WARNING… I am not at the point where I need a rep, BUT I have the name of the rep I know I want to use. This is what I did (now again, I have not gotten a rep yet, but when I was poking around, this is the route I took). Maybe it will pay off when the time comes, who knows!
I would go into the stores that I wanted to be in locally (William Sonoma, independently owned gourmet and kitchen stores etc...) and I took notes on some of the bigger manufacturers out there in grilling and kitchen gadgets (Like Charbroil and Norpro). I emailed their sales department and asked who their local sales rep was in CharlestonSC. The same name came up a few times and I filed that information away. Then a few months later at a function I met a women who owned a local gift/gourmet store. I was not at the point where I wanted to give her MY pitch (I was still a LONG ways away from a launch) but I asked, in her opinion who was the best kitchen accessory rep she knew and she said w/o a doubt Mr. XYZ (same guy as above). So now I have his name and number just waiting for the time when I feel I am ready to make contact. Maybe do what I did and ask around to both other manufacturers in your genre who they have represent them in your area, and also retailers in your area that would sell in your genre. If you`re lucky, you`ll get the same few names from both sides of the fence, and then you have someone with a track record you can actually research instead of shooting in the dark. Sales reps have pretty big territories so even though I got this information from a local perspective, I do know that his territory is pretty much a bunch of the Southeast. Now when I am ready to really go national, I will use my wonderful Southeast sales rep to get the name of other Wonderful national reps. This is all in theory and it`s my theory (someone who is a green as they come) so take it for what it`s worth. Good luck!!!
Founder and President
Charmed Life Products LLC
Grill Charms™… The MUST HAVE grilling accessory that is revolutionizing the American Cook-out AND The perfect gift for any occasion!