West Sales Representative Job Opening – Equal Exchange

March 11th 2019

Equal Exchange is hiring for a West Sales Representative based in Southern California, Northern California and/or Portland

Employment Status: ​Full-time, regular, Worker-Owner Track
Hours: ​40-45 hours/week
Starting Salary: ​$33,400+ depending on experience. Annual Cost of Living increase plus additional consideration after one year.
Benefits: ​Health/dental/vision insurance coverage, vacation time, holidays, sick days, eligibility for worker ownership
Department: ​Sales
Report to: ​Sales Manager
Locations​: Northern California (Bay Area), Southern California (San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles), and/or Portland, OR


Job Description:

The primary responsibility of this position is to grow sales in a given territory by maintaining relationships with existing customers and seeking new sales opportunities. This person will approach their sales work through self-motivated means and independence. An EE sales representative must embody the principles of the mission while clearly communicating our authentic difference in the market. A salesperson must have strong communication skills and be comfortable representing Equal Exchange in public forums. As a member of a learning organization, a salesperson must be committed to continuous learning in all aspects of the business while also developing the ability to create and lead trainings.

Applicant should be located in or willing to move to a major market area in either Southern California (SD, LA, OC), Northern California (the Bay Area), or Portland, OR. The EE sales rep position is one that brings with it much independence. A successful salesperson will have the skills necessary to effectively operate autonomously and creatively while maintaining exceptional communication skills within the organization.



●  Ability to communicate well and problem solve with customers, team members and staff

●  Ability to effectively prioritize time and responsibilities

●  Ability to rebound from rejection

●  Ability to work independently and within a team

●  Previous sales experience in Natural Foods and/or Food Service preferred

●  Ability and willingness to travel

●  Flexibility and willingness to continuously learn by experience



Sales and Account Management (approximately 95% of time)

●  Accountable for individual sales goals as determined by the Sales Director

●  Besides extensive local travel, 2 to 3 days per month outside of designated region (as determined

with supervisor)

●  New Sales Market Development: Prospecting, cold calling, evaluating, negotiating, proposing andclosing new accounts. Manage, qualify and prioritize incoming sales inquiries. Other market methods of distribution, like DSD (Direct Store Delivery) or a hybrid method, should be considered as we attempt to build sales in key markets.

●  Account Development: Understand customers’ needs and problem solve. Maintain and deepen relationships with current customers. Design and lead product specific trainings and events while communicating the Equal Exchange mission. Design, implement and evaluate promotional and marketing strategies.

●  Order Taking and Customer Service: Answering calls, taking accurate orders, responding to customer inquiries in a timely fashion.

●  Track and manage leads and existing customers using appropriate internal systems

●  Understand and work comfortably with appropriate equipment

●  Maintain quality standards throughout the supply chain to consumers


Team Development

●  Continual learning and analysis about the market, Equal Exchange’s relation to it, and how to market our authentic difference.

●  Participate in Sales team strategy development

●  Support team members locally and regionally as needed or directed

●  Continuous training in sales, products, producers and equipment


Personal and Coop Development (approximately 5 % of time)

●  Participate in staff, team, departmental and educational trainings

●  Develop an understanding of Equal Exchange’s producer partners and trading model

●  Understand and participate effectively in our worker cooperative model

●  Flexibility to engage in other tasks as needed by the organization after gaining position



To apply​: Please send a cover letter, resume and answers to the application questions below to

westsaleshiring@equalexchange.coop​. ​Deadline to apply is April 1, 2019.


Application Questions​:

  1. Equal Exchange works with small-scale coffee farmers in countries such as Peru and Nicaragua. What do these farmers want from a relationship with Equal Exchange? How can Equal Exchange effectively help them to develop the resources to solve their pressing problems?
  2. A new Sales Representative’s goal is to sell an additional $120,000 worth of products – or about 17,000 pounds of coffee – in a year. This goal includes sales growth in current customers’ coffee programs as well as sales to new customers that the Sales Representative secures. How would you go about reaching this goal? Why should Equal Exchange feel confident that you can reach this goal?
  3. What would you do as a Sales Representative in the following situation? You are approaching a Food Co-op that sells and brews coffee from their local roaster. While the buyer believes in Fair Trade, they think that their commitment to a local roaster better serves their community and provides a great avenue to discuss sustainability. How would you convince them to consider Equal Exchange’s coffee program?
  4. Equal Exchange is hiring for multiple locations, please indicate which location(s) you are applying for:

○  Northern California (Bay Area)

○  Southern California (San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles)

○  Portland, OR


Equal Exchange supports equal employment opportunity for all classes of individuals, regardless of age, race, color, national origin, citizenship status, disability, religious creed, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, marital status, economic status, veteran status. Additionally, people who are oppressed or are denied power and privilege in society are strongly encouraged to apply.