When you sign a representation contract, you are putting your career in your agent's hands. In return for the money you are agreeing to share with them, you want someone to be acting in your best interests at all times.
You pay your agent to find you the best opportunities and to look after your interests. But how do you know if they are doing a good job?
In a sport where the 24/7 news cycle is fed by gossip and hidden agendas, it’s hard to know what to believe and whom to trust. Your agent tells you one thing, rival agents tell you another, and you wonder if you need to switch representation. All you want is honest, up-to-date information about your situation.
Most agents have their players’ best interests at heart. But how do you know if your agent is one of them? Here are six questions every good agent should be able to answer.
- Which clubs are really interested in me? The rumour mill and other agents say that particular clubs want you. If your agent has the right connections and makes the effort, they can find out what's true, what's not, and what's worth pursuing. What they shouldn’t do is leave you hanging - you'd rather know the truth than be misled by false information.
- Why aren’t the clubs you are offering me at my level? Every player has a good idea of where they should be playing and what they're worth. If your agent is pitching clubs and opportunities below that, you're entitled to ask why. Instead of listening to excuses or kind words, ask for evidence that you're being unrealistic.
- Which clubs have you pitched me to? It is easy for an agent to try to impress you by claiming to have contacts at clubs that are attractive to you. But talk is cheap. Instead of taking those assurances on trust, you should seek confirmation that those clubs have been approached - and if not, ask why. Agents can give you access to this information using TransferRoom's transparency features.
- What feedback have you received? If clubs have been approached, then you have every right to question why nothing seems to be happening. Sometimes agents may think they still have a chance of getting something better or may even want to avoid hurting your feelings. But it’s better to know as soon as possible which clubs are really interested in taking things further, and which are not, instead of wasting time and energy.
- Why are other players getting good moves, but not me? While you are waiting for something to happen, your agent’s other clients and other players you know are getting good moves. You need to feel you are a priority. Instead of accepting that things aren’t happening for you, ask why that is the case. If your agent IS doing all they can to find you opportunities, then they should be able to give you evidence - not just words.
- Why should I trust you? If your agent cannot give good answers to the previous five questions, then you have a problem. No-one is pretending that it is easy to do deals. But it’s not hard to share information, good and bad, so that everyone knows where they stand. The least an agent can do is keep you informed about what they are doing for you and why. And if they can’t or won’t do that, it might be time to find someone who will.
When you sign a representation contract, you are putting your career in your agent's hands. In return for the money you are agreeing to share with them, you want someone to be acting in your best interests at all times. When you have doubts, you want them to be able to prove to you that they are doing all they can for you. Whether the news is good, bad or uncertain, you need to know it.
There are all sorts of reasons why a deal might not happen. But there’s no reason why your agent should not be open and honest with you. It’s the only way to build trust and have a relationship that is successful for everyone.
If you're looking for a new agent, TransferRoom can help you find the right agent to advance your career. Sign up now to get matched instantly to the right agent for your needs.