When I learned of this month’s Agency Sales theme, I first pictured George Jetson with Astro in his back seat making sales calls, and Luke Sky-walker selling lightsabers with an exclusive territory of three galaxies and no house accounts. Then I thought, maybe we should just focus on the near future, perhaps even just this decade.
The rep of the future will be more technologically equipped, better trained, highly educated and more professional. Not only will they know more about their products, but also about the key business aspects of their own rep agency, such as planning, operations, marketing and selling. However, one key element that will stay the same, as it always has, is the importance of the rep’s relationships with their customers.
A rep is the ultimate communications expert. We live in a culture of information addiction. Enhanced with the latest communication devices, the rep of the future will continue to succeed by doing what great reps do: moving information quickly, accurately and reliably. The focus will remain on answering every customer and principal question immediately, and solving every problem quickly and thoroughly.
Expanding their businesses with the use of social media networks, emerging video technologies and online meetings, reps will seek out every new tool that could possibly create new business opportunities. The rep of the future will strive for inefficiencies in all aspects of their agency with respect to time management, travel, office locations, and overall costs. Nevertheless, they will maintain a sales focus — the most performance-based model of selling there is.
The rep of the future will become even more customer-centric and have a greater determination to build stronger relationships at all accounts, big and small. Reps with vision will “follow” their customers to all corners of the business world to solve the continued issues of globalization, outsourcing, mergers and acquisitions. They will make whatever change necessary to have a more global/ international business model, with a heightened emphasis on opportunities in Asia and Europe.
Keep in mind that our customers don’t demand much — only more, better and faster, for less. We must continue to deliver. As you position your agency and yourself toward becoming the rep of the future, remember that it’s all about the customer. Look, learn, and seek out new things that enhance professional success. Network and share with other reps; we can all become better.
You are the rep of the future — so be it!