What to expect from your Reps- Part 2

Nancy Anderson
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This is a continuation of last weeks' article which in brief described product, brand, or independent representatives or agents and the fact that they are salespeople and you, the retailer or business owner are the customer and should expect those parties to “do more than what's expected to earn your business and continued loyalty! The following outlines in simple terms some of those aspects of service that should be a part of their repertoire of services. If non-existent, it's time to ask!

1.Customer care!
Good reps not only write the order, but also provide information on what it takes to sell the product! They are full of examples of what other successful vendors have done to sell the product! Product knowledge, visual presentation and ideas that are customer oriented and not necessarily specific to the product or service they are selling! “Stars” build relationships during the sales process. “Once and done Sales makers” are more narcissistic and usually won’t be in it for the long run!
2.Knowledge isn’t power, applied knowledge is!It boils down to the ideal of knowing the product and service a rep is selling and applying “WIIFM” to each and every product to the customer! What’s In It For Me! The “me”, of course is the customer! In terms of product knowledge, it must be kept simple and be presented in terms of features (what it is) and Benefits (what it does for the customer!) Knowledge must be presented in the frame of mind of the customer and not the supplier or manufacturer! This is where most reps fail and give the impression they are arrogant and only interested in wrapping up the sale! What is important to the customer is all that matters!
3.Follow Through!
Customers get highly frustrated when they cannot reach their rep! Voice mails, utilized in most organizations and on almost all cell phones are the pet peeve of many potentially high dollar clients! Many reps are readily available and return calls instantly until the sale is made and then are hard to reach! Furthermore it is amazing how many reps will consummate a large sale and then not follow up on delivery time, customer satisfaction and sell through or a simple “Thank you,” really goes a long way. Lack of follow through is one of the big reasons clients disappear!
4.Empathy for customers!
It comes down to “asking the right questions” to get the answers that clarify the customer’s problems! Understanding the client’s growth plans, their mission statement, their customer service policies are all important tenets that the rep may be able to improve or amend if needed! Basically showing empathy and making the client’s concerns the rep’s concerns will go a long way in building sales and relationships!
5.ABCD!!! (Above and Beyond the Call of Duty!!!)
Providing the best price does not qualify for ABCD! Striving for on time or early delivery, working payment terms or discounts favorable to the client, developing exclusive product for that customer, advertising co-op and support are just a few. He or she reviews inventory records when visiting and may suggest price action, returns and even mark down assistance on the merchandise if it is available. E mail and pictures of new arrivals sent prior to a visit to the client can help to “pre sell” goods and is another excellent service and falls in the genre’ of ABCD!!!

As a distributor or manufacturer knows, the representative of the company’s products become the face and personality of the customer. There is no doubt, that their ability to make sales is imperative to the success of the company. However, you must evaluate how they represent you and not only the product they are presenting. When the door closes as the rep departs from the customer’s place of business, the impressions they leave, good or bad is heavily influenced by “the extra mile” they have gone!

Sales career and customer service job opportunities abound! Make sure you follow up your aspirations by checking some of the available websites on Nexxt! The following "site" is a good tool to reference! http://www.facebook.com/pages/CustomerServiceJobscom/163021377048645 Good luck!

Randy Snyder contributes weekly to Salesheads and has over 35 years applicable experience in his area of expertise. He can be reached at (p) 828 625 4932 or rsnyder921@att.net.

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