This should be obvious

Love 'em or not, sales representatives from wholesale nurseries or garden supply wholesale business are part of our industry. Good ones get to know the customer (me) and guide us to items we might have missed, or take care of problems before they escalate. The bad ones make you want to run and hide. In my career there was one sales rep for a wholesale nursery based out of Irvine, California who would make you cringe when he came through the door. He was caught up in the “used car” sales routine and would constantly ask why I didn't want certain items and generally make you feel uncomfortable.. Thank goodness we don't have any of those types that visit us anymore. The sales reps that visit us are good people, doing a good job. .

I think in the future just being good will not be enough. You will have to be “great.” A great sales person will learn what they can about their customer's before calling on them the first time. Besides finding out about a potential customer through conversations with the former sales rep, if that's possible, one way to learn more about a customer is check out their web page. It amazing what you can find out.

For instance if you check out our web page you will see we have a blog. You would also find out that we got hit by the cold from last week and suffered some damage. Now if I was a sales rep., and found out about this very important information I would sure as heck make sure my client knew that my company and myself were concerned. "What can we do to help?”. Not that I would expect any company but us to absorb the loss of the plants, it's just nice to know that they sympathize and are keeping up with our nursery news.

The interesting thing is no one has said anything! They don't know what happened because they haven't done their research. When a representative from a major nursery co-op comes to my store to solicit our business, but admits she doesn't know what a blog is, how anxious am I to get involved with this organization. All they have to do is look up our web page and learn. Checking out a companies web page on a regular basis should be done by every sales representative, especially before calling. If they haven't, I would think twice about doing business with that organization.

The era of just being a order taker ended a while ago. Some haven't gotten the message. No, I don't need sales representatives calling on me more. I like the system we have in place right now. It's just I think that if you want to be a successful sales representative, you need to learn about your clients and keep on learning. If your a business owner ask the sales representative next time they are in what they think of your web site, or a blog post you did earlier. Not finding out all you can about a potential client through the medium we are using for "getting the word out" shows a lack of understanding about the modern world of business. How anxious am I to get involved with a company like that?