The Reputable Rep: Success in Sales and Life

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This month’s article is the ninth — and final — in a serialization of the author’s life and career as an independent manufacturers’ representative.

Reprinted with permission from The Reputable Rep, Success in Sales and Life, by Sig Schmalhofer.

Reputable Reps as Innovators

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“Sioux Chief is a line for hands-on reps. It requires a pioneering effort. We look for reputable reps who are comfortable on the job site with boots and a hard hat. We look for reputable reps who use our breadth of product to find solutions and solve problems for contractors in the field. A reputable Sioux

The Reputable Rep: Success in Sales and Life

By

This month’s article is the eighth in a serialization of the author’s life and career as an independent manufacturers’ representative.

Reprinted with permission from The Reputable Rep, Success in Sales and Life, by Sig Schmalhofer.

The Reputable Rep

Relationships

“I love to see reps! When they’re with me, they’re not with my competitors!” — Louie Armstrong, Ferguson Enterprises

The reputable rep, like the distributors and contractors in his market, has both a financial and personal interest in the people he or she does business with. Reputable reps can be the glue that cements factory-customer loyalty.

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“The reputable rep forges

The Reputable Rep: Success in Sales and Life

By

This month’s article is the seventh in a serialization of the author’s life and career as an independent manufacturers’ representative.

Reprinted with permission from The Reputable Rep, Success in Sales and Life, by Sig Schmalhofer.

The Human Element

The Well-Liked Rep

Reps that are well-liked are not necessarily effective reps. I’ve known many reps who are very well-liked, but for a number of reasons are not able to leverage their popularity into concrete business. Well-liked reps say the right things and are agreeable. They find it impossible to say no! What gets them into trouble is saying yes when … Read the rest

The Reputable Rep: Success in Sales and Life

By

This month’s article is the sixth in a serialization of the author’s life and career as an independent manufacturers’ representative.

Reprinted with permission from The Reputable Rep, Success in Sales and Life, by Sig Schmalhofer.

Sales by Segment

New Construction

The products installed in residential and commercial projects travel a similar route. They are manufactured, sold through a network of factory salespeople and or manufacturers’ reps to wholesale distributors, and ultimately to contractors who install them. The competition is fierce. There are many people that influence product decisions. Price is always an important factor, but is not the only … Read the rest

The Reputable Rep: Success in Sales and Life

By

This month’s article is the fifth in a serialization of the author’s life and career as an independent manufacturers’ representative.

Reprinted with permission from The Reputable Rep, Success in Sales and Life, by Sig Schmalhofer.

Sales Preparation

Appointments

In this, the age of instant communication, appointments with customers and clients are critical. Surprise hit-and-run sales calls are rarely effective. The exceptions, of course, are drive-by stops delivering samples, literature, etc.

However, as discussed in the previous chapter, cold calls on a hunch, mining for business, should be in every reputable rep’s playbook.

Planning

I grew up in the business … Read the rest

The Reputable Rep: Success in Sales and Life

By

This month’s article is the fourth in a serialization of the author’s life and career as an independent manufacturers’ representative.

Reprinted with permission from The Reputable Rep, Success in Sales and Life, by Sig Schmalhofer.

Asking for the Order

There are countless ways to make a deal, close a sale, or get an order. The one common denominator requires the strategy sales reps are reluctant to use: asking for the order. Asking for an order should never be abrupt. The conversation should just flow in that direction. This is the final step of the process. But, let’s rewind to … Read the rest

The Reputable Rep: Success in Sales and Life

By

This month’s article is the third in a serialization of the author’s life and career as an independent manufacturers’ representative.

Reprinted with permission from The Reputable Rep, Success in Sales and Life, by Sig Schmalhofer.

Sales Foundations

Cold Calls

Prospecting is typically a cold call, but a cold call with a purpose.

Possessing the fearless willingness to walk into a sales call where “you know no one” and “no one knows you” is critical. In the story below, a wholesaler sales rep investigates a potential new market. The result was a career changer.

“I came out of college at … Read the rest

The Reputable Rep: Success in Sales and Life

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This month’s article is the second in a serialization of the author’s life and career as an independent manufacturers’ representative.

Reprinted with permission from The Reputable Rep, Success in Sales and Life, by Sig Schmalhofer.

The Secret Business

If being a manufactures’ rep is a secret career, then plumbing is the secret business.

cartoon plumber fixing toiletWhen the word “plumbing” comes to mind, most people think of the scenario pictured. They think about the guy who drags a drain snake to a home to unplug a toilet.

It’s seen as a nasty job that, unfortunately, somebody has to do. So, when I … Read the rest

The Reputable Rep: Success in Sales and Life

By

This month’s article marks the first in a serialization of the author’s life and career as an independent manufacturers’ representative.

Reprinted with permission from The Reputable Rep, Success in Sales and Life, by Sig Schmalhofer.

The Secret Career

The biggest challenge in the manufacturers’ rep business is explaining to people outside of our world what we actually do. Why do we pack the trunks of nice cars with reams of brochures and odd-looking displays and samples that would never make it through airline screening?

When loading a truck with a barbeque, coolers, tables, and all the trimmings, my neighbors … Read the rest