1. The most common way of finding a sales agent is at film festivals. Film festivals screenings and premieres have been used to attract both: sales agents and distributors for years.
2. If you are not doing the film festival circle with your film, writing to sales agents and introducing your project is a good idea. Having substantial online following won’t hurt you while negotiating with the sales agent. In fact, it can be a big asset in your portfolio and the negotiating power towards you and your project. Of course, before you approach any agent, don’t forget to research their agency. Be sure the sales agent you are planning to contact, represent films in your genre. Otherwise, you are wasting everyone’s time and look quite unprofessional.
3. Asking around other filmmakers or your colleagues for recommendations is always a good idea to start; a personal connection can only help you build the initial rapport.
4. Before you sign a deal with a sales agent, make sure you fully understand what you are signing. If you don’t understand any of the clauses, ask someone else, who will be able to understand and explain to you.
5. Before you sign a contract, check that person’s track record, so you know that you aren’t wasting your time with this agency. There are many people, who talk lots but produce no results.
6. If you don’t feel a good vibe from the sales agent, you should seriously consider, if you want to work with them.
7. If a sales agent asks you for a retainer, personally I wouldn’t go with that person. The sales agents job is to sell your film and works for their commission this way. Paying a retainer doesn’t give incentive for the agents to push your film to the buyers.