“Don’t be invisible to your manufacturer. I’m here to tell you that you’ll never receive the credit you’re due unless you take that credit. There’s no way your manufacturers can know about all that you do in the field unless you tell them about it.”
Charles Ingram, Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Eriez Manufacturing, in the September 2012 issue of Agency Sales.
“There’s no way your manufacturers can know about all that you do in the field unless you tell them about it.”
Charlie Ingram nailed it. That’s why this issue of Agency Sales looks at backselling to your principals.
Many representatives share horror stories about getting terminated “for doing too good a job.” The vast majority of principals, they say, are honorable and welcome writing bigger commission checks because it means the principal is enjoying more sales. However, a small, short-sighted minority of principals instinctively react to a big order by terminating the representative to avoid paying earned commissions.
The first group is “the good guys.” The second group is the “not-good guys.” But there is a third group, the “I don’t get it because no one ever took the time to explain it to me guys.” And it’s this third group that would do right by their representatives if they better understood their representatives’ role, and would benefit most from backselling.
When should a representative start backselling? Long before that big order hits the factory. Why? Because the marketing “Rule of Seven” applies to more than just products, it also applies to concepts.
“Rule of Seven?” That’s the marketing rule that says a prospect won’t be persuaded until they see your message at least seven times. Backselling persuades the principal that a big order should trigger appreciation not termination, and the “Rule of Seven” tells us that trying to sell your value to your principal in a single message after the big order has arrived is doomed to failure.
Dr. Revenue® and author of Profit Rx John Haskell is the guru of backselling. In this issue of Agency Sales he cites a professional representative firm profile, a well-structured and thoroughly explained line card, and a 90-day action plan as cornerstones of backselling, because they communicate the representative’s value-adding activities on a regularly scheduled basis well in advance of that big order. Launch your backselling campaign today and your principal will already have seen more than seven messages that effectively communicate your value long before that big order arrives.