From A Rep's Perspective

Mike Root

The final secret ingredient

May 9, 2017

This journey of sharing best practices for a sale representative started back in March at about the time some of my newer sales associates were trying to figure out how to jumpstart their career in furniture. We thought other reps might be able to learn from some of the ideas shared within our operation. This process took us from mindset of running your sales business like it was a real business, through continuing education, market preparation, product meetings and many topics in between.

This is the 10th and final installment. In many ways all the previous blogs build up to this last thought. It is appropriate that we reveal this strategy right after market while most in our industry are scrambling to do market followups. It’s the secret sauce that can elevate your career above others, but even as I tell you that most will not bother.

Step back for a minute and look at what your objective was as you go through the process of selling a new account. You have to prospect. You have to get an appointment. You have to prepare, build a presentation, and have a successful meeting with the buyer. If all goes well, you get an order, get it shipped and get paid.

The question becomes was your objective to get an order or to get a customer? Sure the order is nice because you get paid. But the real objective was to get a relationship with a customer that hopefully you will continue to do business with in the future.

If you look at the transaction through that lens will you change anything you do?

Surely there will be awesome training you’ll provide to sales associates so the product sells off the floor. Undoubtedly you will go into the store and see how it looks after it has shipped. And you will follow up on any problems that occur quickly so that the relationship starts off as smooth as possible.

thank you noteThe extra ingredient for your success, the secret sauce, as it were, is gratitude. You need to make sure the retailer understands how important it was that they chose you and your offerings over everything else they could have bought. Don’t take it for granted!

The simplest and easiest way to acknowledge this trust they have put into working with you is a plain and simple thank you note. An email is nice but a paper and ink thank you card is great. Call me old fashioned, but people rarely get personal mail anymore. By going to the trouble of actually buying a card, handwriting out your message, finding a stamp and putting it in the mail is so refreshing to the recipient.

Of course, that is just the first step but a great way to make a lasting first impression. Follow through with your attitude of gratitude for the business in all your dealings and you will see your business soar.

I have heard from our associates that this series has been helpful. At market others have thanked me as well. If this was helpful, I would love to hear from you. If there are other topics you would like me to cover in future posts by all means let me know below.

My next series I would love to highlight reps that we should shine a light on because they are making a difference in the industry, in their community or in the world. If this is you or you know someone who is doing great things I would love to hear from you. Once I collect enough inspirational rep stories I’ll share with our readers.

Good luck with your market follow ups. Thanks for reading.