December 23

How to Hire A Sales Rep From South America


By Eric Horwitz, CEO of Net Profit King

I remember the moment I decided to try something crazy:  To test out if I could hire and train someone remote and offshores to do my ENTIRE sales cycle.  

I had already delegated the sales assistant / BDR portion of the sales through my main guy Roj, who is in the Philippines and has been working at LIFT Enrichment for 2 years.  He loves his job and is a great part of our team.  Here’s a post I wrote on hiring a remote sales assistant.

But a good BDR (aka Business Development Rep or Cold Caller) can make 100-300 outbound contacts a week to book a zoom meeting for a sales rep.  I was that guy.

So here was the moment I made a decision that, once properly executed, freed up my time immensely, allowed me to NEVER hop on a sales call again (only if I wanted to)…and still keep it at a mind-boggling 60% net profit margin.

April 2023: Palm Springs Convention Center in Palm Springs, CA.  

It was my 4th year at an Education-focused convention called BOOST alongside staff from my primary company LIFT Enrichment, which teaches healthy culinary workshops to Title-1 schools.  I had messed up big that year…by not ordering a booth in advance! 

A good friend from a science-enrichment based company let me share his booth.  It was a tight fit, but we made it work.  I met his sales rep, Brenda, and was impressed.  She was outgoing, passionate about education and had that likable/hustle personality that a salesperson needs.  She got new clients on her own and was driven.  

However, she was based in Los Angeles and quite expensive with a 6-figure salary, benefits, payroll taxes, etc.

We spent the 3 day conference successfully meeting prospects and we FILLED my calendar full of 30 minute zoom meetings…but in my heart I didn’t want to attend the meetings.  It required so much work, and I had done hundreds of these and desperately wanted to delegate this task.

Could I find someone to do it…but have that person be abroad, make good money and cost me a lot less than an American?

I went home, inspired.

I put up a job posting on for a sales rep and screened a bunch of people.  I met one promising guy from El Salvadro and hired him.  A few months later we hired a woman from Honduras.  In less than 4 months, they had BOTH closed massive contracts without my involvement at all, worth hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in school districts.  

Now it’s December 2023 and we have a 7-person sales team with LIFT Enrichment.  That guy from El Salvador is our sales director and has a team of 3 cold callers and 3 sales reps.  We could afford to bring in more, but we’re good for now.  All of these staff work together to sell to American clients, and the majority are based in South America.  They close about $400k a month in business.  I don’t do anything.

For Net Profit King, my new business that provides business consulting to dentists to help them grow their practice, part of that “growth” is installing a remote offshore sales rep to help close deals that otherwise would get left behind.  

I noticed that after leaving a dental office and being quoted a service like teeth whitening or veneers that NO ONE follows up.  No email.  No phone call.  No text.  One of my favorite success gurus, Brian Tracy, has always preached that the sales is completed in the FOLLOW-UP.  And it can take 5-12 points of follow-up to close a sale.  So these dentists could use a remote sales rep to help them make more money…and help their clients!   

Before I get into the nuts and bolts of hiring a sales rep, let’s dispel some VERY common myths

MYTH 1: “I can’t afford a sales rep!  They are so expensive!  I’m a small business and only bring in ($200k a year, $400k a year etc”

Answer:  Yes, if you hired an American-based sales rep, then that would be an extremely expensive and risky bet of your time and money.  

Let’s crunch the numbers.

A US-based W2 sales representative would probably cost about $120,000 a year + 10% payroll taxes (which includes unemployment, medicare, social security, etc.  So the real cost is $132,000 a year.

Now let’s say you hired someone in South America.

A good starting cost is about $2,000 per month…versus that American that costs you $11,000 per month!

Here’s how the math works.  You hire someone to START at $15 per hour at 30 hours per week (9am-3:30pm Mon-Fri, PST with a 30 minute lunch break factored in).  That’s $1,935, plus there’s a 5% upwork fee, so about $2k total.  

Once you look at those numbers… you now realize that you can hire TWO sales reps and still be saving mountains of money versus hiring a US-based W2.  2 sales reps cost about $4k a month and you’re still saving $7k a year and getting TWICE the work output.

MYTH 2:  “I can’t hire a sale rep abroad because they need to have GREAT English because I work with very high-end US-based clients”

Answer:  No, you don’t.  And I’m proof of that.

I work exclusively with Directors of After-School Programs.  These are people, typically in their late 30s to early 50s with subordinates and a lot of power and budget.  They definitely qualify as “high-end” and they need (and deserve) an amazing sales experience.  They oversee a staff of 20-30 and up to 20 sites, with a total of 1,000+ students under their supervision.  They have a lot of authority and responsibility.

And guess what?   I have a great team of South American sales reps servicing them well.  

Some are expats.

Other are natives and have AMAZING English

They all look great, professional and welcoming on zoom.

You just gotta screen for it.

The beauty of South American-based staff is they work American hours because they are in the time zone.  I’ve also noticed they are better at conversation and creative problem-solving during the sales process.  

MYTH 3:  “I can’t hire a sales rep abroad because my clients need ME.  I am the face of the business.  I get referrals because people want to work with ME.  It’s just about me.”

Answer:  This is a very, very limiting belief if you want to grow and scale your business.

But I get it, I felt the SAME way.

I thought that no one could go through my powerpoint presentation that I had practiced and refined for years.  I had perfected it to the point where I knew when the prospect would smile, or chuckle based on where they were in the script.

Guess what?  I was wrong!  I was able to train staff to practice the powerpoint like a monologue and execute it to my standards (or at least 90% of those standards!)   

With enough shadowing, role play and practice, I found my sales reps could do a great job on a sales call.  Just put in the time, believe it’s possible and you’ll be surprised to see what happens.  

It’s easier to introduce new prospects to your sales reps.  If it’s a referral you can always say “I’ll be involved on the back end, and be there every step of the way, but (name of your sales rep) will take the lead and deliver great service.”

Remember, clients purchase a service or product FROM you and your company.  They don’t purchase YOU.  Focus on a high-quality service with great customer support and you can delegate anything, I promise you.

Just give it time.  Start with one sales rep.  Then take off the training wheels.  Remember it’s only $2k a month..isn’t your time worth more than that?”

I’m a fan of simple steps, so let’s begin with:

Step 1: Creating A SIMPLE Sales Structure

I get asked a lot:  How much do I pay a sales rep as a base and give them bonuses?  

Here’s how I structure commissions for EVERYONE in my company.  It’s based off of two key things:

    1. Revenue Goals Reached

    1. Paid Invoices

That’s it.  When  I get paid, other people get paid.  That’s a Win-Win.

The first thing is to look at YOUR company’s goal within a 12-month time period.  

Example:  Let’s say your business made $800,000 in revenue last year and you are  aiming at $1,000,000 in revenue this year.  Your sales rep will help get you more business with his or her work efforts.

Now think of HOW much you think is a good amount of money for your South American sales rep to earn in commissions.  

Let’s say you decide their base salary is $24,000 a year ($2,000 per month) and you want to offer another $15,000 in bonuses.  That’s $39,000 total.

Divide the $15,000 into 10 revenue targets over 1 year.  Here’s an example:

When your total revenue crosses $100,000 in a month, you pay your sales rep $1,000 at the beginning of the following month.  If you have a great month and you cross $300,000 you’d pay the sales rep a bonus check of $2,000 ($1,000 + $1,000) and so on and so forth.  It’s an easy way to show how their efforts are rewarded when you get paid.

If you want to go even further.  You could take that $15,000 and divided half of it by New Business (in this example the $200,000 growth you want) as well as the Total Business.

The sales rep still gets a goal of $15,000 in bonuses but you’re incentivizing new business AND total business.

Earning almost $40,000 in South America is a great salary and you’ll attract good people.  Plus you’re having them focus on closed business with cash in the door.  You can customize these details that work best for you.

And even give “Total Business” revenue to all your staff that you like.  My operations team gets bonuses based off of revenue targets.  But only after we get paid that invoice!

Step 2)  Screen People on Upwork For Great English and An Upbeat Personality

My Upwork strategy for hiring is pretty basic:  Put a job posting with an hourly rate of $10-$15 an hour.  In my job posting I PITCH the job because I want to attract people to apply.

Don’t try to be too flat or detailed.  Just describe your company culture, how excited you are to bring in a long-term sales rep and that there are perks like flexible hours, bonuses, paid training, etc.

If you’re not getting enough hits, you increase the hourly rate.  

Also do “outbound” searches by inviting people to apply.

When you find someone you like, this is key, ask them to submit a 1-2 minute video of themselves sharing something they’re passionate about (which doesn’t have to be work related).  They can use any service they like, but I suggest because it’s easy to set up, record and share a link.

With this video you’ll get a idea of:

    1. The quality of their video (including lighting)

    1. The quality of their audio

    1. Their accent

    1. Their energy on camera.

    1. If they can complete a simple task.  

If you like the person.  Send them a link for a 15-minute interview.

If that goes well, invite them to a second interview but in this one say you want them to PITCH you your own service or product.

Give them a simple google doc with what a decent pitch looks like (no more than a few paragraphs) so they can practice.

I like to give them a full powerpoint and a video of me sharing that powerpoint.  In 2-3 days you meet on zoom, and see how they do.

If you like them, offer them a job on the spot.  Start with 30 hours a week at $15 an hour, which isn’t much for you compared to those American W2s.  Now let’s talk about the “Noah’s Ark Principle”

Step 3)  Always Hire 2 Sales Reps, Never Just One

Let me paint a scenario that might be familiar:

You invest a LOT of money in an expensive new hire.

You train this person for 3 months.

It’s going pretty good.

And then out of the blue they ghost you, or get a better offer, or you just don’t get along.

They end the contract and you’re left with just YOU to do the task.

That sucks.

Instead HIRE 2 sales reps.

It’s almost a commandment at this point.  Because you can afford both.  

Tell them you want to keep both of them, which should be true.

But things happen and you might go down to one.  

So go hire 2 sales reps, at the same time.  Write SOPs and train both.

I call it “Noah’s Arc” for a reason   

If (and possibly when) it doesn’t work out for one of them, you’ll have  someone to keep the work going.  And it won’t fall back on your plate!

Step 4)  SOPs are DONE Before Day 1

An SOP is a Standard Operating Procedure, which is a 1-4 page document detailing how to do a task correctly.

You gotta have these ready to go before Day 1

I’ve made the mistake too many times that I’ll “wing it’ and “make the SOPs as I go”  

It just slows you down.

Think of the “start date”of your sales rep, like a final exam in college.  You’re going to do the majority of the work a day or two beforehand.  Just cram and get it done.

And the great part is you’ll have these documents FOREVER.  And you can add to them as needed.  SOPs you might nee could include

    • Company Policies:  how to call in sick, mandatory meetings to attend, communication standards, etc.

    • KPI (Key performance indicators):   These could include things like  250 outbound contacts per week (50 per day).  It could include setting two appointments for sales reps every week after 30 days of training.  

    • Cold Calling Sales Script:  These detail how to cold call, get past gate keepers and pitch your service to the person you NEED to reach.

    • Sales Proposal Script:  This goes over the key parts of the sales meeting with the prospect.  Followup: How to followup after a proposal

    • Meeting SOPs:  These could include how to do a daily huddle, or prep for a weekly sales meeting.

With those written, just do your best and get 80% of the information into the SOPs.  It’s easy to write with bullet points and step by step guides.  Get them done.

ALSO, it’s YOUR job to write them.  At least for now.  Once you get a sales director or operations director, you can show them how to write them.  

For now, you probably know how to sell better than anyone.  Get it written down…and remember the goal is 80%.  It shouldn’t take more than 2-3 hours to get all of those written.  You can have your team help, but do it together and Get It Done.

Step 5:  The First 2 Weeks

Now that your person is hired here are your to-do items for the first two weeks:

    • Reviewing the SOPs with your staff

    • Roleplay:  Having the sales rep practice the script at least 10-20 times on you and key team members

    • Practice using the software/CRM/email platforms that are required to do the job

    • Shadowing (or whoever is the current key sales rep) at least 2-5 hours during live sales calls and follow-ups.

Step 6:  Weeks 3 and Beyond

After two weeks, you should be comfortable with your sales rep doing mock sales calls.  

I like to have sales reps do some cold calling (i.e. 100 outbound calls per week) but not as many as BDRs, which do 200-300 calls per week.  

Now it’s time for YOU to shadow your sales rep during real sales calls.  Give them feedback at each one.

Use to record themselves so they can see what they’re doing.  

It’s like giving them training wheels because you can always jump into help as needed.

At this point, you’ll need to brace yourself for some new emotions.  It can be hard to trust someone new and delegate the sale process.  Practice and GIVE IT TIME.  You’ll be amazed by the results in a few months.  

Also, try to give at least 30-60 minutes a day of your time and support.

Track their KPIs.

Help them out.

If you invest in them (both of them!) you’ll get the results I have.

Also, you’ll make mistakes.  And you’ll refine the SOPs.  That’s ok, it’s all part of the process.

And keep going!  In 1-2 months you should see some results.

And since you hired “two” you should be seeing double the results.

That’s the system I’ve used for hiring and onboarding a sales rep.  

Go forth and make it happen!

And if you’re a dental practice, looking for coaching to help grow your sales…let’s meet on zoom!  My team and I will do ALL of this for you.  We’ll help you find a good remote sales rep and train that person to follow up on new clients and returning clients.  The goal is to make you more sales…and more net profit.  We guarantee you’ll triple the cost of your investment in our consulting package, or we’ll work for you for free until that happens.

Book a meeting to learn HOW we consult with dental practices here


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