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December 2006 | Vol. V - No. 12
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How to Find a Great Rep

The Top-10 Things Reps Do That Bring You Success


“Anything you believe in, you can make a million dollars at.” Allan Caplan, Inkworks
Every sales rep sounds great, noted Jay Kamhi, president of Kamhi World (VIEW ARTICLE), but how do you separate those who are all talk from those who deliver? TDmonthly Magazine asked manufacturers and retailers how to know when you’ve found a winner:

Manufacturers Said:

1. They Believe in It. “Anything you believe in, you can make a million dollars at,” proclaimed vendor Allan Caplan, president of Inkworks (Gift Guide). Winning reps carry samples and literature, noted Darrel Cresswell, president and general manager of Just Jump It. “Every deal they make, they introduce your product line.”

2. They Pursue It. “This includes … answering [client] e-mails quickly, getting them samples when they need it, and visiting accounts in person to show them my products,” said Kamhi. His own e-mails should be answered within 24 hours, he added.

3. They Sell It. “Actually getting me some business” is the best way to win Kamhi’s trust. “Nothing speaks louder about a rep's effectiveness than getting the customer signed.”

Retailers Said:

4. They Know Your Store. “Understanding enough about each individual store to be able to recommend things for them based on their individual needs” was a top answer among ASTRA members that Mary Sisson, co-owner of Kazoodles in Vancouver, Wash., surveyed via e-mail.

5. They Don’t Always Give You What You Want. Sisson may reach for a product, but a good rep ushers her away if it’s a slow mover. “They’re really helpful, telling us what did and didn’t sell.”

6. They Solve Problems. “They take care of any shortages and problems with shipments,” said Scott Rajcic, owner of CM School Supply in Upland, Calif.

7. They’re Attentive. A good sales rep “calls on you often and shows you all of the current specials,” continued Rajcic.

8. They Invest in Your Future. Phil Hueber, owner of Cedar Chest Kids in Northampton, Mass., said a sales rep for Seferra Brothers is working with his store to guarantee success of a Cedar Chest-branded bedding line. “She’s taking the time to train our staff on the product.”

9. They Save You Money. Susan Swickard, owner of The Talking Teddy in Estes Park, Colo., recently received a large toy camel that was packed into one box with all of the smaller animals she’d ordered. This significantly cut down on her freight charges, for which she sent over “abundant thank yous.”

Everyone Said:

10. They Follow Up. How often? “Every six to eight weeks,” advised Cresswell. Retailers agreed that monthly or even weekly updates on products via phone or e-mail were appreciated.

Swickard concluded, “We’ve bought from hundreds of companies and I can count on one hand the number of fantastic sales reps I’ve known. … If [those reps] have a new line I would probably try it just because I know what good service I’ll get.”

If you want to be the best sales rep you can be, get some pointers from the pros by CLICKING HERE. Or, to find out if your “good” rep’s gone bad, CLICK HERE.



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