Friday, November 8, 2013

Treat Your Sales Reps as Partners

The dreaded sales rep. We all have one. Maybe more than one. The rep that just doesn't get you or your business. The rep you wish didn't get all the good lines. The rep who makes you wonder if they even care. The rep that makes you roll your eyes just setting the appointment.

Then there is the good rep. The one who gets it. Who gets you. Who anticipates your needs. Who knows your style, your store's style, your store's goals. Who you can't wait to work with again.

My buddy Tim Miles illustrated the difference between those two reps - the order taker and the true partner.
Much of the burden on becoming that good rep belongs to the rep himself. He has to want to be your partner.

But I wonder if there is not also some burden on us.

Do you treat your rep as a partner or an order taker?
Do you share your goals for the store - especially for that line of products or services - with the rep?
Do you share your visions and philosophies with your rep?
Do you share the responsibility of all the work with your rep - or do you expect them to do all the heavy lifting?
Do you take them out to lunch instead of expecting them to always buy?
Do you listen to their suggestions?
Do you even ask for their suggestions?
Do you consider them to be part of your team?
Do you offer them the some of the same benefits you offer your own employees?

There is an anonymous quote that says, "Your customers will get better when you do."

I think the same applies to our reps.

-Phil Wrzesinski
PS I offer all my product sales reps the same employee discount my staff gets. It is just one way to make sure they understand they are part of my team.

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