Home » Sales Reps » Page 2

Category: Sales Reps

How Good are Your Sales Reps?

Maybe I am biased.  My sales reps are for the most part pretty good.  Maybe it is because I am a big account in this territory.  Maybe it is because we just have good reps in our area.  Maybe I am just lucky.  But I get frustrated when I hear other retailers complaining about their reps.

Sure, there are some bad reps in my industry, probably in your industry, too.  But I believe they are only bad because you have not trained them well.


Yes, it is your job to train your sales reps to do exactly what you want them to do.  Do you want them to straighten the department?  Do an inventory for you?  Make suggestions of best sellers?  Steer you away from duds?  Communicate quickly and efficiently?  Accurately place orders and follow up on them?  Handle problems with shipments, problems with defects, problems with billing errors?

Let me ask you.  Do you…

Explain in detail your expectations of your reps?  Reply to every one of their emails even if just to say, “Thanks, I got it.”?  Show them how you want inventory or merchandising to be done?  Explain your product philosophy in detail so that they know what products will and won’t pass your scrutiny?  Keep them informed of how their products are (or are not) selling?  Give them details of what you expect once an order is placed (confirmation of order? confirmation of shipping?)?  Keep them in the loop when there are problems by cc’ing them all emails to the company?  Make sure they get commissions on your show order when they stop in but you would rather drop off the order at the booth to get the special?

I work with rep groups, independent reps, and in-house reps.  For the most part I know our reps well.  We talk about family and life sometimes more than we talk about business.  And even though they may get paid by the vendors, I consider them to be employees of my store.  And since I am responsible for training my sales staff to do their job the way I want it done, I am also responsible for training my sales reps to do their job the way I want it done.

If you are not getting the kind of sales representation you want, you have every right responsibility to train your reps to do it the right way, your way.  After all, you are the customer.

-Phil Wrzesinski

PS  I challenge you to re-read this blog, only replace “sales reps” with your sales staff and consider “you” to be your customers.  Food for thought…  Are you doing things the way your customers want it done?

Are Your Reps Coming to You for Training?

Favorite phone call. A rep just picked up a new line of products. He knows we sell them. He calls me to set up a time to have us show him the line.

He knows he will learn more about how to sell the line to other stores by talking to me than by going to the company. He knows this because he will learn from me why we bought it in the first place. And he knows that the reasons I bought it are the same reasons he will need to use to get other stores to buy it.

Two quick lessons in that paragraph.

First, we can do the same. Ask your best customers why they bought what they bought. The reasoning they use will give you incredible insight into the reasoning you should use to sell your products. Now you are thinking like the customer will think and selling to her needs, not to yours.

Second, are you that important to your sales rep?

My reps are my lifeblood, at least my great reps are. They make sure I get the right products and steer me clear of the wrong ones. They never try to oversell me. They never push me into products they know won’t work for me or my market. And I have a lot of great reps!

But I had a hand in making them great reps by cultivating a relationship where they gain as much from it as I do. For many of my reps, we are nowhere near their top account monetarily, but because we bring more than just dollar-value to the table, we get their very best in return.

You can do that, too. Treat your rep like an extension of your family. Make the relationship beneficial to both of you. The return on that investment will often end up in your favor.

-Phil Wrzesinski


PS The principals to building relationships with your sales reps is the same as building relationships with your customers. Treat ’em like your new best friends. Share with them. A quote I use in my Customer Service live presentation is “Your customers will get better when you do.” The same applies to your sales reps.