Some distributor sales reps just going through the motions and then there are those that go the extra mile. You know the guy, he goes 50 miles out of his way to bring that item that you forgot to order or the guy that makes sure you know about the latest product launched. He is the guy that gets on the phone and gets the manufacturer's rep to your plant when you have questions about a product that he may not be able to answer. But the truth of the matter is, it is hard to be the best and to be the cheapest!!!
This week I working with one of my distributor sales reps. A young go getter, he pays attention to all the details, calls his manufacturers reps for help when he needs it and is a true professional. He had asked that I call on a customer with him that was having an odor issue in their hydrocarbon machine and to see if I could help the customer solve the problem, as the distributor he had originally purchased the solvent from had not provided any support after the sale.
After a spending a half hour going over the machine, discussing the problem and making suggestions on how to correct the problem, we started doing an inventory of the products that were needed this week. We got to the drum of soap (one of my products and it is nearly empty) and the distributor sales rep asks if he should add it to the order to which the plant owner replies "no, he needs to check the price on it with the other distributors that call on him".
The distributor sales rep was mad!! He didn't let it show and handled the situation like a complete professional, but for what was probably going to amount to 20-30 bucks difference, the order would go to another distributor even though this guy had gone the extra mile to help the customer get the problem corrected (something the distributor who sold the solvent didn't do).
I felt bad for the guy, after all, he did everything correct and I was going to get the sale, just through a different distributor. The only reason he would miss making the sale on the biggest ticket item on the order was that he refused to give the product away. He had put the extra time and effort into the job and should have been rewarded for it. It is unfortunate, but in sales some days are just like that, but they shouldn't be.
Support the distributor sales rep that supports you!!
3 months ago