Publisherís Letter: Threads of Excellence

Edition: November 2012 - Vol 20 Number 11
Article#: 4097
Author: Brian Taylor

This issue is always one of my favorites as it recognizes and honors the best-in-class in sales in our industry. The Excellence in Sales Awards for me are special because of the way that top performers are determined. Dealers nominate manufacturers and manufacturers nominate dealers. Distributors will tell you that they look for reps that they trust enough to allow them to call on their customers without them being present. When you think about it, that is the ultimate compliment a distributor rep can pay to a supplier: ďHere you go, I need your help with one of my very best customers, and I know that you will treat them as good as I would. Let me know how it goes!Ē

We often hear distributor reps saying that they have a core group of usually no more than five manufacturer reps that would fit that description. A distributor repís customers are a precious commodity and surely one they canít afford to lose due to the actions of an ill-behaved manufacturer rep. That is why it is hard to crack into a repís Top 5. Trust and confidence need to be earned. And the stories we read in this yearís nominations reinforced how well the top manufacturer nominees build that trust and earn the confidence of the dealer rep.

There is an amazing symmetry that exists between good dealer reps and good manufacturer reps. What I mean by this, is that many, if not most, dealer reps usually work with a select group of manufacturers. And I would venture that the Top 5 group probably accounts for an extraordinarily high percentage of the repís sales. Conversely, a manufacturer rep works pretty much the same way. While in most cases a manufacturer rep has to work with a broader base of dealer reps, they would probably agree that a high percentage of their sales come from a fairly small group of dealer reps. That is no accident either.

Taking care of the mutual customer, respecting each otherís time and responsibilities, understanding each otherís job and its challenges go a long way to creating a bond that produces winning business relationships, friendships and results.

Take the time to read about this yearís Excellence in Sales winners. The threads that wind through their stories are amazingly similar.

Congratulations to all and thanks to all of you who took the time to nominate your favorite business partners!

Brian Taylor