My Rep Stopped By…

So my rep comes to visit me which is something that I look forward too because I can see that he is genuinely interested in helping me grow my business. He is not the typical hat and T-shirt throwing rep, nor does he just show up to take me out to lunch or dinner (I do make sure he does not forget though!). To the contrary, he always seems to bring something that I am in need of. On his last visit he tore apart my sales presentation, not just mine but everyone in the company. After rearranging and unifying our company message, he proceeded to accompany some of my staff out on sales calls to see how they were doing. Since then I have seen more sales close company wide.

I can think of a lot of things to be critical about when it comes to my suppliers but my rep has always gone above and beyond the call of duty to help me out and for that I am very appreciative. In fact, on this last visit while I was chowing down (on my suppliers’ tab) at a restaurant that I normally wouldn’t dine at due to the expense, I had a reflective moment as my rep was picking up the tab (I do have a conscience). I thought about how much money I spend per lead to capture my customers from the initial contact all the way through the finished installation. Man… I spend a lot of money on my customers! Yellow pages, home shows, coupon books, mailers, websites, referral fees, and the list goes on. Well then I look up at my rep signing the bill on a very expensive dinner.

I had to ask… “How much do you spend when you come to visit us?” I inquired. He stopped for a minute and thought about it out loud. “Hmmm, let’s see… I spent about $250.00 to fly out here… 2 nights at hotel is about another $250.00… rental car is $180.00 plus gas… I eat 3 meals a day plus take you out, obviously it is not cheap (-Lol)… when I return home, I have to pay to park at the airport $36.00… then there is my salary the company pays in addition to everything else.” He sums it all up by saying “If you see me face to face, the company has invested at least $1000.00+ in the visit.”

Wow! He’s been out twice in less than 12 months and that does not include all of the other stops that he makes in the course of a year. I never thought about it but I would venture to guess that it adds up to a hefty expense. Now I can see why he is not a hat and T-shirt throwing rep. There is an investment on his part and he needs to get a return on that investment out of me. So in response to his answer (while I was finishing the last of a nice bottle of Cabernet) I made him this promise. “I will do my best to implement all of your suggestions so I can be a worthwhile customer” I told him. To that I added… “and if my sales ever drop below expectation, next time I will order the salad.”



4 Responses to “My Rep Stopped By…”

  1. 1 Mike Feldman August 5, 2008 at 3:23 am

    I almost cried 🙂

    We aren’t quite as fortunate as you are. When our rep is in town we wonder who he met before, or after to set up as a competitor!

  2. 2 vclimber August 5, 2008 at 10:22 am

    I knew this blog would squeeze a tear out of you Mike. -Lol

  3. 3 dexter kingsley August 26, 2008 at 10:09 am

    Is he the rep that has a very big passion for fishing the rivers of the NW and would most certainly feel a sense of relief if given the opportunity and the motivation to wring my neck for some of the things I’ve done to give him grief?

    Or is this the other film brand?

    You know, many in our industry do not get out of themselves enough to see the picture you have so eloquently painted, V.

  4. 4 vclimber August 26, 2008 at 11:07 pm

    Nope, other brand new rep… be kind to our fish loving friend he’s a great rep too. 🙂

    When you look at the FedEx logo do you see a bunch of letters or an arrow? Most in our industry don’t look hard enough to see past what they presume is in front of them. I guess this blog will make the most sense to ones that see the arrow rather than the letters.


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