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Independent commercial intermediaries

The Marketing of Products in the USA by Sales Agents, Distributors or Importers

Commercial agents, Import agents or Sole Agents


To have an Agent or a Distributor in the US market is a realistic marketing strategy for a small or medium business. Import agents are often appointed sole agent for the entire country.

The Points to take into Account

Having an approach to use an Agent or a Distributor approach requires taking great care in the selection of the sales representative. This person will become the ambassador of your company in the country. S/he characterises your company in the USA.
Do not try to use a list of importers as a basis for "cold call" potential agents. It is important to build a personal relationship. Start by contacting the US International Trade Association for advice and recommendations for a specific agent or use specialized websites looking for sales agents in USA.

Elements of Motivation for an Agent

Build a relationship with the person involved by having frequent communication with emails and telephone. Build an exclusivity offer; construct a system indicating qualitative and quantitative indicators of sales efforts.

The commission Structure

5 to 10% for regular business transactions, from 10 to 20% for occasional transactions.

Breach of Contract

In the USA, the break of a contract with an Independent Sales Representative is more flexible than in Europe. Article 1 (General Provisions) and Article 2 (Sales)

Finding a commercial agent in the United States

International Trade Administration
Independent Sales Representatives

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International Trade Administration
Chamber of Commerce US