Posts Tagged 'Education'

Vendor Reps – Sales People or Business Partners?

 

What is your relationship with your vendor reps or product wholesalers?

Do you see them simply as salespeople who call you out of obligation and someone you do not want to take the time to meet with? I would suggest that this could well be a missed opportunity on your part.

Some vendors ARE there just sell you stuff. Others are there to help you solve a problem. They would like to present solutions to business problems that you and many of your peers have experienced.

Over the years, I have learned to distinguish the attributes of the contributing collaborator from the yakking sales guy. The collaborator is genuine, well-trained and knows their craft. They bring a perspective of what is working and what is not working in the field. They are well-trained by companies that have invested plenty of time and money to ensure they bring you value.

Consider allowing some of these well trained professionals into your office. You will know very quickly if they are the real deal. Don’t waste your time or theirs if you don’t connect. If you do connect, they will help with product positioning, marketing ideas, best practices and so much more.

Best of all, you get all this at no cost to you or your staff. Of course, you should not use the products if they are not . Occasionally that may be the case.

More often than not, the product is of high caliber when offered by a true professional.  It always amazes me that the two qualities seem to go together so often.

Guide – Great vendors try to employ great people and usually do.

Action Item – Get to know your vendors as you would any other relationship – they have a lot to offer if you let them.

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Become a meeting junkie!

One of my first mentors was great guy, who in his two previous careers (before becoming the chairman of a brokerage firm) was a Commander in the Navy and then a surety bond (read risk) underwriter.

He knew little of the business when he began.  He took me aside and said “You need to go to ALL the meetings.  You may not realize you are learning anything but over time you will learn a lot”!

Ok? This guy has money and success so I listened.  Of course I could not travel so I went to every local club meeting I could. ( and most were free) The financial planning meetings, the stockbrokers club, the company presentations, the CFA society as a guest etc.  Boy, was he ever right.

I attended lots and lots of meetings in the early days and yes, I actually did eventually learn some things.

Guide – Presentations are not a waste of time.

Action Item – Go to local meetings and learn stuff!


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