions on the CA generated.

WAT: when we exchanged, I told you not to know about agents’ outsourcing. You then answered me: normally Virginie, we are the only company to do it. It seems to be the magic solution to every managing director, explain to us what does it exactly consist of?
J-F: we are not the only to be sales agents, but we are the only ones to be: on one side, an interface between agents who want to be sure that the company is serious, and is able to minimize their risks of outstanding payments of commissions or contesting…
On the other side, we go along with the company in its choice of outsourcing, definition of the marketing strategy and the piloting of the implementation. A DIRCOMEXT is a DIRECTION  COMMERCIAL OUTSOURCED.

WAT: you are a commentator for WAT, in your next note, what will be the convenient subject for our readers?
J-F: the difficulty being a sales agent, in a world where companies think that the solution “agent” shall allow to get free of any risk of absences of results.

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