No matter how big or small your business is, you are busy! One of your many jobs is to find and purchase inventory. Or, maybe you have a buyer for your store or business. Then, they are busy! An asset to the buying process that often we don’t use to our greatest advantage is the sales rep. Like any parts of your business, you must manage your sales reps to get the most value out of the relationship.
Let salespeople know when they can call on you. This will take a bit of time and diligence on your part. Maybe you schedule sales calls for Monday afternoons from 3pm to 5pm, or whatever time works for you. If someone shows up not during this time, you will have to be strict and turn them away, that is if they know the rules. And an appointment should be a must. Just like training your staff, you train your reps. We all use calendars online and you can share them with your reps, so they can make appointments on the day you have set up, and then you are both on the same page. If you are old school, and like a paper calendar, click here and print one for each month, fill in who is coming when; you are in control and won’t waste time!
Let the sales rep know what you are looking for. If you are investigating a new category, let them know that so they will present product, which they would not have been prepared to present. If you are planning to expand one of your categories, let the rep know that.Knowing what you are looking for will save both of you time and effort.
Ask the rep what they see out there that is new, trendy and hot selling. It may not be a fit for your store at all, but your reps are a good source of up to date information about what is happening in your industry. They may also be willing to share what your neighbors are doing, and that is good information also.
Tell the rep what your expectations are when you first get started with her and review it once a year. You are looking for a partner, to help your business grow, not just an order taker. You are looking for added value from them in their expertise, experience and opinions. You are looking for a long term, win – win relationship that will be profitable in the long run for both of you!
If you don’t use your sales reps to help grow your business now, rethink how they can help you and get started!